The Cubs have used a 5 game win streak to put a little bit of distance between themselves and the chasing Cardinals and Brewers in the NL Central. Taking four from Cincinnati was huge but now Chicago meets up with another team near the bottom of their division when they face the Mets in the August 27th NL free pick. New York sends Noah Syndergaard to the bump tonight so it’s not like the Mets are a pushover. The game does have the makings of a pitching duel however as Jon Lester gets the start for Chicago. Oddsmakers have set the Cubs as -144 favorites but the O/U does seem on the high side at 10 runs.
What’s The Mets’ Psyche Like After a Huge Beating Yesterday?
The Mets were riding pretty high after taking games 1 and 2 of their weekend series with the Nationals by a combined score of 6-0. Then the proverbial wheels fell off the bus yesterday as the Nats cranked out 16 hits en route to a 15-0 beatdown. Even worse, 14 of Washington’s runs were scored after the 7th inning. Despite winning 6 of their last 10, New York has still scored 3 runs or less in 7 of their last 10. Jose Bautista has hit 5HR in his career against Chicago starter Jon Lester so he could jumpstart the offense tonight. Wilmer Flores also has 5 hits in 13 career plate appearances against Lester (.385) with three of them being HRs.
There’s good value on the Mets (NYM +134) in the August 27th NL free pick considering they’ve been great at avoiding losing streaks – winning 8 of the last 9 after a loss. They’ve also got Noah Syndergaard (9-3, 3.38 ERA) on the bump Monday night. New York is 5-2 in Thor’s last 7 starts and he’s coming off his best outing of the month with just 2ER given up to San Francisco last time out. The right hander had struggled a bit prior to that, allowing 14ER in the four starts prior.
Cubs Finding Offense On Their Recent Home Stand
So far the returns for the Cubs signing Daniel Murphy off of waivers have been great. Prior to the second baseman’s arrival Chicago had scored a total of just 5 runs in 5 games. Chicago has won the 5 games since Murphy came to town, putting up a whopping 37 runs in the process. Murphy has hit .391 with 2HR in that span but he’s not the only batter for Joe Maddon’s team that is hot. Anthony Rizzo and Javy Baez are a combined 20-47 (.426) with 6HR and 14 RBI in their last 6 games. Rookie David Bote also has 3 dingers in that span while Kyle Schwarber has hit 2. The Cubs are even hitting a combined .306 against Syndergaard which means their could be some runs put up on the board at Wrigley tonight.
Cubs starter Jon Lester (14-5, 3.64 ERA) appears to have worked out some of his kinks after the last two starts. Lester has allowed just 1 ER in the past 2 starts (11.2 IP) this after giving up a total of 26 runs in the 5 starts prior. The Cubs have gone 40-19 in their last 59 home games and they’ve won 7 straight against the Mets. The last time Lester faced the Mets, he held them to a 2-hit shutout over 7 IP in New York which is one reason why tonight’s O/U seems on the high side.
August 27th NL Free Pick Betting
The Cubs are huge favorites tonight after their recent winning streak and the fact that Chicago has beaten the Mets 7 games in a row. There’s also a 16 MPH wind blowing out to left-field which is why tonight’s O/U is on the high side at 10 despite two solid pitchers taking the mound. Chicago is stacked with HR hitters and will have the edge tonight if they can get to Syndergaard and the Mets bullpen. Yesterday New York allowed 14 runs in the 8th and 9th innings to Washington after Steven Matz had thrown 7IP of 1ER ball. A game like that is hard to bounce back from right away.
NL Free Pick: Chicago Cubs -1.5 (+145)