The Chicago Cubs continue to be fun, hot, and thriving in spite of myriad injuries. They’ll head to New York to play four weeknight games against a team that’s had just as much of an issue with injuries this season, the Metropolitans. The blue and orange guys will be looking for some payback after being swept at Wrigley in late April, especially given the best pitcher in baseball is scheduled to pitch Wednesday.
The Cubs are coming off a three game sweep of their arch nemesis, the St. Louis Cardinals, where they found a way to win in just about every way imaginable. They’re playing solid defense, getting good starting pitching, pounding the ball out of the yard, and the bullpen is shortening every game by being absolutely lock-down. Joc Pederson is hot, with three bombs in his last four games to go along with seven hits in his last five games. Patrick Wisdom (.327/.375/.827) and Sergio Alcántara (.290/.343/.742) are both producing more than anyone could have possibly imagined since being called up, giving David Ross all kinds of options even while injuries have decimated his infield at times.
The Cubs’ starting pitching has been solid all year, although they’ve been without Trevor Williams since his appendectomy and are now without Adbert Alzolay due to a blister. They’ll turn to Jake Arrieta in Game 1 of the series, hoping he doesn’t eat anything suspect for lunch or develop a another blister (his only bad starts of the year), Alec Mills fresh off the IL in Game 2, a TBD pitcher in Game 3, and then finally Kyle Hendricks in the finale on Thursday night. Backing up the starters will be an elite bullpen that has been lockdown most of the year, and especially so since the start of May. Craig Kimbrel has rekindled his Hall of Fame stuff and command and has basically been unhittable this year in closing out games.
The Mets’ strength has been their pitching all season, and 32-year-old Jacob deGrom has somehow found a sixth gear this year after seven seasons and two Cy Youngs. Taijuan Walker (2.07 ERA) and Marcus Stroman (2.32 ERA) are flanking him, so lefty David Peterson is the only weak link in their series starters. The Cubs roughed up Peterson for six runs en route to a 16-4 drubbing in the only blowout of that earlier series.
The Mets are struggling as a unit at the place, but are led by Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor. After a poor start in his new home, Lindor has put up a slash line of .327/.383/.600 since May 27. Alonso has been his usual self as well since coming off the IL with a wrist injury, slashing .333/.388/.622. If the Cubs are smart, they’ll probably let some other guys in that lineup beat them this week.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Monday, June 14 @ 6:00 CT on Marquee and ESPN
- Tuesday, June 15 @ 6:00 CT on Marquee and ESPN
- Wednesday, June 16 @ 6:10 CT on Marquee and ESPN+
- Thursday, June 17 @ 6:10 CT on Marquee
What to Watch For
- The Cubs bullpen is absolutely shoving right now, led by Kimbrel looking like his old self and then some.
- With Jake Marisnick back and the tandem of Wisdom and Alcántara more than holding it down in the infield, what will become of Jason Heyward and Eric Sogard over the next week or two? Neither one can really make a case for much playing time at the moment.
- In the midst of a 17-game stretch of playing quality teams (not to mention a 12 consecutive day stretch), the Cubs are 13 games in and 9-4 so far. Two or three out of four at Citi Field would be stellar as the Cubs head back to Wrigley for five against the Marlins and Indians.
- Who will throw against deGrom and does it even matter? Buckle up for that one as the Cubs try and beat that dude.