The New York Mets and Chicago Cubs are scheduled for first pitch at 7:40 p.m. EST at the historic Wrigley Field. This is the first of a three-game series in Wrigleyville. The Cubs are coming off a 2-1 series loss against the Atlanta Braves over the weekend. They closed out the series on Sunday with a 13-4 loss, which was after a 13-4 win for the Cubs on Saturday. It was a poor performance from Kyle Hendricks on Sunday night. He ended up settling in a bit after allowing 6 earned runs in the top of the 1st.
Hendricks ended up lasting 4 innings after it looked like he wasn’t getting out of the opening frame. Alec Mills and Ryan Tepera out of the bullpen did nothing to cool the flames, as they both allowed 3 earned runs each in an inning. Conversely, Bryse Wilson lasted 7 innings for the Braves, as the Cubs were able to score 2 earned runs against him in 5 innings of work. It’s going to be one of those seasons for the Cubs. They don’t have the firepower in their starting rotation to make any serious waves. Expect the Cubs to go up and down throughout the year.
It’s important to note that this is an open and wide NL Central. I don’t think there’s one clear favorite to win the division, so it’s going to be there for the taking. It’s hard to see the Cubs’ rotation getting through this season without sustaining some damage, though. The Cubs head into Tuesday night with a record of 6-9. They’re only three games behind the Cincinnati Reds for the lead. I would be surprised if anyone pulls away from the rest of the field in the NL Central. It’s certainly not going to be the Cubs, who still have some pop in their lineup, though.
The Mets are off to a good start with a record of 7-4 and lead in the NL East by 1.5 games. I just said that the NL Central is wide open, and I think you can say the same for the East in the National League. Even the Miami Marlins, who continue to get better after some ugly seasons, certainly can’t be disregarded in the NL East. The Mets are coming off a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday. In a tricky assignment at Coors Field, Marcus Stroman handled it well with 3 hits and 1 earned run allowed through 8 innings. Taijuan Walker and Jake Arrieta are scheduled to get the starts at Wrigley tonight. Head below for our free Mets vs. Cubs pick on April 20, 2021.
New York Mets vs. Chicago Cubs MLB Betting Odds:
Mets vs. Cubs Prediction:
Taijuan Walker did himself lots of favors after getting traded to the Toronto Blue Jays last year. He parlayed his success with a new contract in Queens with the Mets. Walker posted an ERA of 1.37 and 1.25 WHIP in six starts with the Blue Jays. Prior to going to Toronto, Walker recorded an ERA of 4.00 and 1.07 WHIP. He was pitching like a guy that wanted a new contract.
Over just six outings, though, it’s not the biggest of sample sizes. Walker owns an ERA of 3.82 and 1.24 WHIP through 107 starts since he began his career in 2013. He has been in good form through two performances with the Mets with a 2.61 ERA and 1.16 WHIP against the Marlins and Phillies. Walker has allowed 3 earned runs in 10.1 innings of play. He’s still pitching well after signing his new contract.
However, Walker hasn’t been spectacular against the Cubs in his career. The Cubs are hitting .315 with a .340 OBP in 30 at-bats against Walker. Joc Pederson has been sharp, hitting .467 with a home run against Walker in 15 at-bats. Pederson has been in a slump, but he was able to record a couple of hits on Sunday, and gets a favorable matchup against the Mets on Tuesday. I’m not worried about their offense this season, but the rotation is a question mark.
Having said that, Jake Arrieta is off to a fast start on the hill. Arrieta has recorded an ERA of 3.18 and 1.29 WHIP going into tonight. That’s through three games and 17 innings against the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates twice. In his latest showing, Arrieta gave up 4 hits and 3 earned runs against the Brewers in 5 innings for an adequate performance. The Missouri native was much better in his start at Wrigley, with 1 run allowed through 6 innings for a 1.50 ERA. As an underdog at home, I will back the Cubs at this price.