Despite Road Woes, Back Underdog Cubs to Win Series Opener at Mets

john lackey

Monday, June 12, 2017 12:36 PM GMT

Looking to inch above .500, the Chicago Cubs send John Lackey to the hill as an underdog on Monday in the series opener against the New York Mets.


MLB Season Record: 29-38 (-9.43)

It’s likely that many circled this week’s series between the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets as one that could be a potential playoff preview. Neither club has really impressed us enough, however, to be thinking that way 10 weeks into the season, though there is still plenty of star power on both rosters to keep us interested.

Monday’s lid-lifter at least gives us a solid pitching matchup for the 7:10 PM (ET) tilt at Citi Field with veteran John Lackey on the hill for Chicago against New York’s Jacob deGrom. The Cubs are underdogs for just the second time this season with Lackey pitching as deGrom and the Mets are priced -130 at BetOnline. Scoreboard players are faced with a decision on an 8½-run total that is juiced a little more to the low side.

 

Both Starters Recently Plagued By HR Ball

Chicago is hitting the road following a 3-4 homestand, Sunday’s win over the Rockies leaving them 31-31 overall and keeping the Cubs from being broomed by Colorado. They’ve dropped three of Lackey’s last four starts (-3.95 units to the MLB odds), the right-hander surrendering five runs in each of the defeats and serving up six homers during the stretch. Keeping the ball in the park has been an issue for Lackey all season with 16 of his pitches being deposited into bleacher sections. Since coming to the NL, the Texan has made three starts against the Mets and done an outstanding job with a 1.77 ERA in 20.1 innings.

DeGrom has also run into a tough stretch keeping his pitches in the park, the 28 year old allowing four homers in his last two assignments that were both thorough whippings against the Brewers and on the road in Texas. Walks have also been an issue in 2017 with deGrom issuing 5+ free passes in three of his 12 starts. After the Mets lost his first three career assignments vs. the Cubs, he beat them last year in New York, working five frames and surrendering just one run.

 

Rivalry Info, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

The first meeting between the two clubs for 2017 finds New York hoping to repeat its success against the Cubs a year ago. The Mets swept four from Chicago on this field, the totals splitting in those matchups, and won 5 of 7 overall from the Cubs one season after losing all seven in the rivalry. Seven of the last nine at Citi Field never reached the totals, but both sides check into this series with ‘over’ tendencies this season.

It’s going to be warm, but otherwise everything is A-OK for baseball in Queens today with the thermometer in the low 90s at first pitch, clear skies above and a 10-14 mph WSW breeze (out to right). Despite road woes so far, I’m liking Chicago for my free baseball pick.

Free MLB  Pick: Cubs +120Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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