MLB Picks: Back Mets -115 in NLCS Game 1 vs. Cubs

Darin Zank

Saturday, October 17, 2015 6:19 PM UTC

Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015 6:19 PM UTC

The Cubs and Mets knocked off the top two seeds in the National League playoffs, and now meet in the NLCS. But while Chicago is a hot betting item among Joe Public, fading Joe is often a good idea.

Cubs-Mets NLCS Game 1 Odds
In the early Game 1 betting action the best MLB odds we could find on New York with Matt Harvey was the -116 offered at 5Dimes, while Heritage was giving Chicago with Jon Lester +111.

Also, 5Dimes was chalking the Cubs at -135 to win this NLCS, while BetOnline was giving the Mets +120 as home dogs.


The Situation
New York won the NL East this season, while Chicago had to settle for a wild-card spot. But the Cubs actually finished seven games ahead of the Mets in the W/L standings.

New York then outlasted Los Angeles in five games in one NLDS, beating Kershaw and Greinke along the way; Chicago, meanwhile, beat Pittsburgh in the National League wild-card game, then knocked off top-seeded St. Louis in four games in the other NLDS.

The Cubs swept the regular-season series with the Mets seven games to none, although the teams haven't met since before the All-Star break.


Saturday's Game 1 Starters
Harvey (13-8, 2.71 ERA) went 19-for-29 on quality starts this season, finishing with a flourish, allowing just two earned runs over his last three starts, covering 17 2/3 innings. He then started Game 3 of the NLDS against Los Angeles, allowing three runs – two earned – through five innings, although it took him 97 pitches to get those 15 outs.

On the season New York is 18-12 in Harvey's starts, with the OVERS going 18-12.

In his one start this season against Chicago Harvey tossed seven innings of three-hit, shutout ball, walking two while striking out nine, in a 2-1 Mets loss back in May.

Lester (11-12, 3.34 ERA) went 19-for-33 on quality starts during the regular season, finishing four for his last five. He then started Game 1 of the NLDS with St. Louis, giving up three runs through 7 1/3 innings, walking one while whiffing nine, although the Cubbies lost that game 4-0.

For the season Chicago is 17-16 in Lester's starts, with the totals skewing UNDER by a 20-10 margin.

In two starts this season against New York Lester allowed three runs over 13 innings; the Cubs won both those games, and both games played UNDER.

Here you can find our MLB Picks of the Day

NLCS Game 1 Batting Splits
Chicago ranked eighth in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .322 team on-base percentage, and 16th with a .406 team slugging percentage.

New York, on the other hand, ranked 21st against left-handed pitching with a .312 team OBP and 13th with a .411 team slugging percentage.


Ballpark Totals Factor
The UNDERS went 41-38 in games played at Citi Field during the regular season, which averaged 7.4 runs, second-fewest among all ML ballparks.


Injury Update
Chicago rookie IF Addison Russell, who helped spark the Cubs second-half revival, will miss this series with a bad hamstring.


NLCS Game 1 Free Picks
The Cubs are a chic pick at the moment to win it all, but nobody goes broke betting against Joe Square. Also, New York just played Thursday night, wrapping up its NLDS victory over Los Angeles with a Game 5 victory, while Chicago has been sitting around since Tuesday. And playing seems to keep teams fresh. So for our free MLB pick on this Game 1 we like the Mets.

MLB Picks: New York -115 at 5Dimes

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