In game two of the National League championship series between the Chicago Cubs and the New York Mets I'm looking for both teams to swing the bats a little bit better today.
MLB odds makers set this total at six and it immediately dropped a 5.5. For my MLB pick today I'm going to back over the total as I think although it is set at what would be anticipated, both of these teams should produce a bit more than this number. You can still get good odds at Pinnacle Sports over the total of 5.5 at -106.
Jake Arrieta takes the mound for Chicago and comes in with a 1.77 ERA, 0.86 whip, 236 strikeouts, and a 22-6 record. He is arguably the best pitcher in baseball and is heavily favored to win this game. In his 14 innings of work in the National League division series he was solid allowing four total earned runs off of 10 hits in just over 14 innings. Against the Mets this season he has been outstanding allowing just two earned runs off of eight hits in 16 innings for 1.13 ERA and the Mets hitting just .160 against him. Still, this is the playoffs now and sometimes the regular-season statistics don't mean as much. I look at the innings pitched against the Mets as an advantage for New York having seen him two full games. Let's face it, he could come in and pitch a nine inning shutout, he is just that good. But the Mets have been scrappy in manufacturing runs and I look for them to get two or three at least tonight.
At the plate the Cubs hit .244 as a team, average 4.27 runs per game, and have an OPS of .722. They had a rough night last night and didn't get the bats going until late, but I expect them to be well ready to swing the bats this evening. They have a tough matchup but have had some success against tonight starter Noah Syndergaard. For most of the playoffs they have been swinging some hot bats and I anticipate them to have more quality at-bats tonight than last night.
New York Mets
Syndergaard takes the mound for New York and comes in with a 3.24 ERA, 1.05 whip, 160 strikeouts, and a 9-7 record. He got a little work in the other night in Los Angeles pitching one inning of relief and in his one playoff start he pitched well allowing three earned runs off of five hits in seven innings. Overall though I think the matchups tonight favor the Cubs just a little bit. In his one appearance against the Cubs this season he allowed three earned runs off a six hits in just five innings. I don't expect him to shut out Chicago.
The Mets hit .243 as a team, average 4.22 runs per game, and have an OPS of .710. They are far from being ranked one of the top offenses in the National League but after facing Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, and coming out on top in the series with the Dodgers, they should have a bit of confidence against another great pitcher in Arrieta. With this low total they won't have to do much combined with the Cubs to get over the number, and I expect they will contribute just a little bit.
As expected this total came out really low and now sits at 5.5. Both these pitchers could come in and absolutely dominate this game to 1-0 final. But I think with both teams getting some good rest, especially Chicago getting acclimated to being in New York, I anticipate offensively these teams to have some good at-bats. For one of your MLB picks I suggest backing the hitters this evening and the over.
MLB Pick: Cubs & Mets OVER 5.5 (-105) at 5Dimes