One might think Wrigley Field produces a lot of OVERS, but that wasn't the case during the regular season. How are we playing the total on Game 3 of this NLCS Tuesday night?
New York won the first two games of this NLCS at Citi Field last week by scores of 4-2 and 4-1. Game 1 pushed a total of six runs, while Game 2 played UNDER a total of 5.5 runs.
Both those game were played on very chilly New York October nights; the forecast for Tuesday night in Chicago calls for warmer conditions than usual, temps in the low 60s, with a chance of showers, winds blowing out to left-center field at around 10 MPH.
Game 3 Pitching Match-Up
Hendricks (8-7, 3.95) started 32 games during the regular season, with the totals splitting 16-16. He then started Game 2 of the NLDS at St. Louis and allowed three solo home runs through 4 2/3 innings of a game Chicago eventually won 6-3. That game played OVER a total of 6.5 runs.
In his one start this season against New York Hendricks threw six innings of shutout ball, allowing just three hits, in a 1-0 Cubs victory.
deGrom (14-8, 2.54) started 30 games during the regular season, with the OVERS going 16-13-1. That lean, however, was at least partly due to some very low totals – 6.5's and sevens – posted on his starts. He then stared twice in the NLDS against Los Angeles, allowing just two runs through 13 innings of work, striking out 20. Both those games played UNDER.
In two starts this season against Chicago, though, deGrom gave up seven earned runs and 12 hits, including three dingers, through 10 1/3 innings; the first of those games played UNDER a total of 8.5 runs, while the second played OVER six runs.
Game 3 Batting Splits
New York posted a .312 team on-base percentage against right-handed pitching this season, and a .397 team slugging percentage. The Mets have also scored just nine runs in three games started by righties during these playoffs; two of those games played UNDER.
Chicago put up a .322 team OPB this season against righties, along with a .406 slugging percentage. But the Cubs have only scored 21 runs in six games against right-handed starters in these playoffs; the UNDERS went 3-2-1 in those games.
On the whole we rank both these bullpens somewhere in the second quintile among all ML pens. Also, so far in these playoffs these two pens are a combined six-for-eight on save opportunities, with a K/BB ratio of 42/3. Usually, when we run across a game matching two good bullpens, we think UNDER.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at the Friendly Confines during the regular season leaned UNDER by a 44-33 margin, as they averaged just 7.8 runs per. But both games played at Wrigley during these playoffs, against the Cardinals, played OVER, as the teams combined for 24 runs and 12 home runs.
NLCS Game 3 Total Free Pick
We'll try not to over-think this one, and just point out these items of interest; this game is being played at Wrigley Field, and the wind won't be blowing in; also, Chicago's bats were held to three runs through the first two games of this series, but might be ripe for a breakout; also, Hendricks just gave up three home runs in his last start; also, the Cubs scored seven earned runs in two outings against deGrom this year; and finally, the OVER is getting an underdog price. So for our free MLB pick on the total for this game we like the OVER.
MLB Pick: Mets & Cubs Over 7.5 (+110) at 5Dimes