The Cubs began this NLCS with the Mets as a 7/5 favorite to win it, but find themselves down two games to none, in desperation mode, heading into Game 3 Tuesday night at Wrigley.
NLCS Game 3 Betting Odds
As of this writing the best MLB odds we could find on New York with Jake deGrom was the -112 offered at Bovada, while Chicago with Kyle Hendricks was getting +109 at Heritage as a home dog.
New York took the first two games of this best-of-seven affair at home last week, by scores of 4-2 and 4-1. This handicapper cashed in with our free MLB picks on the Mets on both games, collecting at +155 against Jake Arrieta in Game 2.
Chicago swept seven games from New York during the regular season, but the Mets have taken the first two games of this series. Go figure.
Game 3 Pitching Match-Up
Hendricks (8-7, 3.95) only went nine-for-32 on quality starts this season, thanks in part to a short leash, but finished well, holding foes to three runs over his last three starts, covering 18 innings. He then started Game 2 of the NLDS against St. Louis, giving up three solo home runs through 4 2/3 innings, walking none while whiffing seven, although he might have been pitching to the score, with an early 6-1 lead, in an eventual 6-3 Chicago victory.
On the season Chicago is 20-13 in Hendricks' starts, 6-1 over his last seven outings.
In his one start this season against New York, back in late June, Hendricks tossed six innings of three-hit, shutout ball in a 1-0 Cubs win.
DeGrom (14-8, 2.54) went 22-for-30 on quality starts this year. He then started Game 1 of the NLDS against Los Angeles and beat Clay Kershaw 3-1, throwing seven shutout innings, striking out 13. Six days later, five days ago, he started the decisive Game 5 and beat Zack Greinke 3-2, allowing two runs through six innings, whiffing seven.
On the season the Mets are 22-10 in deGrom's starts, 4-0 over his last four.
However, in two starts this year against Chicago deGrom gave up seven earned runs through 10 1/3 innings; New York lost both those games.
NLCS Game 3 Batting Splits
New York ranked 21st in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .312 team OBP, and 20th with a .397 team slugging percentage.
Chicago, meanwhile, ranked eighth against righties with a .322 team on-base percentage and 16th with a .406 team slugging percentage.
NLCS Game 3 Line Pick
We'd give deGrom the edge in the pitching match-up, but based on this year's performances against tonight's opponents, we'll call it a wash. Also, the bullpens are very even. But we'll give a short edge with the sticks to Chicago, and we have a lot of betting faith in manager Joe Maddon. Plus, the Cubs are getting a short underdog price. We'll go with the Cubbies for our free pick on Game 3.
MLB Pick: Chicago +109 at Heritage