NL Betting Preview: Chicago Cubs at New York Mets

NL Betting Preview:  Chicago Cubs at New York Mets

Two teams that are lucky to not be in last place in their respective divisions face off in New York on Sunday as the Mets host the Chicago Cubs. The Mets are almost guaranteed to not finish last in the NL East due to the fact that the worst team in baseball–the Miami Marlins–is also in their division. The Cubs aren’t quite so lucky over in the NL Central but they do benefit from the presence of a Milwaukee team that has played dismal baseball this year. The Cubs have taken the first two games of this three game weekend set and that includes a win over Mets’ ace Matt Harvey who has been one of the team’s few bright spots this season.

The Cubs will start righthander Matt Garza–his numbers are somewhat misleading. He hasn’t pitched badly this season but is coming off a horrific start against the hard hitting Cincinnati Reds. Garza allowed 9 ER and 3 HR in 5 innings of work in that matchup which has grossly inflated his L3 and his YTD ERA numbers. He’s not Cy Young material to be sure, but he’s not *that* bad. ‘Not that bad’ also applies to Mets’ starter Jeremy Hefner. Hefner has a 3.91 ERA in his 2013 starts and a 2.37 ERA in his last three starts. His problem is that he hasn’t been able to win games–the Mets are 1-11 in his 12 starts this season including 0-6 at home (despite Hefner’s respectable 3.09 ERA in those games).

Chicago has shown some pluck at various points this season and that’s evidenced by the fact that they’re ‘in the black’ when facing opponents with losing records. Against sub .500 teams the Cubs are 12-9 +2.4 units. The Mets don’t show the same moxie when facing fellow ‘bottom feeders’–they’re 10-20 -15.4 units against opponents with losing records. Mets have lost 9 of their last 11 overall and are really a team going nowhere. Chicago may not have a shot at postseason play but more often than not they play hard. New York doesn’t have much of a home field advantage (13-23 -14.4 units at CitiField) so we’ll back a Cubs team that takes advantage of the situation when they ‘step down in class’.