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Chicago at New York MLB Odds Preview

Written by on June 29, 2016

The best Major League Baseball series of the weekend and one of the most anticipated of the season gets underway on Thursday night at New York’s Citi Field as the Mets host the Chicago Cubs in a rematch of last season’s NL Championship Series. It’s the Cubs’ only trip to Queens this regular season. The Mets visit Chicago after the All-Star break. New York is a favorite on betting lines for Thursday’s Game 1 in what looks to be a good pitching matchup. It’s also nationally televised.

Chicago Cubs at New York Mets MLB Odds Preview

When: Thursday, June 30, 7:10 PM ET Where: Citi Field, New York Probable pitchers (away/home): John Lackey/Steven Matz TV: MLB Network Stream: MLB.tv Opening MLB Lines: Mets favored by TBA  

Cubs at Mets Game Background

In last year’s playoffs, the Cubs won the wild-card game over the Pittsburgh Pirates. They were underdogs in the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals, the team with the best record in the National League, but the Cubs won in four games to reach the NLCS for the first time since 2003. There waiting were the Mets, who were underdogs against Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS but won in five games. Chicago was a series favorite over the Mets but was swept. The Cubs’ last game in Citi Field was on Oct. 18, a 4-1 loss in Game 2 as Noah Syndergaard outdueled Cubs ace Jake Arrieta. The Mets finished things off in Game 4 at Wrigley Field with an 8-3 win. The Mets never trailed against the Cubs and advanced to the World Series for the first time since they lost to the crosstown Yankees in five games in 2000. The Royals then beat the Mets in the Fall Classic. Lucas Duda hit a three-run homer in the first inning and a two-run double in the second of Game 4 in Chicago. The Cubs don’t have to worry about him right now. Duda has been sidelined since May 21 due to a stress fracture in his back. Mets manager Terry Collins admitted Tuesday that Duda is still at least two weeks away from resuming baseball activities. New York second baseman Daniel Murphy homered in each game of the NLCS vs. the Cubs, but they don’t have to worry about him, either, as Murphy is now with Washington. Here, the Mets go with second-year lefty Steven Matz (7-3, 3.29). He was originally to pitch Wednesday vs. Washington but was pushed back a day. We learned this week that Matz is dealing with a bone spur in his pitching elbow. He could undergo in-season surgery if he is unable to effectively pitch through it. Medical personnel are confident Matz will do no damage by pitching through the issue and waiting until after the season to potentially remove the spur. Matz struggled in his last start vs. Atlanta and could be seen rubbing his elbow repeatedly after allowing the Braves six runs in the fifth inning. So to give that elbow some rest, the Mets moved back Matz another day. Originally Jacob deGrom was to start Thursday’s opener. The Cubs go with John Lackey (7-4, 3.29), who was with the Cardinals last season. Lackey gave up seven hits, seven earned runs and three walks over 4.1 innings in Saturday’s 9-6 loss to the Marlins. He struck out five. Lackey lost his way in the fifth, giving up an RBI double to Martin Prado and an RBI single to Giancarlo Stanton. The run-scoring hits were preceded by an infield single that he yielded to Ichiro Suzuki and a free pass he issued to Christian Yelich. He’s 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA in four career starts against the Mets.

Expert Prediction

The Cubs will want some major payback for the NLCS and Matz might not be fully healthy. Chicago should be good underdog value on betting lines. Go under the total, which likely will be 7.5.