Game Preview: Mets @ Cubs

The Mets look to avoid the sweep tonight as they take on the Cubs for the last game of the series. The Mets offense failed to get off the ground last night for the second game in a row. Despite a two run homer from Álvarez, the Mets couldn’t get anything else going last night and lost a winnable game 4-2.

Can the Mets escape Chicago with a win?

Carlos Carrasco makes his second start since returning from the injured list. Over four games (18 2/3 innings) Carrasco has a 8.68 ERA, 6.97 FIP, 1.554 WHIP and a 49 ERA+. His last start was not good – he allowed five runs from five hits and two walks while struck out three over five innings of work. He is now in the 4th percentile for expected ERA, 18th for expected batting average, 7th for expected slugging and 8th for barrel percentage. The Cubs have the following career numbers against him:

  • Dansby Swanson 1-10, 2B, BB, 3 K
  • Tucker Barnhart 2-8, K
  • Ian Happ 2-8, 2B, 3 K
  • Trey Mancini 2-6, K
  • Cody Bellinger 1-3, 2B, K
  • Seiya Suzuki 1-3, 2 K
  • Yan Gomes 1-2
  • Christopher Morel 0-1, BB
  • Patrick Wisdom 0-1, BB

Kyle Hendricks returns to the mound for the Cubs for the first time since early July of last year. He has been recovering from a capsular tear. Before his injury last year he made 16 starts (84 1/3 innings) with a 4.80 ERA, 4.82 FIP, 1.292 WHIP and an 85 ERA+. In five rehab starts with Iowa this season he has a 5.75 ERA and 1.328 WHIP. The Mets have the following career numbers against him:

  • Starling Marte 6-26, 2 2B, 2 BB, 4 K
  • Tommy Pham 7-22, 2 HR, BB, 5 K
  • Eduardo Escobar 5-14, 2 2B, 3B, 2 BB, 3 K
  • Daniel Vogelbach 5-11, 2B, 3 K
  • Pete Alonso 0-4, BB, K
  • Francisco Lindor 0-6, 2 K
  • Mark Canha 0-2, BB
  • Jeff McNeil 1-3, HR, K
  • Gary Sánchez 0-2

Three Things To Watch For:

  1. Veteran DH Slumps. Vogelbach has gone 2-for-18 in his last eight games. While has worked four walks, a .273 OBP and .111 SLG is not what you want from your DH. Tommy Pham is 4-for-27 in his last 12 games. He’s also worked four walks to a .250 OBP and a .185 SLG. When Baty and Álvarez first came up, it took Buck about a week or so to turn them into regular starters. At some point Ventos needs to get the lion’s share of the starts at DH, especially if these are the numbers Vogelbach and Pham are producing.
  2. Álvarez is destroying the ball right now. On May 9th Álvarez hit two homers. Since then (11 games) he has gone 11-for-37 with two doubles and five homers slashing .297/.381/.757. At some point he will get out of the nine hole in the lineup.
  3. At some point the back end of the bullpen will need to pitch. After being overworked last week, Robertson and Ottavino have been off since Sunday. They are getting near the point that they will have to pitch even if the game doesn’t dictate their usage.

Let’s Go Mets!

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