Mets vs Cubs Picks: Southpaws Have Been Friendly For The Cubs

Apr 22, 2021 |
By: Jared Hochman
Mets vs Cubs Picks: Southpaws Have Been Friendly For The Cubs
The Cubs have been bad at the dish so far in 2021, but they have been marginally better against southpaws, led by Kris Bryant, who is 5 for 15 with three home runs against lefties this season.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
The Cubs have been bad at the dish so far in 2021, but they have been marginally better against southpaws, led by Kris Bryant, who is 5 for 15 with three home runs against lefties this season.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

After an offensive eruption yesterday, the Chicago Cubs are looking to complete a three-game sweep of the New York Mets on Thursday night—and climb back to the .500 mark.

Oddsmakers are still siding with the Mets, who are slight MLB betting favorites to salvage a W in the series despite getting embarrassed last night.

See how we think the final game shakes down in our free MLB picks and predictions for Mets vs. Cubs, with first pitch set for 7:40 p.m. ET.

Mets vs Cubs odds

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MLB sharp money and line movement report

By Patrick Everson

PointsBet USA pegged New York a -130 favorite Wednesday afternoon and this afternoon shortened to -115, where the moneyline rests at 4:45 p.m. ET. The Cubs are taking 68 percent of tickets, while the Mets are getting 58 percent of money. The total is stable at 9.5 flat (-110), though the Under is attracting 60 percent of tickets and 79 percent of money.

Check out the full line movement for this game

Mets vs Cubs betting preview

Starting pitchers

Joey Lucchesi (0-1, 5.40 ERA): The former Padres pitcher has been rocky in his first season in Queens, sporting a 5.40 ERA over five innings across one relief appearance and one start. The 28-year-old southpaw almost exclusively uses a sinker/changeup combo, but early results have not been good—opponents are hitting .455 off his sinker and he only has a 35.7 percent ground ball percentage this season. 

Trevor Williams (2-1, 5.02 ERA): After a couple of lackluster years in Pittsburgh, Williams has had two strong starts with the Cubs and one rough outing. He's coming off a 5-inning, one-run effort against Atlanta but has an inflated 1.605 WHIP on the campaign. The 28-year-old righty uses a five-pitch mix and has been effective at inducing weak contact in the early going, sporting a career-best ground ball percentage of 54.5 percent while allowing just 6.8 percent of batted balls to go in the air—well below his career mark of 22.5 percent.

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Mets: Brandon Nimmo OF (Questionable), Dellin Betances RP (Out), Seth Lugo RP (Out).
Cubs: None to report.
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Cubs are 4-0 in their last four games vs. a left-handed starter. Find more MLB betting trends for Mets vs. Cubs.

Moneyline pick

It's a good thing the "other" New York baseball team is grabbing the headlines for its futility. Otherwise, the Mets would be square in the Big Apple spotlight for their early struggles this season.

New York is currently the most punchless offense in the majors, sitting dead last with 3.23 runs per game and a total of nine home runs in 13 games, as the guys expected to carry the Mets offense — Pete Alonso, Dominic Smith, Michael Conforto and Francisco Lindor — are hitting a collective .215.

Furthering the Mets' woes is that their defense has also been awful, currently sitting 28th in fielding percentage and converting just 67 percent of balls in play into outs—also the third-worst mark in the MLB. That has lead to New York giving up 14 unearned runs already this season (second-most in the Majors), and it was on full display in a humiliating 16-4 loss to the Cubs yesterday.

The Mets committed four errors that game — three of which came in a seven-run fourth inning — and scratched just four runs across the board, which was their highest output in the last four games.

For the home side, it's the second double-digit scoring effort for the Cubbies in the last four games, but the offense has been pretty bleak otherwise. Take away the 29 runs Chicago has scored in those two outbursts and Chicago has a pathetic 41 runs scored in 15 games (2.73/game).

The Cubs are still hitting an MLB-worst .201 as a team and despite winning yesterday's game by 12 runs, they've been outscored by 9 runs over their last 11 contests, as they have the sixth-worst ERA in the Bigs at 4.68.

So what's going to be the difference in today's matchup? Well, the Cubs have been slightly better as left-handed pitchers, hitting .227 with a home run every 14.2 ABs (compared to .193 with a dinger every 28.6 ABs against RHP) and Lucchesi has been giving up a fly ball or line drive on almost 60 percent of contact.

Chicago has a favorable pitching matchup and Williams has been solid this year— give us the Cubbies to complete the sweep at The Friendly Confines.

PREDICTION: Chicago (-105)

Over/Under pick

Yes, these are two of the worst offenses in the Majors right now, but there's plenty of reason to look at the Over for tonight's matchup.

First, the wind is expected to be blowing straight out to dead-center field tonight, which should help some of those Lucchesi fly balls sail right out over the ivy, especially with right-handed sluggers Kris Bryant (5 for 15, three HR) and Willson Contreras (4 for 14, two HR) hitting significantly better against southpaws this season.

While the Mets are struggling at the dish, Lindor did show signs of life yesterday, going 3 for 4 with his first longball as a Met, while J.D. Davis is hitting .412 to start the season, and leadoff hitter Brandon Nimmo should be back in the lineup after getting a day off yesterday following an 0-for-5 game on Tuesday (which snapped a 24-game on-base streak).

Both starters are unlikely to go deep into this game as well, which means we could see plenty of a Mets bullpen that has the third-worst ERA in baseball and a Cubs bullpen that is allowing plenty of baserunners, issuing 5.96 BB/9.

It's not a stretch to see the Cubs beat up on Lucchesi (and the NY bullpen), New York gift a run or two as well, and have the Mets scratch out a couple of runs in the later innings. We're siding with the Over tonight.  

PREDICTION: Over 9.5 (-110)

Mets vs Cubs betting card

  • Chicago (-105)
  • Over 9.5 (-110)

Picks made on 4/22/2021 at 11:33 a.m. ET

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