Mets vs Cubs Picks and Predictions: Sampson Stops Chicago's Bleeding

Despite underdog status amid a lengthy losing streak, we're backing the Chicago Cubs against the New York Mets in our betting picks on Sunday afternoon thanks, in part, to starter Adrian Sampson quietly continuing a nice season on the mound.

Last Updated: Jul 17, 2022 11:15 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Adrian Sampson Chicago Cubs MLB
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After dropping the first three games of their four-game series against the New York Mets, the Chicago Cubs have now extended their losing streak to nine.

They will look to avoid the sweep this afternoon while preventing that streak from extending into the double digits. Can the Cubs avoid the looming embarrassment or will the Mets take advantage of the situation and bring home the sweep? Our free MLB betting picks get to the bottom of this.

Mets vs Cubs odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Mets opened as -145 favorites and some books have moved down to the -140 range while others have bumped up to the -150 range. The total opened Sunday morning at 8.0.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Mets vs Cubs predictions

Picks made on 7/17/2022 at 10:15 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Mets vs Cubs game info

Location: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Date: Sunday, July 17, 2022
First pitch: 2:20 p.m. ET
TV: SNY, Marquee Sports Network

Mets vs Cubs betting preview

Starting pitchers

David Peterson (5-2, 3.48 ERA): Peterson entered the majors in 2020 and showed promise in his nine starts, pitching to a 3.44 ERA and 6-2 record. But following a disappointing 2021 campaign (5.54 ERA) and the additions of Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt, many had cooled on Peterson. With less pressure and more time to refine his craft, the lefty has found success again.

Adrian Sampson (0-1, 3.33 ERA): Sampson has quietly been a very good reclamation project by the Cubs. After failing to find his footing in Texas (5.64 ERA in two seasons), he signed a minor-league deal with Chicago in 2021. Since then, he has a 3.03 ERA across 16 appearances and nine starts. He is coming off of his worst start of the season, an outing in which he gave up just three earned runs in 5 1-3 innings of work vs. the red-hot Orioles.

Weather

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Key injuries

Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Chicago has gone 8-3-3 towards the Under in its last 14. Find more MLB betting trends for Mets vs. Cubs

Mets vs Cubs picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

As the Cubs approach a year since choosing to deal their World Series-winning veterans and pivot to a rebuild, there are a lot of opinions out there on the decision. On one hand, trading away Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber, and others left the hardly without any recognizable faces from that monumental 2016 World Series win outside of Wilson Contreras and the declining Kyle Hendricks.

But then again, it would be easy to argue that everyone except Yu Darvish (who wasn't on that World Series team) and Schwarber have played to the value of the contracts that would have been required to keep those players on the team. And while it was entirely understandable that those trades were a punt on last season, ownership and the front office emphasized that the moves were  not intended to indicate a multi-year full-on rebuild and that the team would and could compete in 2022.

After a 34-57 start — and riding a nine-game losing streak heading into Sunday's game and the All-Star break — Cubs fans have begun to get more and more vocal with their doubt about that sentiment. Outside of Willson Contreras and Ian Happ's All-Star appearances on Tuesday, Cubs fans have very little to be excited about for the remainder of the season and given Chicago's market size and revenue stream along with the Rickett's wealth, to be out of contention by July (and truthfully, it was much earlier) is incredibly disappointing and deflating.

Granted, the Cubs have some promising young talent — Seiya Suzuki, Nico Hoerner, Christopher Morel, and Keegan Thompson to name a few — that may be exciting to watch develop. And they've also picked up some cheaper prospects and reclamation projects that have shown flashes at times like Frank Schwindel and Patrick Wisdom, though they've hit the skids a bit of late.

And after pitching to a 3.03 ERA in his first 16 appearances since signing a minor-league deal in 2021, Adrian Sampson is looking like another success story in that regard. Sampson came up in the Mariners' developmental system but was traded to the Texas Rangers in 2016. After posting a 5.64 ERA across 2018 and 2019, Texas gave up on the right-hander and Sampson found himself in the Chicago system two years later.

On Sunday, the 30-year-old faces arguably one of his biggest challenges yet by facing the Mets. To demonstrate Sampson's excellence, he is coming off his "worst" start of the season, a 5 1-3 inning start in which he allowed six hits and three earned runs to the Orioles — winners of 10 of their last 11.

He will face off against a Mets lineup that ranks fifth in the league in run production, averaging 4.73 runs per game. They also ranked sixth in on-base percentage (.324) and have the fourth-lowest strikeout rate (20.2%).

But all things considered, Sampson's odds to at least keep the game competitive are a tad bit too long for our liking, and the value is certainly there.

Prediction: Cubs moneyline (+130 at PointsBet)

Over/Under analysis

The Cubs favor Unders by just a hair, having gone 43-42-6 (50.6%) that way thus far. The Mets have gone 46-38-8 (54.8%) towards the Over, the third-best Overs record in the MLB, and are just one of four teams to play to that side at a rate above break-even.

Chicago has gone 8-3-3 towards the Under as of late, largely due to their lack of offensive production. New York has gone 4-2-1 the same way in their last seven.

Between Sampson's excellence (and Peterson's reliability as well) along with the Cubs' offensive deficiencies, it's best to look in that direction.

Prediction: Under 8.0 (-115 at PointsBet)

Best bet

There's no way around it, things look grim for the Cubs. They haven't fooled anyone into believing they were in playoff contention since early last season and although they have some promising young names, it's not nearly enough to get excited about this early on in the process.

On top of that, they head into Sunday facing the grim possibility of being on the wrong side of a four-game sweep while extending their losing streak to an even 10. But at the very least, they have Sampson — one of the organization's handful of bright spots in the last two seasons — taking the mound to help turn their luck around.

Given all the circumstances at play, the Cubs are the value proposition for this final game as we head into the All-Star break.

PickCubs moneyline (+130 at PointsBet)

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