Mets vs Cubs Prediction, Picks, and Odds for Today's MLB Game

Shota Imanaga has been turning heads for the Cubs this season and has already fared well against the Mets this season. Our MLB picks for tonight's series opener expert more of the same.

Ed Scimia - Betting Analyst at Covers.com
Ed Scimia • Betting Analyst
Jun 21, 2024 • 08:13 ET • 4 min read
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This article contains predictions for an old game!

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The New York Mets will look to start a new winning streak as they start a three-game set at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs on Friday afternoon.

The Mets saw a seven-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday by the Rangers, and are now significant underdogs in the MLB odds for Friday’s affair against the Cubs and rookie starter Shota Imanaga. 

Imanaga stymied the Mets the first time he faced them this year, and I’ll look at whether he can do it again in my Mets vs. Cubs predictions and MLB picks below.

Mets vs Cubs prediction

My best bet
Cubs moneyline (-150 at BetMGM)

My analysis
With all due respect to Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s excellent start to the season, it’s been Shota Imanaga who has turned the most heads of any Japanese import this season. He's been outstanding for the Chicago Cubs, throwing to a 1.89 ERA and a 7-1 record over his first 76 MLB innings.

Those stats aren’t empty, either. Imanaga has a 0.987 WHIP, striking out over a batter per inning while having the lowest walk rate of any eligible starter in the NL (1.3 per nine innings). His FIP of 2.76 is excellent and suggests that his early numbers are largely sustainable, even if his ERA should inevitably come up a bit.

One of Imanaga’s best outings came against the New York Mets on May 1. He went seven innings, striking out seven and allowing just three hits in a 1-0 win for Chicago. The lefty already has two 1-0 wins on the season and has shown himself to be comfortable in a pitcher's duel, while also surviving at least into the fifth inning in the couple of recent games where he’s run into some trouble.

It will be a battle of southpaws on Friday afternoon, as the Mets are starting Jose Quintana. He’s struggling after a solid start, posting a rough 6.28 ERA over his last eight starts. 

Today, he'll face off against a Cubs lineup that's struggled with left-handed pitching, posting a slightly higher OPS against southpaws — though the platoon splits for Chicago are not significant. The Cubs are hitting a bit more in June, looking more like a league-average offense than the one that struggled to score runs in the first two months of the season. 

However, Quintana has been struggling regardless of opposition, allowing far too many home runs and walks while only striking out 6.2 batters per nine innings. This isn’t a formula for great starts against anyone, and it seems like the once-reliable starter might finally be slipping at age 35.

The pitching matchup in today’s game is a clear mismatch and Imanaga has already shown he can handle the streaky Mets lineup once this season. I expect more of the same Friday afternoon. 

Mets vs Cubs same-game parlay (SGP)

Cubs moneyline

Under 8.5

Seiya Suzuki to record a hit

I love the Cubs to win this game behind Imanaga, so I’m also taking the Under in my SGP. Both teams have been staying Under as of late, with the Cubs, in particular, running below the number — especially when Imanaga pitches, as they’ve played to totals of eight runs or fewer in 10 of his 13 starts.

I’ll finish up my SGP with a bet on Seiya Suzuki to get a hit. He's recorded a hit in four of his last five games, and as a career .321 hitter against lefties, he’s a good bet to do so again against a struggling Quintana. 

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

Mets vs Cubs odds

Mets vs Cubs live odds

Mets vs Cubs opening odds

  • Run line: New York +1.5 (-165) | Chicago -1.5 (+140)
  • Moneyline: New York +125 | Chicago -150
  • Over/Under: Over 8.5 | Under 8.5

Mets vs Cubs spread and Over/Under analysis

  • The Mets are down just under 4.0 units on the moneyline this year, while the Cubs have dropped 2.0 units for their backers.

  • The Cubs are 4-1 in Shota Imanaga’s last five starts, while the Mets are 3-5 in Jose Quintana’s last eight outings.

  • The Over holds a 37-34 advantage when the Mets play, while the Under has the 40-32 edge in Cubs games. 

  • Chicago has hit the Under in 10 of its last 12 games, while New York has done the same in seven of its last 11 contests. 

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Mets vs Cubs trend

Chicago is 11-2 in Shota Imanaga’s 13 starts this season. Find more MLB betting trends for Mets vs. Cubs

Mets vs Cubs game info

Location: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Date: Friday, 6-21-2024
First pitch: 2:20 p.m. ET
TV: SNY, Marquee Sports Network
Mets starting pitcher: Jose Quintana
(2-5, 4.98 ERA)
Cubs starting pitcher: Shota Imanaga
(7-1, 1.89 ERA)

Mets vs Cubs latest injuries

Mets vs Cubs weather

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