New York Mets (+132) at Chicago Cubs (-142, 7 o/u)
Two of the best pitchers in the game will go head to head tonight when Noah Syndergaard and the New York Mets (49-43, 23-23 Away) take on Jake Arrieta and the Chicago Cubs (56-36, 29-15 Home) at Wrigley Field (7:00 PM Eastern).
Noah Syndergaard will be making his first start since July 8, after suffering from arm fatigue. “Thor” lost his last outing against the Washington Nationals, after going for 4.2 innings, giving up four hits and three runs on just 79 pitches.
“The last couple of days he feels fine,” said Mets manager Terry Collins to the Associated Press. “The rest has been good for him.”
The Mets could use Syndergaard’s help as they have dropped four of six to the Nationals and Phillies before losing the first of the series against the Cubs. New York is 6.5 games back of Washington in the NL East standings and now even trail the Marlins for second by a game.
Syndergaard will go against an offense that’s clicking. The Cubs are fourth in the majors in runs and second in on-base percentage. The hot bats have helped them rebound from a rough stretch before the All-Star break, winning three of four since the hiatus, and four of five overall.
Jake Arrieta, however, has lost his last two starts and three of the last four, including a setback to these same Mets on July 2. But Arrieta should have it easier than his counterpart tonight. The Mets’ offense has struggled putting runs on the board all year, sitting 28th in runs scored, 29th in batting average, and 24th in on-base percentage.
While Arrieta has been struggling, I expect him to get back on track soon. Given that the Mets are 2-8 SU in their last ten road games against Chicago Cubs, now is a good time to re-mount the Arrieta bandwagon.
Pick: Cubs (-142).
(Photo Credit: Arturo Pardavila III [CC BY 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.)