Wednesday is the middle game of a three-game set between the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets from Queens. This is one of the most important series of the season for both teams, as the season is winding down and both are in the middle of a heated playoff race. This game is especially crucial for the Mets, as their hot August has come crashing to a halt, losing four in a row and falling further and further out of the Wild Card race. The Cubs on the other hand just snapped a three-game losing streak of their own, taking the first game of the series. Chicago could really use this series to catapult themselves into a dominant position in the playoff race, after a lackluster August starting only 11-11.
For the Cubs, Kyle Hendricks will get the start for his 25th game of the season. Hendricks is having another solid season for Chicago, going 9-9 thus far with a 3.20 earned run average. Everything about Hendricks season has been entirely respectable, his strikeout numbers, as well as his walk and home run numbers, are all at a spot that would make any team happy. If it weren’t for a couple blow up games, giving up 7 runs to the Diamondbacks and Reds, his season would be spectacular. He has given up 2 runs or less in 17 of his 24 starts, including his last two appearances and nine of his last ten starts. His road numbers are a bit concerning although, as his ERA away from Wrigley Field is three runs higher than his home ERA. His opponents batting average is a whopping .288 and has given up 11 of his 17 home runs this season on the road.
For the Mets, Noah Syndergaard will take the mound yet again. Wednesday will mark his 26th start of the season, in a year that has seen him go 9-6 with a 3.71 ERA so far. Thor has been lights out in the month of August, with an earned run average of only 1.73 and has only given up one home run in the entire second half of the season so far. It will be interesting to see how Syndergaard pitches down the stretch, and in the playoffs, if they get their, as he is already at 160 innings. This is only the third time he has been able to go over 150 innings in a season of his career, and his most ever is 183.2. He has a very real opportunity to shatter that mark this season.
Batters To Watch
Javier Baez is having another terrific season and put the Cubs on his back in Tuesday’s series-opening win. He went 3 for 3 with a home run, two doubles, and 3 RBIs. 2019 should be the second season in a row he goes over 30 home runs 100 runs batted in.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I had Pete Alonso (hard pick, I know) as the batter to watch for the Mets in the first game, and all he did was break the Mets’ rookie home run record. Color me not surprised if he hits out another, as he’s already done it 14 times at home against righties.
I’m still holding out hope that the Mets can stick around the playoff picture and continue the best story in baseball. Plus, Thor is on the mound Wednesday. Take the Mets.