Chicago Cubs (0-0) at NY Mets (0-0)
When: Saturday, October 17th, 2015
Where: Citi Field, Flushing, NY
Time: 8:05 ET
TV: TBS Radio: XM 183, 89, 80
The Chicago Cubs and New York Mets will start their National League Championship Series at Citi Field in New York. Not many experts expected these two teams to meet for the right to go to the World Series. Most had the Nationals, Cardinals, and Dodgers. The Cubs were led by their young offense and the Mets by their young pitching. The Cubs beat the second best team in baseball – Pittsburgh – in the one game Wild Card then went on to beat the best team in St. Louis. They are now the favorites according to Las Vegas to win it all. The Mets stand in their way. New York held off the Dodgers in five games to get here. David Murphy’s heads-up base running and go-ahead homerun were the difference in Game 5. The Cubs won all seven matchups this year with the Mets including all three in New York by a combined score of 9-1.
Chicago decided to go with Jon Lester over Jake Arrieta in Game 1 because he was next up in the rotation, and both are set to go twice in the series if necessary. Lester allowed 3 runs and 5 hits while striking out 9 over 7 1/3 innings in Game 1 of the NLDS but took the loss to drop to 6-5 with a 2.66 ERA in his postseason career. Lester pitched 7 scoreless innings at New York on July 1 and has never lost to the Mets in three career starts. The Mets will go with Matt Harvey. He has worked a total of 22 1/3 innings since September 8th as the team tried to limit his workload in anticipation of the playoffs. Harvey went 5 innings and allowed 2 earned runs on 7 hits and a pair of walks in a win in the NLDS and has surrendered two or fewer earned runs in each of his last 4 starts. Harvey struck out 9 over 7 scoreless innings at Chicago on May 13th.
Forget about the Cubs perfect record against the Mets this year. They haven’t played since early July and Yoenis Cespedes wasn’t even in New York yet. Both teams are riding high and I expect this to be a terrific series with the home teams having big advantages. I’ll take the Mets tonight.
Pick: Mets -117