|CHC (120) @ bet365|
My 10* Ultimate Underdog is on the Chi Cubs at 7:40 ET.
The New York Mets made the World Series back in 2015 (lost to KC 4-1) and had a wild card appearance the following year. However, they opened the 2021 season without a playoff appearance the previous four seasons, going just 26-34 in 2020. The Cubs were 35-25 (wild card team) in 2020's pandemic-shortened season, their FIFTH playoff appearance over the previous six years. The Mets and Cubs meet for the first time this season in this three-game series at Wrigley Field. The Mets come in 7-4, sitting in first-place in the NL East. In contrast, the Cubs' 6-9 record leaves them in last-place in the NL Central. The Cubs own MLB's worst team BA (.192) and are averaging just 3.40 RPG (28th of 230 teams). The Mets are hitting .246 as a team (8th) but has produced even fewer runs than the Cubs, averaging 3.08 RPG (last in all of MLB).
Taijuan Walker (0-0, 2.61 ERA) makes his third start of 2021, looking for his first victory as a Met. Jake Arrieta is back with the Cubs and has opened 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA through three starts. Walker made 82 starts from 2015-107, going 28-28. However, he was limited to just 15 starts from 2018-20, with his Tommy John surgery being the main culprit to his limited action. The Mets signed him to a two-year contract in February and he's lasted 10.1 IP with a 2.61 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 12-5 KW ratio (Mets are 2-0).
Arrieta began his career with Baltimore but his trade to Cubs gave his career 'life.' He won a Cy Young award in 2015 (22-6 with a 1.77 ERA and 0.86 WHIP) and went 18-8 in 2016 when the Cubs finally won the World Series. He signed with Philly as a free agent but from 2018-20, was just 22-23 with a 4.36. He returned to the Cubs for 2021 and has looked pretty good. He has made 17 career starts against the Mets and owns a more than respectable 3.28 ERA. BOTH teams have struggled offensively (see above) but I see no reason for the Mets and Walker to be favored over the Cubs here in Wrigley, with Arrieta on the mound.