The Chicago Cubs aren’t having a great season but they’re playing well enough to find themselves in the National League Central lead in late June. They’re 41-34 on the year and while that’s well off the pace of the Los Angeles Dodgers who have the NL’s best record at 52-25 it does give them a 1.5 game edge over the Milwaukee Brewers as they welcome the New York Mets to town for a three game weekend set. The Mets took the opening game of the series on Friday night with a 5-4 win.
New York can use all of the wins they can get. They’ve had a slew of injuries this season and were it not for the woeful Miami Marlins would be in last place in the National League East. The Mets’ biggest issue has been their play away from home which has been downright miserable. At home, the Mets are a credible 20-14 but on the road they’re a woeful 16-26 -10.4 units. They’ve been particularly bad in this price range–as a road underdog of +125 to +175 New York is 2-12 -9 units.
They’ll face a Cubs team here that has done a decent job at Wrigley Field so far this season with a record of 26-13 +5.3 units. Chicago also has struggled away from home and they’ll need to pick up the pace there if they want to hold on to their divisional lead. The Cubs have manhandled the Mets in recent years winning 11 of the last 15 games head to head (+5.2 units) including winning six of eight at home (+2.4 units).
New York will start Zack Wheeler who has had a rough time of it this year. Overall, Wheeler has a 4.94 ERA and a 1.331 WHIP but like his team he’s really had problems on the road. Away from home, Wheeler has a 5.55 ERA and a 1.520 WHIP with the Mets losing 6 of his 8 away starts. The Cubs will counter with lefthander Jose Quintana who has put up pedestrian numbers overall but has done solid work at home with a 2.98 ERA and a 1.147 WHIP.
Given the Mets’ road struggles and the Cubs superiority in head to head play we’ll bet this one accordingly. Wheeler is tough to bet on at this juncture in any situation. Note that 11 of the last 15 meetings have gone Over the total including 7 of the last 8 at Wrigley Field.