Fresh from a four-game sweep of the nuisance that is the Cincinnati Reds, and on a five-game winning streak--admittedly over the remedial class Tigers and Reds--the Cubs will look to continue the streak against the New York Mets in their only visit to Wrigley. And whenever you're talking about the remedial class, the Mets almost always have tenure there.
While the Mets are entrenched in fourth place in the NL East, they have been somewhat competent of late. I mean, for the Mets. They've gone 14-12 in August, and they had that 24-4 avalanche on the Phillies you may remember. Of course, this being the Mets they handed that back with a 15-0 loss at home to the Nats. But that series saw them take two of three from the Nats, not much of a claim these days admittedly, and they also took three of five from the Phillies before that.
Yeah, it's still the Mets. But sadly the Cubs are going to get the sharp end of them, with Syndergaard and deGrom slated to take the first two games. Which no matter what kind of tomato cans the Mets might send to the plate and out into the field, makes it a pretty unique challenge.
Offensively, Brandon Nimmo and Todd Frazier, and something named, Jeff McNeil have been leading the charge in August. On the flip side, Jose Bautista continues to be dead. It's not going to be easy to get enough runs against Thor and deGrom, but you don't need that many to get one over on the Mets.
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Probable Mets Lineup
Notes: Jay Bruce will probably start at 1st on Wednesday against Alec Mills, in the latest attempt to make the Bruce signing not seem like the den of the insane or incompetent, which also just happens to double as the Mets ad slogan.
Noah Syndergaard: His sinker is thrown at a speed that's borderline unfair and generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' sinkers. His slider is thrown extremely hard, generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' sliders, results in many more groundballs compared to other pitchers' sliders and has less than expected depth. His fourseam fastball is thrown at a speed that's borderline unfair, has some natural sinking action and has slightly less natural movement than typical. His change is thrown extremely hard, generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' changeups, results in many more groundballs compared to other pitchers' changeups and has slight armside fade. His curve is thrown extremely hard, has very little depth, generates a high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' curves and results in somewhat more groundballs compared to other pitchers' curves.
Notes: Thor has seen his strikeouts drop pretty heavily since his injury in July, only sitting down seven per nine innings. That's still led to a 2.75 FIP though, because he's getting nearly 60% grounders.
Jacob deGrom: His fourseam fastball generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers' fourseamers, has less armside movement than typical and has well above average velo. His slider is thrown extremely hard, generates a very high amount of groundballs compared to other pitchers' sliders and has less than expected depth. His change is thrown extremely hard and has some natural sink to it. His sinker is blazing fast, has less armside run than typical and has little sinking action compared to a true sinker. His curve is much harder than usual, has little depth, has primarily 12-6 movement and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' curves.
Notes: deGrom is basically Aries this year. This is a problem. In August he's striking out over 12 per 9. It's a 1.75 FIP. Duck.
Jason Vargas: His sinker has below average velo and results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers' sinkers. His change has slight armside fade. His fourseam fastball comes in below hitting speed. His curve generates more whiffs/swing compared to other pitchers' curves, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers' curves, has slight glove-side movement and has slightly below average velo.
Notes: He's not deGrom or Thor. Let's just be elated at that.