Sunday Night Baseball: Mets vs. Cubs

Major markets take center stage on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball with a 6 p.m. CT local start time at Wrigley Field between the New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs. At least it looks like it should be an interesting matchup, with the Cubbies lined as just a -115 favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

The total is also just 8.5 after a sweltering few days in the Windy City. The winds are blowing in from left center a little bit and the temperatures are in the low 70s after 90+ degree heat ravaged much of the Midwest over this past week.


Top MLB Resources:

How to Watch Mets vs. Cubs

Where: ESPN

When: Sunday June 23, 7:00 p.m. ET

Mets vs. Cubs MLB Odds

New York Mets -105 // Chicago Cubs -115

Total: 8.5 (-110/-110)

Mets vs. Cubs Game Preview

Like so many teams in the National League, the Mets and Cubs are hovering around the .500 mark. The Mets are 36-39 and the Cubs are 37-40, which leaves them as two of many teams that feel disappointed about where things stand with less than a month until the All-Star Break.

The Mets are 12-6 this month with a +31 run differential, though, as they’ve been playing substantially better than they did during a 9-19 month of May with 154 runs allowed (5.5 R/G). They’ve only allowed 78 runs this month (4.3 R/G) and today’s starter, Luis Severino, has been mostly solid over the course of the year.

Severino did allow six runs on eight hits over 6.1 innings last time out against the Rangers. The Mets did come back and win that game, but Severino had his once-every-few-starts blow-up. He’s allowed 39 runs in 14 starts and has allowed five or more runs four times. He’s also allowed just one run six times. We’ll see which version of Sevy we get today, but his start was moved up and he’ll pitch on what used to be the standard of four days rest.

He comes in with a 3.52 ERA, 3.65 xERA, and a 4.18 FIP. He hasn’t missed a lot of bats and only has a 17.4% K%, which is the lowest mark of his career, but he’ll be a sought-after trade candidate if the Mets fall out of contention or opt to sell.

The Cubs are in purgatory themselves from a buying or selling standpoint, but Javier Assad is going nowhere regardless. The right-hander comes in with a 2.75 ERA, 4.08 xERA, and a 3.79 FIP in his 78.2 innings of work. This season, he’s also struck out over a batter per inning, which gives him more hope of sustaining the 83% LOB% he’s had in each of his three seasons as a Major Leaguer. That’s about 10% higher than the league average and why he’s got a career 2.95 ERA with a 4.15 FIP.

Unlike Severino, Assad has been consistently on top of his game this season. He’s allowed more than two earned runs twice in 15 starts. Both have come against NL Central foes, as the Reds scored five on June 6 and Cardinals had four on May 26. 

The two games in this series have been blowouts, as the Mets won 11-1 on Friday and the Cubs won 8-1 on Saturday, so all of the primary relievers are in pretty good shape from a rest standpoint. To me, Assad is the more trustworthy of the two starters, so I would take the Cubs here. The Mets have awesome offensive numbers this month, but have done more of their damage against lefties than righties.

Pick: Cubs -115

Mets vs. Cubs Player Props

Miguel Amaya Under 0.5 Hits + Runs + RBI (+110)

The Cubs backstop owns a paltry 68 wRC+ against righties this season with a lowly .262 wOBA. He’s batting .211/.289/.281 against righties and that is a poor matchup against Severino, who is holding righties to a .194/.282/.316 slash with a .271 wOBA. Among hitters with at least 150 plate appearances, Amaya’s .238 wOBA is the eighth-lowest in baseball.

Pete Alonso Under 0.5 Strikeouts (+170)

Alonso only has a 20.2% K% against righties and Assad, despite the increase in K% this season, isn’t really that big of a strikeout guy. Furthermore, Assad has a 26.8% K% against lefties and a 19.9% K% against righties, so he has some pretty extreme reverse platoon splits when it comes to getting punchies.