The New York Mets (58-72) have had a relatively successful month of August, going 14-12 over their first 26 games, including a 4-3 mark on the recently concluded home stand. While that is just an average pace of play, it is a marked improvement over the dreadful display of baseball the Mets produced in May and June, and they will look to continue that on this tough nine game road trip. First up is a visit to the current leaders in the National League Central, the Chicago Cubs (76-53). First pitch for the opener of a three game set is scheduled for 8:05 pm at Wrigley Field.
The Mets will send right hander Noah Syndergaard (9-3, 3.38 ERA) to the mound tonight. Syndergaard picked up a win in his last start, allowing two runs in six innings to defeat the San Francisco Giants last Wednesday. The Cubs will counter with their ace, lefty Jon Lester (14-5, 3.64 ERA). Lester was also victorious in his last time out, allowing one run in 5.2 innings to beat the Detroit Tigers last Wednesday.
New York Mets Lineup:
- SS Amed Rosario
- CF Austin Jackson
- 1B Wilmer Flores
- 3B Todd Frazier
- LF Michael Conforto
- RF Jose Bautista
- 2B Jose Reyes
- C Kevin Plawecki
- SP Noah Syndergaard
- The Cubs swept the Mets in a four game series at Citi Field back at the beginning of June.
- The Mets have done horribly at Wrigley Field over the past few years, losing 12 of 13 regular season games there dating back to 2014, including a sweep last September.
- Syndergaaard, who made his big league debut at Wrigley Field in May of 2015, is 1-1 with a 2.00 ERA in three career regular season starts against the Cubs.
- Lester faced the Mets at Citi Field back on June 3rd, tossing seven shutout innings of two hit ball to earn his sixth win of the year and complete the series sweep for Chicago.
- Jose Bautista, who is the subject of trade rumors after being claimed off trade waivers by the Philadelphia Phillies, is in the lineup anyway because he has five career homers in 74 at bats against Lester. Bautista is starting in right field and will bat sixth.
- Wilmer Flores is back in the lineup after getting a day off yesterday. Flores will bat third and play first base.
- Jeff McNeil, who left yesterday’s game with tightness in his quad, will sit out tonight. Jose Reyes will start at second base and bat seventh.
- Addison Russell (2 for 6, 2B), Javier Baez (2 for 3), and Jason Heyward (4 for 9, 2B, 3B) have had noted small sample size success against Syndergaard.
- Austin Jackson (9 for 25, 2B) has had some success against Lester, but the Met who has done the most damage against Lester is Flores. Flores, a notorious lefty killer, is 5 for 13 with three home runs and four RBI’s in his career against the Cubs’ ace.