The New York Mets (67-63) have had a mixed bag of a homestand so far. After coming off a high by sweeping the Cleveland Indians, the Mets came back to earth by getting swept by the Atlanta Braves. The good news is that the weekend stumble didn’t cost the Mets much ground in the wild card standings, as they enter play today two games back of the Chicago Cubs (69-61) for the second wild card. That makes this series with the Cubs at Citi Field absolutely massive for both teams. First pitch for the opener of the three game set is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.
The Mets will send right hander Marcus Stroman (7-11, 3.18 ERA) to the mound tonight. Stroman lasted only four innings in his last start, giving up a run on five hits against the Indians last Wednesday, before leaving with hamstring tightness. The Mets ended up rallying to win that game in extra innings. The Cubs will counter with righty Yu Darvish (4-6, 4.43 ERA). Darvish was hammered in his last start, giving up seven runs (six earned) in 5.1 innings against the San Francisco Giants last Wednesday, but he escaped with a no decision when the Cubs won a wild 12-11 game.
New York Mets Lineup:
- The Mets and Cubs split a four game series in Wrigley Field back in June.
- The Cubs haven’t been to Citi Field since June of 2018, when they swept a four game series from the Mets.
- After sitting in the series finale with a lefty on the mound, Joe Panik is back in the Mets’ lineup. Panik will bat seventh and start at second base.
- Stroman has made one career start against the Cubs, tossing a three hit shutout against them back in 2014.
- Darvish faced the Mets in Chicago back on June 21, giving up four runs in six innings, and was not a factor in the decision of a game the Cubs lost 5-4.
- Jonathan Lucroy is 4 for 5 with a double and four RBI’s in his career against Stroman.
- Michael Conforto is 2 for 7 with a homer in his career against Darvish.
- Jeff McNeil will start in right field and bat second, allowing Conforto to play center and bat cleanup.