5/23/23 Game Preview: New York Mets at Chicago Cubs

Starling Marte, New York Mets

A doubleheader sweep on Sunday added two more wins to the best streak of the season for the New York Mets (25-23). That streak is now at five consecutive wins for the Mets, who appear to have righted themselves after a month-long stretch of mediocre baseball. The Mets will look to keep the good vibes going as they kick off a six-game road trip tonight against the Chicago Cubs (20-26). First pitch for the opener of this three-game set is scheduled for 7:40 p.m. at Wrigley Field.

2022 was a lost year for the Cubs, who went 74-88 to finish in third place in the National League Central, 19 games back of the first-place St. Louis Cardinals. Chicago went on to spend big during the offseason, landing shortstop Dansby Swanson from the Atlanta Braves on a seven-year deal worth $177 million and supplementing their roster with deals for Cody Bellinger, Eric Hosmer, Drew Smyly, Jameson Taillon and Tucker Burnhart. The moves haven’t paid off yet for the Cubs, who are getting good returns from a lot of their moves but haven’t quite made their mark in the up-for-grabs Central.

Right-hander Tylor Megill (5-2, 3.88 ERA) is set to take the mound for the Mets tonight. Megill pitched well in his last start, allowing two runs in six innings against the Tampa Bay Rays last Thursday to earn his fifth win of the season. The Cubs will counter with the aforementioned Smyly (4-1, 2.86 ERA). Smyly delivered a quality start his last time out, allowing only one run in six innings against the Houston Astros last Wednesday, but was not a factor in the decision of a game the Cubs went on to lose 7-6.

Local Coverage:

Television: SNY

Radio: WCBS

New York Mets Lineup:

Pre-Game Notes:

    The Mets went 3-4 against the Cubs in 2022 but did win three out of four during their last trip to Wrigley Field in July.

    Megill has never faced the Cubs before.

    Smyly is 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA in six career appearances, including four starts, against the Mets.

    Daniel Vogelbach will sit with the lefty Smyly on the mound. Mark Vientos will serve as the designated hitter and bat fifth.

    Jeff McNeil will get the night off. Eduardo Escobar will play second base and bat second.

    Mark Canha and Francisco Alvarez will get the night off. Tommy Pham will play left field and bat eighth while Gary Sanchez will catch and hit ninth.

    Pete Alonso (3 for 11, 2B, HR, 2 RBI), Escobar (8 for 14, 2B, 4 HR, 4 RBI) and Francisco Lindor (5 for 15, 2B, 3 RBI) have good numbers against Smyly.

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