New York Mets vs Chicago Cubs Over 7.5 (-105)
(Consensus Odds 3)
National League Total of the Week. My selection is on the 'over' between New York and Chicago at 7:40 pm et on Thursday.
The wind was blowing in at Wrigley Field last night and as a result we saw an exceptionally low total, not to mention another 'under' result, the second straight to open this series. I expect a different story to unfold in Thursday's series-finale, however. New York will give the start to Carlos Carrasco. To say he has struggled this season would be an understatement. Carrasco checks in sporting a 6.97 FIP and 1.55 WHIP through only four starts spanning 18 2/3 innings due to a stint on the I.L. He did pitch reasonably well in two rehab appearances at the minor league level but that was at Double-A Binghamton. Here in the bigs he has allowed 32-of-86 batters he has faced to reach base including four home runs. Carrasco did pitch six shutout innings in his lone start against the Cubs last year but I think we can agree that he was a much different pitcher a year ago than he is now. Kyle Hendricks will get his first start of the season for the Cubs. He's had extended work at the minor league (Triple-A) level and hasn't looked particularly good, posting a 5.75 ERA and 1.33 WHIP, allowing 28-of-85 batters he has faced to reach base including a pair of home runs in 20 1/3 innings. Keep in mind, Hendricks has struggled at the big league level over the last two seasons, recording a 4.89 FIP and 1.35 WHIP in 2021 and a 4.82 FIP and 1.29 WHIP in 2022. The Mets entered last night's action averaging north of 5.0 runs per game against right-handed starting pitching this season. I don't expect either of tonight's starters to work deep into this game and that should open the door for some late runs, noting that the two bullpens have really struggled lately. New York's relief corps checks in sporting a collective 5.55 ERA and 1.52 WHIP over the last seven games (entering last night's action) while the Cubs 'pen has posted a 6.45 ERA and 1.79 WHIP over the same stretch (also prior to last night's contest). Take the over (10*).