MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Cubs vs. Mets: Bet Chicago to Overcome Pitching Disparity (Tuesday, June 15)

MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Cubs vs. Mets: Bet Chicago to Overcome Pitching Disparity (Tuesday, June 15) article feature image
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Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: Taijuan Walker.

  • Taijuan Walker starts as the Mets go for a second straight win over the Cubs on Tuesday night.
  • Walker has been stellar this season, although there's reason to believe his 2.07 ERA is due for some regression.
  • Kevin Davis breaks down which side he's backing, delivering his betting analysis and pick for the game below.

Cubs vs. Mets Odds

Cubs Odds +130
Mets Odds -140
Over/Under 8.5 (-105 / -115)
Time Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. ET
TV ESPN
Odds updated Tuesday afternoon and via William Hill.

Both the New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs are playoff caliber teams this season. The Mets have a 33-25 record and are in first place in the NL East, and the Cubs have a 38-28 record and are in second place in the NL Central. Both teams have different strengths and are facing each other this week at Citi Field.

The Mets have strong pitching and a weak lineup, while the Cubs have weak pitching and a strong lineup. Tuesday night’s nationally televised game is a good showcase of this as the Mets have an edge in starting pitching.

The question for Tuesday night is if the Mets deserve to be heavy favorites against the Cubs.

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Chicago Cubs

The starting pitcher for the Cubs, Alec Mills, is the biggest reason why the Mets are favored on Tuesday.

Last year Mills was a full-time starter, but he’s been demoted to mostly relief work this season. In 23 2/3 innings this season, Mills has a 2-0 record with a 6.08 ERA and 5.14 xFIP for a WAR of -0.3.

The one hope for the Chicago bettors is if Chicago only uses Mills for four innings and moves onto a bullpen that has an xFIP of 3.82, which is the fifth lowest in the league. It is not implausible for the Cubs to contain a weak Mets lineup with a combination of Mills and the bullpen.

Backing up Mills is a lineup that has been strong this season. The Cubs average 4.62 runs per game, which is the fourth best in the National League. With Wilson Contreras, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs have a strong offensive core. The strong bats are keeping Chicago as a playoff contender.

Walker Due for Regression After Red-Hot Start

Unlike the Cubs, the Mets have a reliable starting pitcher for Tuesday’s game in Taijuan Walker. In the past, Walker had been a relatively unremarkable pitcher, but he has a 5-2 record with a 2.07 ERA this season while averaging nearly 5 2/3 innings per start. That low ERA appears due to go up, though, as Walker has an xFIP of 4.08.

Backing up Walker is a Mets lineup that has struggled this season. New York’s hitters are averaging only 3.84 runs per game, which is the fourth worst in the league. Every Mets hitter, aside from Jonathan Villar, is currently underperforming.

While the Mets’ two star hitters, Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso, are having OK seasons for their standards, New York needs them to produce more if it’s going to stay atop the National League East.

Cubs-Mets Pick

The Mets should be favored at home with an edge in starting pitching. However, their edge in starting pitching is not as big as it seems, though, and the Cubs have a better lineup.

With Chicago playing well this season, it’s attractive as a +135 underdog. I would bet the Cubs to +125, even with Mills on the mound.

Pick: Cubs +135 (play to +125)

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