MLB Odds, Picks: Mets vs Cubs Prediction Today

MLB Odds, Picks: Mets vs Cubs Prediction Today article feature image

Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: New York Mets pitcher Kodai Senga

  • Expect a balmy night of action with tonight's Mets vs. Cubs matchup at Wrigley Field.
  • Cold and windy conditions put the focus on the starting pitchers, Kodai Senga and Drew Smyly.
  • Below, Jim Turvey previews the game and explains why runs could be at a premium.

Mets vs. Cubs Odds

Tuesday, May 23
7:40 p.m. ET
Mets Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-120 / -102
Cubs Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-120 / -102
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.
Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

The New York Mets travel to Chicago to kick off their three-set with the Cubs on Tuesday evening on MLB.TV.

After a fast start, the Cubs have hit the skids a bit, having lost 16 of their last 22 after starting 14-10. They still have a positive run differential, but their record now sits at 20-26, and they are just a half-game out of last in the NL Central.

The Mets, on the other hand, are riding a five-game winning streak that has pushed them back into second place in the NL East,  just 4.5 behind the Atlanta Braves, who seemed miles away just a few weeks ago.

However, it's the total where I'll be looking when these two teams meet on Tuesday evening.

New York Mets

For the second straight season, the Mets are hitting better against right-handed pitchers than against lefties. It's not a massive gap, but their 99 wRC+ against southpaws ranks 20th in baseball, and it's definitely lower than their 10th-ranked 106 wRC+ versus righties.

We'll touch on the lefty they face for Chicago in a minute, but in order to be eyeing a potential under for this game, we also need to be on board with the Mets starter, Kodai Senga. Senga was a pitcher whom I had very high hopes for before the season, and while he hasn't been terrible, he hasn't been amazing either. He has a 3.77 ERA with his peripherals all nearly matching. Only his FIP is a touch higher, and that makes sense, given his high walk rate.

Senga has walked 5.44 batters per nine this season, which ranks sixth-highest among pitchers with at least 40 innings this season. The Cubs' walk rate versus righties ranks eighth in baseball, but overall, it is their worse split.

Maybe more importantly, Senga is coming off his best start of the season, one in which he struck out 12 Rays batters and allowed just three hits (and three walks) over six innings last Wednesday. The temperature is also chilly in Chicago tonight, and the wind is blowing in, all adding to Ballpark Pal having this game as one of the lowest-scoring on the books tonight.

Chicago Cubs

So we're on the under for half of the equation; how about the other half?

Drew Smyly toes the rubber for the Cubs, and he's a pitcher I have been a believer in this season.

His 2.86 ERA ranks lucky 13th among pitchers in baseball with at least 50 innings, and while the FIP (3.46) and xFIP (4.24) don't quite match, I'll tell you why I like him to still succeed on Tuesday: Smyly has had success this season by limiting hard contact.

That's why his xERA 2.82 is far more in line with his actual ERA than his FIP and xFIP. And since we are in for a cold night of action – with the wind blowing in, to boot – I like Smyly to continue his 2023 run of success.

This is also a Mets team that is worse against lefties, as noted above, and with both teams having had Monday off, both bullpens are pretty well-rested, as well.

Mets vs. Cubs Betting Pick

Add it all together, and I like the under a few different ways. I would bet the full game under 8 (+100) at PointsBet, as well as the first five innings under 4.5 (-115) at FanDuel. I like the first five bet the most of the two.

Picks: Under 4.5, first five innings (-115 at FanDuel); under 8 (+100 at PointsBet)

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