Another loss on Friday has our attention back over in the National League for Game 2 of the Sympathy Series. The Mets drew first blood last night behind 7.2 strong innings from Matt Harvey at Citi Field. Play resumes from Flushing with Noah Syndergaard taking the ball against Cubs ace Jake Arrieta.
More often than not, the odd numbered games are the ones considered critical. Analysts usually deem Games 3 and 5 must-win, while 7 actually is. Rarely does one team get much media pressure ahead of Game 2 when one sides faces only an 0-2 deficit, but the Cubs might be already feeling some urgency before Sunday night because of how the pitching lines up for both teams. Both sides threw their number two last night but if Syndergaard can beat Arrieta at home, it gives them the chance to win three of the first four against Chicago’s secondary starters. New York also has its ace Jacob DeGrom lurking for a start in either Game 3 or 4 at Wrigley Field.
The pressure is on Chicago tonight, which gives me some reason to believe the rookie may be just a little looser and just a little better than his performance in the Divisional Series. Thor was hardly shabby in LA, striking out 9 and allowing 3 runs in 6.1 innings in Game 2 before firing a shutout inning of relief in Game 5. Meanwhile, Arrieta should be focused and restored after an average outing in a Game 3 win against St. Louis. The Cardinals failed to take advantage in that one and now we’ll see if he’ll provide another team with as good a chance as that one. My guess is no.
Though this game isn’t lined at many shops yet, the numbers available show the Cubs as an appropriate road favorite with a total of 8.0. Both offenses have hit the ball very well in October but this number seems at least half a run too high for this one. Familia has had a workout of the Mets’ ‘pen but the rest of the calvary is rested for New York. This one is an easy pick.
Free Pick: Under 8.0 -110
YTD: 28-24-5 -0.66
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02