The New York Mets took game one of the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs 4-2 on Saturday night. Matt Harvey out pitched Jon Lester by lasting 7⅔ innings while striking out to secure the victory. The Mets will look to take a commanding 2-0 series lead on Sunday night.
The Cubs will rely on the right arm of Jake Arrieta in the second game of the series. Arrieta is coming off his worst start since August after only lasting 5⅔ innings against the St. Louis Cardinals last Monday. In this game he gave up four runs on five hits, but still struck out nine and earned the win.
This season Arrieta won both games he started against the Mets. He pitched a total of 16 innings with an ERA of just 1.13 while striking out 17 batters. Cubs will be hoping Arrieta returns to his normal dominant self for this game.
Rookie Noah Syndergaard, aka Thor, will take the mound for the Mets in game two. Syndergaard lost the only meeting with the Cubs earlier this year. In the 5⅓ innings pitched he gave up three runs off six hits and struck out six.
In the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Syndergaard started game two and pitched an inning in relief in game five. He combined to pitch 7⅓ innings while allowing three runs, but has struck out an impressive 11 batters.
Kris Bryant got the best of Syndergaard in their only meeting at Wrigley. Bryant went 2 for 3 with a single and triple. So far his bat has been pretty quiet in the postseason. A much better hitter at home than on the road, Bryant will need to find his swing in order to get to Syndergaard. Bryant went 0-3 in game one, so look for him to turn it around in game two.
Rightfielder, Jorge Soler was the hottest hitter on the Cubs in the NLDS and will look to keep that going against Syndergaard. In their first meeting, Soler recorded two singles in three total at bats. Soler’s batting average drops as the temperature does. Will Soler continue to get on base or will the colder weather affect him.
Curtis Granderson has faced Arrieta 34 times through their careers. Granderson has a batting average of .333 and has three home runs against Arrieta. The Mets will once again rely on Granderson to lead off and get on base for their heavy hitters. He had two of the team’s four RBIs in game one and will look to keep the momentum going in game two.
First baseman Lucas Duda has also had success against Arrieta. He has four singles in just 15 plate appearances throughout his career. Duda struggled mightily in the NLDS, hitting just .111 in five games. Michael Cuddyer got most of the playing time at first base during game one, but expect Duda in the lineup for game two.