The New York Mets will finish their road trip with three games against the Chicago Cubs midweek—weather permitting. Things have been going well for the Amazins. Yet to be tested by a truly top-notch team, the Cubs at least bring back some fond memories of the 2015 NLCS.
Both teams look a lot different from that four-game sweep by the Mets which led them to the World Series. This ain’t an October game either. We’re in mid-April. Plenty of players are hoping to break out of some early slumps.
In this series at Wrigley Field, I have a bold prediction to make about the offense.
The Mets have hit well against Jake Arrieta and I expect them to do so again in this series
As a team, Mets players are slashing .313/.347/.416 versus Jake Arrieta. They have hit five home runs against him in 156 at-bats, including a pair from Michael Conforto.
Conforto has gone up against Arrieta plenty over the years. He faces this familiar foe—back in a Chicago uniform this season—with a lifetime .280/.367/.560 batting line.
In other words, I’m predicting Conforto to break out of his early slump and have some fun in Chicago.
Michael Conforto’s slump-busting series is more about Jake Arrieta
Even if it’s not Arrieta that we witness Conforto and his teammates pummel, I feel this is the opportunity for them to finally start hitting. The bats didn’t wake up at Coors Field even though they managed to take two out of three from possibly the worst team in the National League.
A trip to Chicago always means the chance for an offensive explosion. One windy day could make all of the difference between expecting a 2-1 victory and an 11-10 slugfest.
Wrigley Field has not been especially kind to Conforto. In 37 trips to the plate, he has slashed only .194/.324/.419. However, back in 2018, he did hit a 472-foot home run against Jon Lester for one of his six hits at the legendary ballpark.
The series begins with the Mets sitting in first place of their division and the Cubs buried in last in theirs. Even the Pittsburgh Pirates are ahead of them right now and they’re racing to tank this season so they can draft Trevor Lawrence—maybe I have my sports mixed up.
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The Mets offense has yet to put together an explosive performance. Whether it’s against Arrieta, another starter, or a pounding against the bullpen, I expect runs. My bold prediction for the series: we see Conforto break his 2021 and his Wrigley slump with a pair of home runs in the series.