If your top priority following the trade deadline was to see the Mets enhance their prospects in Major League Baseball’s draft lottery, the past week of baseball has been a massive success. The team has gone 0-6 since the deadline, having been swept by the Royals and the Orioles—two teams at opposite ends of the standings. Between the Mets’ lineups over these past six games and the pitchers who are currently in their rotation, the team’s failure to win even one of them isn’t exactly a surprise.
The Cubs, however, have worked their way up to the National League’s third Wild Card spot after spending a large chunk of the season with a losing record. They’re 7-3 in their last ten games, and they’re only 1.5 games back of the Brewers in the National League Central.
When the teams last played a series against one another in late May, the Cubs won two of three. But the Mets concluded the series with a winning record at 26-25, while the Cubs were just 22-27. Things have clearly changed.
Monday, August 7: Kodai Senga vs. Drew Smyly, 7:10 PM EDT on SNY
Kodai Senga (2023): 110.2 IP, 3.25 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 136 K, 55 BB, 1.292 WHIP, 2.4 bWAR
There’s no doubt that Kodai Senga has been the Mets’ best starting pitcher this year. and if Corbin Carroll weren’t having such an incredible season, he might be a serious Rookie of the Year contender. Regardless of that, though, Senga ranks 12th among 66 qualified starting pitchers in all of baseball in ERA.
Drew Smyly (2023): 112.2 IP, 4.71 ERA, 4.93 FIP, 104 K, 37 BB, 1.349 WHIP, 0.6 bWAR
Last year, Smyly had a 3.47 ERA over the course of 22 starts, all of which he made with the Cubs in his first season in Chicago. His strikeout and walk rates haven’t changed much since then, but he’s given up nearly two home runs per nine innings and has seen his ERA and FIP jump significantly as a result.
Tuesday, August 8: Carlos Carrasco vs. Jameson Taillon, 7:10 PM EDT on SNY
Carlos Carrasco (2023): 76.1 IP, 6.60 ERA, 5.99 FIP, 52 K, 33 BB, 1.638 WHIP, -1.0 bWAR
When the Mets picked up Carrasco’s option for this season, it seemed like a solid enough move. The 36-year-old had finished the 2022 season with a 3.97 ERA and a 3.53 FIP in 152.0 innings of work, and the Mets were already looking at needing to bring in several starting pitchers from outside the organization. But things have gone very poorly, and at this point, it would be somewhat surprising to see Carrasco get a major league deal at all in free agency this winter.
Jameson Taillon (2023): 94.0 IP, 5.36 ERA, 4.65 FIP, 82 K, 30 BB, 1.404 WHIP, -0.2 bWAR
Having spent the first four seasons of his major league career with the Pirates, Taillon was with the Yankees for the 2021 and 2022 seasons. The first of those went alright, as he finished the year with a 4.30 ERA in 144.1 innings over the course of 29 starts. But he was a bit better last year with a 4.91 ERA in 177.1 innings over a 32-start span, and he signed a four-year, $68 million contract with the Cubs when he hit free agency following that season. His ERA right now is nearly a full run higher than the his worst single-season mark of 4.44.
Wednesday, August 9: David Peterson vs. Kyle Hendricks, 7:10 PM EDT on SNY
David Peterson (2023): 65.1 IP, 5.65 ERA, 4.37 FIP, 69 K, 28 BB, 1.607 WHIP, -0.1 bWAR
Whatever your thoughts were on David Peterson at the end of the 2022 season, you probably wouldn’t have predicted that he would put up some of the worst numbers in all of baseball over his first dozen or so appearances in the big leagues this season. Had things broken completely right for the Mets this year, he might not have even made that many starts at all. Since the All-Star break, though, he’s mostly pitched out of the bullpen and has begun easing back into the rotation since the deadline. He has a 1.64 ERA in the second half, though that’s only been over the course of 11.0 innings.
Kyle Hendricks (2023): 81.1 IP, 4.09 ERA, 51 K, 12 BB, 1.107 WHIP, 0.8 bWAR
Believe it or not, this is the tenth season that Hendricks has spent in the Cubs’ rotation. He’s been with the team since his major league debut back in 2014, and the past two-and-a-half seasons haven’t gone as well as his first six seasons did. Still, he’s been a capable major league starter this year, and if he were in the Mets’ current rotation, he’d pretty clearly be their number three starter at worst.
Prediction: The Mets snap their post-deadline losing streak by winning the Senga game but drop the other two games and lose the series.
How will the Mets fare in their three-game series against the Cubs?
This poll is closed
The Mets somehow sweep the Cubs!
The Mets even the season series by taking two of three.
The Mets win once but lose yet another series.
The Mets lose all three games and fall to 0-9 since the trade deadline.