Major League Baseball
Preview
Chi. Cubs at NY Mets
When: 7:10 PM ET, Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Where: Citi Field, New York City, New York

The Chicago Cubs are stuck in their longest slide of the season as they begin a three-game road series against the surging New York Mets on Tuesday. The Cubs have dropped five straight and appear to be headed to the Big Apple at the wrong time with the Mets on a four-game winning streak -- their longest since taking 11 in a row in April.



The Cubs will get a close look at Mets left-hander Jon Niese, who reportedly has been the subject of recent trade talks between the teams. Chicago stars Anthony Rizzo (2-for-13) and Starlin Castro (5-for-22) wouldn't mind seeing Niese switch dugouts, as they've struggled against the lefty. Cubs manager Joe Maddon said his team needs to "get back our offensive mojo" after being held to seven runs in its past six games. The Mets snapped out of their own offensive funk Sunday with a 7-2 win over Cincinnati after scoring two or fewer runs in six straight games and nine of their previous 10.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, ESPN, CSN Chicago, SNY (New York)



PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs RH Kyle Hendricks (2-4, 4.46 ERA) vs. Mets LH Jon Niese (3-7, 4.12)

Hendricks' struggles continued Wednesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, as he failed to get through six innings for the fourth consecutive start. The 25-year-old is winless in his last three outings and hasn't recorded a quality start in his last five turns, dating back to May 26. Hendricks was dominant in his only previous start against the Mets, allowing one run and three hits over seven innings last August.

Niese is winless in eight starts since May 9, but he has posted four consecutive quality starts. The 28-year-old limited Milwaukee to two runs over six innings in his last turn but didn't get a decision in a 3-2 loss. The Cubs roughed up Niese on May 14 in Chicago, when he was charged with six runs (four earned) in 6 1/3 innings and took the loss.



WALK-OFFS

1. The Cubs swept the Mets in a four-game series in Chicago from May 11-14 and have won six straight meetings, dating to last season.

2. Mets OF Curtis Granderson is 14-for-31 with five home runs during an eight-game hitting streak.

3. The Cubs are 27-0 when leading after eight innings and 27-1 when leading after seven.



PREDICTION: Mets 5, Cubs 3


Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Chi. Cubs 39-35 L5 20-15 19-20 9-5 17-17 8-8 5-5
NY Mets 40-37 W4 29-11 11-26 23-15 8-12 4-6 5-4
Last Meeting
Chi. Cubs NY Mets
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
5/14/15 NYM 5 CHC 6 .194 1 .608 .270 3 .830
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Chi. Cubs K. Bryant .429 6 1.529
NY Mets L. Duda .429 6 1.214
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Chi. Cubs K. Bryant 2 2 4
NY Mets W. Flores 2 2 2
Pitching ERA Avg K
Chi. Cubs 2.50 .244 40
NY Mets 4.45 .214 30
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Chi. Cubs A. Rizzo .304 83 .981
NY Mets L. Duda .259 69 .812
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Chi. Cubs A. Rizzo 15 42 44
NY Mets C. Granderson 13 42 27
Pitching ERA Avg K
Chi. Cubs 3.53 .245 640
NY Mets 3.45 .235 603