Today’s matchup features two teams with two pitchers making their first starts of the season, Walker Lockett for the Mets and Tyler Chatwood for the Cubs. Although Chatwood will start, a player named Adbert Alzolay may make his Major League debut. Regardless of who gets more work tonight we see a major advantage for Chicago.
First, Tyler Chatwood will pitch in his first start since last year. After having a solid start out of the bullpen this year, he’ll get his opportunity to start. Chatwood says he’s a changed pitcher and his statistics have been much better with a 3.60 ERA. However what’s most appealing is Chatwood’s outstanding numbers against right handed hitters historically. Tonight he faces a right handed heavy Mets team and could be in for a good night if you believe in his splits dating back to last year:
Adbert Alzolay, a highly touted prospect will likely back Chatwood up who recently earned a Pacific Coast League pitcher of the week award, has a 1.93 ERA in his last five starts with 40 strikeouts and three walks in those 28 innings. He last pitched Friday and is currently the 4th rated prospect in the Cubs system.
Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein has had some positive things to say:
“Right now he’s pitching extremely well”
“His curveball’s been as good as I’ve ever seen it in the last four or five starts. He’s getting a ton of swings and misses with it. He’s pitching really well up in the zone with his fastball, and his changeup’s really come on, too. So that’s three good weapons for him.
“He’s pitching with great rhythm and a lot of confidence.”
Last 5 starts include: 28.0 IP/6 ER, 1.93 ERA, 40 strikeouts, 3 walks. Granted these are minor league numbers, he has a strikeout rate of 35% and is facing a Mets that ranks in the bottom third in strikeouts. It should be an exciting night in Chicago with a lot of anticipation.
Walker Lockett vs. Cubs
Looking at Walker’s numbers, the Mets could be in trouble. He’s struggled at nearly every level and is now in a tough matchup on the road. Last year was his first in the league and he really struggled with an ERA of 9.60. His numbers in the minor leagues haven’t been much better as he continues to struggle at nearly every level. His advanced numbers aren’t worth my money to bet on. Taking a look at the chart above, you’ll see his numbers are not too inspiring and unimpressive considering he’s been a minor league quality pitcher. He’s in a bad spot tonight and it’s worth mentioning the Mets bullpen has struggled as well recently. If things go bad for the Mets, there’s no escape. We’ll back the Cubs this evening.
Cubs to win @ (1.68/-147)