With a 2-0 lead over the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS, the Mets are already licking their chops.
The Cubs just released their starters for Game 3 and Game 4, and now the Mets are straight up salivating.
Like the Dodgers (who the Mets dispatched in the NLDS), the Cubs have two great pitchers, and not much more in terms of starters. Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester dominate for the Cubs (though the Mets actually managed to beat both of them in games 1 and 2...), but after that, the quality dips off the table.
In many cases, teams will pitch their aces on short rest in the playoffs to avoid pitching their lesser starters.
The Cubs haven't taken that route.
In Tuesday's Game 3, it's going to be Kyle Hendricks for the Cubs vs. Jacob deGrom of the Mets.
Hendricks isn't bad - he was 8-7 with a 3.95 ERA this season - but he's no deGrom. It's not even close, really.
Frankly, I love the Mets' chances of jumping out to a 3-0 lead with deGrom facing Hendricks. Anything can happen, and Hendricks is capable of pitching a gem, but statistically it just isn't that likely.
In Game 4, the Cubs have announced that they plan to start veteran Jason Hammel. Hammel's numbers are nearly identical to Hendricks': 10-7, 3.74 ERA.
For the Mets it'll be rookie Steven Matz.
Again, the needle points in favor of the Mets in this pitching matchup.
My gut is that if the Mets take Game 3 and go ahead 3-0, the Cubs will alter their plans. Their season will be on the ropes - they'll be one loss from elimination - and I bet they force Lester to throw on short rest, giving them the best shot to save their season.
In any case, this series is shaping up really nicely for the Mets.