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Cubs vs. Mets

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6/27/12

The Chicago Cubs could not have expected a much better debut for top prospect Anthony Rizzo on Tuesday.  The 22-year-old first baseman went 2-for-4 in his first game with the Cubs (26-48) and drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI double in a 5-3 victory against the New York Mets (39-36).  Rizzo was hitting .342 with 23 home runs and 62 RBI at Triple-A Iowa prior to getting called up.

Chicago will go for a three-game sweep of the Mets on Wednesday afternoon at Wrigley Field after winning the series opener 6-1 on Monday.  The Cubs have won the last four meetings with New York, five of the past six and eight of 11, but they had dropped four in a row overall prior to this series.  The Mets are currently riding a four-game skid following a four-game winning streak.

New York will send starting pitcher Jon Niese (5-3, 3.75 ERA) to the mound looking to end the skid.  He is 2-2 in 7 road starts with a 3.76 ERA and 1-2 in four lifetime starts vs. Chicago with a 5.95 ERA.  Four of his last five starts have come at home with the Mets going 2-3 during that stretch.  The UNDER is 3-1 in his last four outings with his teammates scoring four runs or more three times.

In Niese's lone road start over his past five, he did not give up an earned run in seven innings of a 5-4 loss to the Yankees on June 10.  He has pitched at least six innings in five of his past six outings, allowing two runs or less four times.

The Cubs will counter with Jeff Samardzija (5-6, 4.34), who is 1-5 in his last seven and has seen his team go 1-6 during that stretch.  He has been an underdog in his last four starts and five of the past six with the lone win coming as a home favorite against the San Diego Padres.  The UNDER is 6-1 in his last seven.

The good news for Samardzija is that he has pitched very well at Wrigley this season with a 3-2 mark and 2.36 ERA in six starts.  The UNDER is 6-0 in those outings, but that may be a tough trend to continue if the wind is blowing out and the temperature is rising as expected on Wednesday.  The weather forecast calls for gusty winds that could reach more than 20 miles per hour and a high of 91 degrees

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