On Friday, the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs open a weekend three-game series at Wrigley Field in a matchup which sees the visiting team looking to improve from a recent slump, while the home team looks to continue a good run of form. Yet, the story as the teams face off will be that of Mets phenom Matt Harvey, who will be making the start in the series opener on Friday.
Despite not having won or even figured in a decision in a month, Harvey has done nothing short of pitch like the second coming of Tom Seaver as he has posted a 4-0 record with a 1.44 ERA. During his blistering and phenomenal start, Harvey’s ERA ranks him third amongst all MLB starters behind Clayton Kershaw and Shelby Miller, fifth in strikeouts in the NL with 62, and the best WHIP in MLB at 0.73.
Harvey has done more than his fair share in carrying the load for a Mets starting staff that otherwise offers no guarantees or confidence that they will go six plus innings and allow three runs or fewer.
The righty will be facing a Cubs team that has won five of their last six games and in addition, has seen it’s bullpen begin to settle down and execute after being a mess for the first month of the season. In the past six games, the Cubs bullpen has posted a 1.62 ERA.
As far as the lineup that Harvey will be facing off against, the batter whom he will most have to be careful with is David DeJesus, who has had multiple hits in the last three games. In addition to facing a red-hot DeJesus, it will also be intriguing to watch the matchup between Harvey and Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo in a battle of two of the young stars in the league.
The Cubs will send Edwin Jackson to start opposite of Harvey, and there’s no doubt that he will be tasked with doing what is necessary to give the Cubs a chance to win this game and do so with little margin of error.
Jackson picked up his first win of the season in his last start against the Washington Nationals and facing a Mets lineup that can struggle, he has a chance to continue to build off that outing. Friday afternoon games at Wrigley Field tend to be special for what it represents but with Matt Harvey going in the opener, it makes the game an even more of a must-watch affair.
Lucas Carreras is a contributing San Francisco 49ers writer and MLB contributor on Rant Sports. You can follow Lucas on Twitter by following him @maldini3fan and you can also connect with him on Google+.