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Series preview: Mets at Cubs

6/3/2014

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs open a three-game series with the New York Mets on Tuesday night.

The series

Tuesday: Jake Arrieta (1-1, 3.20) vs. Zack Wheeler (2-5, 4.31), 7:05 p.m. CT

Wednesday: Edwin Jackson (3-5, 4.81) vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-0, 2.54), 7:05 p.m. CT

Thursday: Travis wood (5-5, 5.15) vs. Jacob deGrom (0-2, 2.42), 6:05 p.m. CT

The opponent: Despite a 28-29 record, the Mets are in the thick of things in the NL East since no one is running away with the division. They have a better road record (15-12) than home (13-17) and come into the series on a three-game winning streak.

The finale: At the same time Wood tries to rebound from a bad outing Thursday evening the Cubs will be making their first-round selection in the amateur draft. Who they take is as unclear as ever considering they have the No. 4 pick and there seems to be a consensus on the top 3 and all are pitchers. If one falls expect the Cubs to select him. The intrigue of the draft is a bigger headline than a series finale.

Who's hot/Who's not: The Cubs were shut out three times in the final five games of their 10-game road trip so not many players are red hot. Anthony Rizzo had a decent run on the road, hitting five extra-base hits including three home runs. That was missing from the early portion of his offensive game. Meanwhile, there are several Cubs who are struggling. Mike Olt was just 1-for-23 on the road and his batting average has dipped to .162. Starlin Castro was 7-for-38 (.184) on the trip but he did draw four walks in the 10 games.