In baseball’s long history of epic playoff moments and fantastical series comebacks, only once has a team come back from an 0-3 deficit to win a series. The 2004 Boston Red Sox gave many a team hope in the toughest of situations, but replicating their magic is next to impossible.

That was a team fighting not only against a seemingly insurmountable deficit, but against their archrivals and a curse that had plagued the franchise for many years. Although the Chicago Cubs don’t have the rivalry box checked in the National League Championship Series, they have everything else going for them the Red Sox had.

Falling to the New York Mets 5-2 Tuesday night, the Chicago Cubs face an 0-3 series deficit if they hope to break a century-old title drought. The bats that got them to the playoffs have suddenly gone quiet, and the pitching staff has become a shell of its former self.

New York has been playing its best baseball in recent weeks, though, and looks like an unstoppable force destined for the World Series to try and end a lengthy title drought of its own.

With Game 4 set for Wednesday night in Chicago, will the Cubs survive to see another day and keep their hopes, however slim, alive, or will the Mets finish things off quickly and move on to the World Series?

Let’s take a look at the game times for the rest of the series, the odds for Game 4 and make a prediction for Wednesday’s proceedings.

Game 4 Odds: New York Mets 1-2, Chicago Cubs 17-10

Odds via


Game 4 Prediction

The biggest knock on the Mets this season was their fluctuating offensive capabilities—although things were much better in the second half of the year—but so far in the postseason, there have been no such issues. It would be hard to find a more worthy MVP winner than Daniel Murphy, while Yoenis Cespedes has continued to provide a huge spark for the Mets as well.

But, as with the regular season, it’s hard to credit anyone before applauding the young pitching staff for the performances it has put together. On Tuesday, it was Jacob deGrom’s turn to thrill, and he did not disappoint.

The second-year pitcher went six innings and only gave up two earned runs on four hits. It was a masterclass in pitching under pressure and put the Chicago Cubs in a nearly impossible situation, down 3-0 in the series.

Fortunately for the Cubs, though, they don’t have to face deGrom in what could very well be the final game of their season. Instead, they get another youngster in Steven Matz, who isn’t quite at the same level as the other members of the Mets rotation but is still an elite talent for his age.

His regular-season performance was outstanding—4-0 and a 2.27 ERA—albeit short with only six starts to his name. But during that small sample size, Matz showed why those in the Mets organization are excited about his future. An opportunity to start a vital playoff game should prove the faith New York has in the 24-year-old pitcher.

The real question is if he can handle the pressure and the Cubs bats well enough for the Mets to secure the series in a hostile environment.

His first playoff start came against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Division Series, and it was also the first loss of his major league career and a showcase of what can go wrong on a given night. Only three earned runs allowed to Los Angeles is an achievement, but Matz never quite looked comfortable on the mound and was pulled after five innings.

Like the Dodgers, Chicago has the bats capable of shaking the pitcher’s confidence early, something the crowd will be more than willing to get behind. Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo are good enough to take over a game against the best in the league, and Matz isn’t quite there yet.

Trotting Jason Hammel out could go either way for the Cubs, as the veteran hasn’t been the most consistent option this season, but the bats should be able to more than make up for any mistakes he makes.

Even if Murphy continues to tear the cover off the ball, Chicago should be up to doing just enough to keep the series alive for at least another game on the strength of its hitters. From there, it is still an uphill battle to win the series, but for now, focusing on the short term is the best thing for the Cubs.

Prediction: Cubs win 6-2

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