Cardinals and Mets Begin with ‘Under’ Winner: MLB Free Picks

N.Y. Mets player Juan Lagares in action

Monday, July 17, 2017 12:57 PM GMT

Both the Cardinals and Mets are floundering below .500 as they begin a 3-game series on Monday, and we have a free baseball pick for their opener at Citi Field.

St.Louis Cardinals vs New York Mets

At 10/1 and 8/1, respectively, on preseason MLB futures odds to win the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets were obviously expected to contend for the playoffs. Neither has been eliminated yet, but it’s not looking good and has to be extremely frustrating for both clubs to look up in the Wild Card race and see long shots like the Atlanta Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks ahead of them.

A second meeting in less than two weeks awaits the disappointing duo to begin this week, the series getting underway in New York tonight with a 7:10 PM (ET) start. St. Louis sends Adam Wainwright (10-5, 5.20) to the mound against Zack Wheeler (3-6, 4.86) of the Mets, and Bookmaker has the home side slightly favored on a -115 money line with 9 for the total.

Wainwright, Wheeler Square Off For 2nd Time In July
We saw this pitching matchup just before the All-Star break when the Mets visited St. Louis, and both Wainwright and Wheeler pitched well in that meeting that saw the Cardinals close around -120 chalk on the MLB odds. Wheeler took the tough loss allowing just two runs in six innings while Wainwright got the dubya pitching into the seventh and surrendering just one run, the4 Redbirds eventually taking a 4-1 decision.

For Wainwright, the victory marked his third straight in a season that has seen him either be very good, or very, very bad. His velocity is down from years past, and that has led to being knocked around pretty hard in those rough outings, including a couple of road starts in June when he was charged with nine runs at Baltimore and Cincinnati. Wheeler also had a pair of nasty assignments in June which led to him being placed on the DL with biceps tendinitis. He served up five homers in those losses to the Cubs and Dodgers, but has given up just seven long balls in his other 13 starts on the season.

Rivalry Trends, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
The Cardinals won two of the three games in St. Louis just before the break, the ‘under’ also coming out a winner twice. Before that set, the two clubs had gone halfsies against one another the previous three seasons with 10 wins apiece. The Cards also took two of three matchups a year ago at Citi Field where the Mets are 18-12 against the Redbirds since the park opened in 2009. The ‘under’ has cashed 10 of the last 13 meetings on this diamond.

Muggy with a game-time reading of 81° on the thermometer is the Flushing forecast, the weatherman also calling for a 10-12 mph blow from the south (out to left-center). My free baseball pick is on the total never being reached.

My Free MLB Pick: Cardinals-Mets Under 9 (+105) Best Lines Available at Heritage

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Season: 47-50 (-1.65)