Cardinals/Mets 4-Game Series MLB Picks & Predictions

Willie Bee

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 11:30 AM UTC

Tuesday, May. 19, 2015 11:30 AM UTC

Half of the dozen games on Thursday's baseball odds card are matinees, including the finale of a 4-game set in New York between the Mets and St. Louis Cardinals.


21st MAY
Cardinals vs. Mets Series Finale

By: Willie Bee



Veteran Mets hurler Bartolo Colon didn't have his trademark control, and when he did throw strikes, the St. Louis Cardinals made him pay in a 9-0 shellacking that knocked New York out of first place in the NL East.

The clubs conclude their long series Thursday afternoon (1:10 PM ET) at Citi Field, and charged with slowing Cardinals hitters to earn a split for New York is Jacob deGrom. A quick check of the MLB betting odds finds New York listed as a small favorite with a -112 moneyline at GT Bets.

Fresh off the DL for St. Louis is Jaime Garcia, the scoreboard barrier dropping to 7 runs after beginning a half-run higher.


After Long Layoff, Garcia Set For Season Debut
Garcia is making his first big league start in about 11 months after shoulder issues forced him to have surgery last summer and then resurfaced during spring training. The oft-injured southpaw made a couple of rehab starts in the minors, one going well and the other not so well, and he'll be facing a Mets lineup that is 3-5 versus lefties this season. We shouldn't expect more than five innings or 80 pitches from Garcia in his season debut.

deGrom has stuck around long enough to decision in each of his eight starts, New York and the young righthander winning four of those efforts. All four of the victories came at home, along with one loss, and deGrom has yet to allow a home run in 31.2 IP at Citi Field while fashioning a fine 1.42 ERA.

This will be his second appearance vs. the Cardinals, and he's certainly hoping for better results than the outcome last June in St. Louis. The Redbirds chased him one out into the fifth having already collected 12 hits and scored six times in a 6-2 decision.


Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Adrian Johnson completes the umpire circuit for this long series when he works the dish on Thursday. The Houston native is in his eighth full season at the major league level, his six plate assignments this year splitting the wagers with three 'over' and three 'under' winners.  Home chalk is 4-2 in his contests, and his two games at Citi Field a year ago split the totals.

Cloudy skies with a 20% chance of precip is the forecast for Flushing, temps hovering in the low-60s with a 5-10 mph southerly breeze (out to left-center). With this being St. Louis' only trip to Face the Mets, we know the umpires are going to wait anything out.

My advice is get a good weather report an hour before the game, and then make your wager because we know Garcia ain't coming back after any delay. A shower during warm-ups could scratch him and force Matheny to really alter his plan for the mound. New York's lineup has mustered just four runs in this set, but I'm counting on the Mets (-115) to do enough today to back deGrom and the Mets for my free MLB pick.

MLB Pick: Mets -115 at Bodog


20th MAY
Cardinals vs. Mets Game 3

By: Willie Bee



Randal Grichuk and Mark Reynolds were supposed to just provide a little depth on the bench this season for St. Louis. Monday night in New York, they provided more than depth to lead the Cardinals in a 10-2 rout of the Mets to even this 4-game MLB betting odds series.

The defeat allowed the Washington Nationals to catch the Mets in the NL East race, both teams deadlocked at the top with 23-17 records. Meanwhile in the NL Central, St. Louis increased its lead to 4.5 games over the Chicago Cubs heading into Wednesday's tilt at Citi Field (7:10 PM ET). Carlos Martinez makes his 16th career start in the big leagues, all with the Cardinals, while Bartolo Colon climbs the bump for the 445th time in his career.

A quick glance at the baseball betting board finds this game a pick 'em at Wagerweb, all sports books currently taxing the 'under' a little more on a 7 run total.


Colon Nears Mets Control Record
St. Louis has dropped two games with Martinez on the hill after winning his first five starts. The righthander bounced back from two consecutive outings in which he gave up seven runs and walked four, holding the Tigers to just two runs in five frames last Friday, striking out eight along the way only to still get the loss.

He has faced the Mets three times previously, two of those coming out in relief of the bullpen, the start an abbreviated one in an emergency role last season. Only a few Mets available to manager Terry Collins have faced Martinez before, Michael Cuddyer and Lucas Duda owning the only hits off the Dominican.

Colon keeps plugging away at age 41 with a 6-2 record and sub-4.00 ERA in eight assignments. One of the two losses came last Friday vs. the Brewers who touched him up for a couple of homers and six plate crossings (5 ER). It was his seventh consecutive start to not walk a batter, his streak closing in on a Mets team record set by Bret Saberhagen 21 years ago. He beat the Cards twice last year, allowing just two runs in 15 innings.


Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Doug Eddings is up for calling balls and strikes in the third of this 4-game set, his seventh plate assignment of the 2015 MLB betting campaign (3-2-1 O/U/P). His last three appearances under the mask at Citi Field have skipped past the MLB odds totals, including a start by Colon against the Rangers last July.

We're expecting a lot of cloud cover in Flushing this evening, but none that should produce rain. There will be a pretty stiff breeze from the NW, the 10-15 mph blow coming in over the left field wall. The 'over' is on a 3-game run when Martinez hurls, but the Cards have lost his last two outings so I'm riding Colon and the Mets -105 for my free MLB pick.


19th MAY
Cardinals vs. Mets Game 2

By: Willie Bee



It wasn't a huge crowd by normal standards when Matt Harvey pitches at Citi Field, but the fans there got their money's worth with bonus baseball as the New York Mets topped the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a 4-game MLB betting odds series.

Monday's 4+ hour, 14-inning affair went to New York by a 2-1 count, helping the Mets pad their lead in the NL East to a full game on the Nationals. St. Louis lost a half-game to the Cubs in the NL Central  but still owns the best record in the league as the clubs prepare for Game 2 this evening (7:10 PM ET). The pitching matchup shows signs of another low-scoring battle with Michael Wacha up for the Cardinals against New York's Jonathon Niese.

St. Louis opened -125 on the baseball betting card, but can be had for a nickel or more lower after overnight wagering. A 7 run total favoring the 'under' has been there from the start.


Both Starters Tough On Opposing Lineups
The Cardinals remain perfect behind Wacha whose seven starts this season have brought in about 7½ units for baseball bettors. He ran his pitch count up a bit last Thursday in Cleveland, burning through a season-high 105 tosses and leaving before getting an out in the sixth. Michael Brantley's leadoff homer in the sixth stopped a 37-IP homerless streak for the former Texas Aggie, and his 2.06 ERA ranks sixth in the NL.

This will be the fourth start vs. the Mets for Wacha, a winner in two of the previous three with a 2.81 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 16 frames. He has split his two decisions at Citi Field.

Niese has lost four of seven starts, but the defense behind him has been at least partly to blame in three of those with six unearned runs allowed.  The southpaw has been brilliant at home, posting a 1.35 ERA in 20 innings and serving up just one long ball. Several Cardinals have hit Niese pretty well in recent years, but St. Louis hasn't had much success against him in the end with New York winning three of his last four assignments and the Ohio native still sporting a 2.08 ERA in those 26 innings.


Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Crew chief Bill Miller drew honors in the series starter, leaving Jim Wolf to work the plate in Game 2. Five of Wolf's first six games under the mask have gone 'over' the totals, including the series finale between the Mets and Yankees a few weeks back.

It's going to be wet all around Gotham today, but things should be good enough to get tonight's game in with the next two days looking even better. The thermometer should be on 70º at first pitch with an 8-10 mph breeze from the south. Even with the win blowing out to center, I like the 'under' (-115) for my free MLB pick.


18th MAY
Cardinals vs. Mets Series Opener

By: Willie Bee



The seventh week of the 2015 MLB betting schedule begins with a very light card, less than half of the teams taking part in the action on Monday. Still, we can't complain about one of the series getting underway today as the St. Louis Cardinals collide with the New York Mets in a battle between two National League division leaders.

ESPN certainly isn't complaining, the broadcast beginning at 7 PM (ET) with first pitch about 10 minutes later. Our initial mound duel pits John Lackey opposite Matt Harvey, New York currently listed as -140 chalk at Wagerweb, the MLB betting odds board also offering a 6½ run total which favors the low side.

It has been a pretty even rivalry in recent years, the Cardinals with a slight 22-20 lead since the beginning of the 2009 campaign. Both teams have taken care of business on their home diamonds in that span, the Mets 15-8 all-time at Citi Field. 'Under' bettors have thrived with 9-straight winning tickets, six of the games in that stretch taking place in New York.


Lackey Facing Mets For 1st Tie In 7 Seasons
Owning the best record in the majors, St. Louis (25-12, +11.2) begins a weeklong journey that will take the squad to Kansas City after this stop in Queens. The Cardinals narrowly avoided being swept at home over the weekend by Detroit, taking the series finale with a 2-1 victory over the Tigers Sunday evening to boost their lead in the NL Central race to four games ahead of the Chicago Cubs.

That they have been able to maintain the top record in the standings without ace Adam Wainwright is a testament to the depth of the pitching staff and the overall roster. Wainwright is out for the remainder of the season following surgery on his left Achilles, but the good news is the Cards are expecting to get lefthander Jaime Garcia back in the rotation this Thursday for the finale of this set with the Mets.

Lackey has pitched a little better than the 2-2 mark on his personal ledger, the team winning four of his seven outings while the veteran righty has pitched to a 3.22 ERA. He saw a string of three consecutive quality starts end last Wednesday in a 2-0 loss at Cleveland, walking a season-high five but maintaining his homerless streak at 42.1 IP. Lackey hasn't faced the Mets since 2008, and Monday will be his first trip to the mound at Citi Field.


Harvey In Search Of 1st Career Win Vs. Redbirds
New York (22-16, +6.4 units) wraps up a homestand with this visit from the Cardinals, snapping a 5-game skid over the weekend by taking the final two games in the set with the Brewers. The Mets outscored Milwaukee 19-2 in the victories, getting excellent efforts from young starters Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard in the triumphs.

Like the Cardinals, New York is at the top of its division despite several key injuries. The Mets lost closer Jenrry Mejia, lost before the season started first to an elbow injury and then an 80-game suspension. They should be getting closer to having both Travis d'Arnaud (finger) and David Wright (back) in the lineup, early-June the ETA on both.

Harvey began 2015 with five straight wins out of the box before New York dropped his last two assignments, each on the road at Philadelphia and Chicago. Six of his seven appearances have been quality starts, Harvey 12th in the majors with a 2.31 ERA and fifth with a 0.92 WHIP. His previous two starts vs. St. Louis ended in defeat, Harvey posting a 3.00 ERA in the 12 innings.

Umpires may have to maneuver the first two games of the long series around raindrops. The precipitation should hold off until late in Game 1, the weatherman calling for a first-pitch temp of 62º with a light ESE breeze (out to left).

The Mets have done a great job at home this season, making them a tempting play given how this series has run in recent years, but I'm going to go the contrarian route in Game 1 with a free MLB pick on the Cardinals (+130).

MLB Picks: Cardinals +127 at BetOnline

Season: 24-25-2 (-1.55)

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