MLB Picks: Mets vs. Cardinals Series Coverage

Willie Bee

Monday, June 16, 2014 11:45 AM GMT

More than half of Wednesday's baseball betting action will take place in the afternoon, including the series finale in St. Louis between the Cardinals and New York Mets.

 

18th June
Mets vs. Cardinals Game 3

By: Willie Bee

 

We're still 72 hours from the first official day of summer, but the St. Louis Cardinals are getting a head start on heating things up.

St. Louis increased its win streak to five with a 5-2 decision Tuesday over the New York Mets, giving the Cards eight wins in their last nine games to keep pace with Milwaukee in the NL Central. They can complete a sweep of the Mets today, and just as we had in Tuesday's contest our initial mound clash is a rematch from when the Cards and Mets got together at Citi Field back in April.

Bartolo Colon and Lance Lynn square off in the 1:45 PM (ET), one of eight matinees on Wednesday's baseball betting slate. Lynn and the Redbirds are solid favorites to broom the Mets out of town with a moneyline in the mid -150s to mid -160s, a 7.5 run total awaiting scoreboard bettors.

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Lynn Can Continue Cardinals Win Streak He Started
Colon will be looking to repeat his effort when he faced Lynn and the Cardinals in Flushing on April 24. The beefy righthander limited St. Louis to four hits over his seven innings, surrendering just one run while striking out eight in New York's 4-1 triumph. Lynn struck out nine while working into the seventh, and allowed the Mets to score three.

New York has won five of Colon's last six assignments to leave the Mets 7-6 when the Dominican toes the rubber.  Wednesday will be his first appearance on this mound since 2007 when he was in an Angels jersey (4 IP, 4 ER).

After a couple of losses to begin June, Lynn was dominating last Friday against the Nationals with eight 2-hit innings, striking out eight would-be Washington hitters without a walk. The Cardinals are 9-5 in Lynn's 2014 starts, 5-2 when he pitches in St. Louis.


Umpire Notes, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick
An 'over' at Dodger Stadium last Saturday stopped a run of four 'under' winners in games with Bill Welke behind the mask calling balls and strikes. Now in his 16th MLB season, the younger of the umpiring Welke brothers called three games at Busch last year, two of them skipping past the number.

There is a very slight chance of a thunderstorm popping up in St. Louis this afternoon and into the early-evening hours, but nothing that will stop the game from being played. The weather man is calling for muggy temps in the 80s for the entire contest with an 8-10 southerly breeze (out to left).

Cardinal hitters have been on a roll in this series, especially when runners are in scoring position (10-for-22, .455). St. Louis blistered baseball last season with a .330 mark in that column, and struggled doing the same this year (.245, 20th).  Keeping that up against Colon will be tough, but I'm confident enough in the way the Cards are playing right now to play them on the run line with my free MLB pick.

My Pick: Cardinals -1.5 (+140)

Season: 66-65 (+1.15)

 

17th June
Mets vs. Cardinals Game 2

By: Willie Bee

 

It turns out that having to skip Adam Wainwright in their rotation didn't hurt the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday. Should the big righthander miss more than one start, well, that's a different story.

Carlos Martinez did a fair job filling in for Wainwright who is resting a sore right elbow, and the Cardinals slapped a dozen hits off New York starter Jacob deGrom in a 6-2 victory to begin this 3-game series. St. Louis strung together almost half of those hits in the decisive fifth inning and batted .667 (6-for-9) with runners in scoring position.

Now we get to see if the Cards can add to their 4-game win streak against a left-handed pitcher, St. Louis dropping 10 of 17 games vs. southpaws so far this season. The lefty taking them on in tonight's 8:15 PM (ET) contest is New York's Jon Niese, while Michael Wacha gets the call for the Cardinals who are -160 to -170 favorites. SBR's live MLB odds have a 7 run total that leans to the high side.

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Wacha, Niese Meet For 2nd Time In 2014
Pitching for a sub-.500 team is one reason you haven't heard a lot about the fine season Niese is having. Now in his fifth full season at the big league level, the southpaw ranks among the top 15 pitchers in the majors with a 2.54 ERA and is in the top 30 with 10 of his 13 assignments going in the quality start column. Niese hasn't allowed more than three runs in any outing, but he's also not receiving three runs of support often.

One of his three wins -- Mets 7-6 in his appearances -- came against the Cardinals in New York near the end of April. Niese pitched into the seventh allowing just one run on six hits, leaving the Mets 5-1 in his six career assignments vs. St. Louis with a 1.87 ERA.

Wacha started for the Cardinals against Niese and took the loss with a 4-IP, 2 ER, 10-K scorecard. He beat the Mets in New York for his first MLB victory last June, the only other time Wacha has faced them. The righty is off his worst game of the year, and first in which he gave up more than three runs in a start last Wednesday in Tampa Bay.

 

Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Now in his 12th season at the major league level, James Hoye lines up next in the umpire rotation to work the plate. The Ohio native is 5-8 O/U on the year, and 5-8 as well for the home team (5-5 as favorites).

Warm and very muggy is the forecast for St. Louis on Tuesday, afternoon highs stretching into the mid-90s with a first pitch temp around 89º. There's also a nice 10-14 mph southerly wind expected this evening, helping balls headed out to left field.

Our free pick on the Mets didn't pan out in Game 1, but I'm liking their chances to even the series against Wacha on Tuesday. New York will be my play.

My Pick: Mets +150

Season: 65-64 (+0.90)

 

16th June
Mets vs. Cardinals Game 1

By: Willie Bee

 

It's not often that a contest pitting a pair of pitchers each with 0-3 records gets prime-time treatment from ESPN, but that's the case Monday evening when the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals open a 3-game series in the heartland.

This was originally Adam Wainwright's day to pitch in the St. Louis rotation, but the ace of the Cardinals staff is nursing a sore elbow forcing manager Mike Matheny to give the big righthander some time off. Carlos Martinez will take the mound instead for the Cards who are -150 or so on the moneyline. New York counters with rookie Jacob deGrom in the 8:10 PM (ET) contest, and we're seeing 7.5 run totals across the board on SBR's live MLB odds, most shops adding a little juice to the high side of the figure.

The Cardinals are chasing Milwaukee in the NL Central while the Mets are simply chasing .500 at this point, seven games below break-even, so this is most likely the last time we see these two on a diamond together. They met at Citi Field in late-April, the Mets winning three of four to continue their recent dominance in New York over the Redbirds.

That entire set stayed 'under' the total extending that streak to six in Flushing. The totals split 2-2 in St. Louis a year ago when the Cardinals win three of four to up their mark to 16-10 at the latest edition of Busch Stadium.

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Mets Head To Arch City Before Weekend Set In Miami
Just 5.5 games out of first in the NL East, New York (31-38, -3.1 units, 30-29-10 O/U/P) is still technically in the race though it will take a minor miracle for the Mets to stay in the hunt all summer. They just ended a homestand with a series win over San Diego, leaving the Mets 5-9 for the month after being swept by the Giants and Cubs in their two previous road series.

deGrom is still in search of his first major league victory despite four quality starts among his six assignments so far, the Mets winning only once in six tries with the rookie on the mound. Those four marks in the QS column all came in his first four appearances when he lasted at least six full innings each time out, however, and deGrom has since failed to make it that far.

This is obviously his first look at the Cardinals lineup since he wasn't on the roster back in April when the clubs clashed in Queens. New York has split his two road starts, deGrom not figuring into the decision in either one while pitching to a 5.56 ERA.

 

Redbirds Continue Long Homestand Vs. NL East
St. Louis (37-32, -3.3 units, 29-36-4 O/U/P) is still very much in the thick of the National League postseason picture after entering spring training 9/2 on MLB futures odds to win the Senior Circuit behind the Dodgers and Nationals. The Cardinals stumbled a bit in late-May and into June when they suffered a 2-8 stretch, but have since regrouped to win six of seven and opened this 10-game homestand with a sweep of the Nationals over the weekend.

Martinez will be making only the second start of his major league career and should be limited to somewhere in the vicinity of 65-75 pitches max. He topped out at 47 earlier this month in one of his 30 relief appearances this season, about half what he burned through in his only other start last season vs. the Dodgers. Even with that many tosses, Martinez didn't make it through the fifth inning.

He has faced the Mets twice before out of the 'pen, working just a third of an inning in New York during the series there earlier this season to go with a scoreless frame a year ago.

As always, we'll keep an eye on the weather forecasts in the St. Louis area for the next few days, and Monday appears to be the most likely game to be affected by rain. There's a 40% chance of a thunderstorm popping up into the early evening hours when temps should still be in the upper-80s at game time with a 10 mph southerly blow (out to left).

Call me crazy, but I like the visitors in this matchup; New York is my choice in Game 1, and don't forget to check back for previews and free MLB picks throughout this series.

MLB Pick: Mets +140

Season: 65-63 (+1.90)