MLB Picks: Mets vs. Cardinals Series Odds Coverage

Darin Zank

Monday, May 13, 2013 3:34 PM GMT

Former divisional rivals meet for the first time this season as the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals host the New York Mets for a four-game series at Busch Stadium starting Monday night (7:05 pm ET, ESPN).

How does this series break down, and how might we profit from it with our sports picks?

 

15May
Wednesday's Game Three

By: Ron Patrick

 

St. Louis has taken the first two games of this four-game series, following Tuesday's 10-4 victory. The Cards put up three runs in the first inning Tuesday, three more in the third and three more in the fifth to back rookie SP John Gast making his ML debut.

St. Louis won Tuesday as a -170 MLB odds favorite, and for the second night in a row covered on the run line.

So the Cards have won 11 of their last 13 games while the Mets have lost five in a row heading into Game 3 of this series Wednesday night (8:15 pm ET). 

Wednesday's Betting Odds 

As of Wednesday AM most baseball betting shops were listing St. Louis with Shelby Miller at right around -210 for Wednesday's game over New York with Shaun Marcum, with the OVER/UNDER set at eight.

[gameodds]3/226665/43/us[/gameodds]

Wednesday's Pitching Match-Up 

The 22-year-old Miller (5-2, 1.58), a righty, has been superb so far this season; he's five-for-seven on quality starts, has allowed just 29 hits through 45 2/3 innings, walked 11 and struck out 51. 

Last time out Miller threw an absolute gem, tossing a complete-game, one-hit shutout at the Rockies, walking none while whiffing 13. 

St. Louis is 5-2 in Miller's starts this season, with the totals going 2-5.  

This will be Miller's first-ever start vs. the Mets. 

Marcum (0-3, 8.59) has had a rough go of it so far this season for his new team. To begin with, he missed the first four weeks dealing with a sore neck and shoulder. And since joining the rotation he's shown some serious rust. First he gave up three runs in four innings vs. the Phillies; then he gave up two runs in less than two innings vs. the Marlins; then he allowed three runs in four innings vs. the Braves; and last time out he got bopped for six runs in 4 2/3 innings vs. the Pirates. 

So on the season Marcum has been tagged for 14 ER and 24 hits in 14 2/3 innings. 

Not very encouraging. 

Last year, pitching for Milwaukee, Marcum started once against the Cardinals and got nicked for four runs in the first two innings, eventually going five in a 5-4 Brewers defeat. 

Our Take on Wednesday's Game

Miller has been a pleasure to watch, and gives the Cardinals the definitive nod in the pitching match-up. And New York has been having a terrible time scoring runs. So St. Louis, once again, seems to be the obvious choice for our MLB picks. But again, the price is a bit steep for our taste, so we'll again take a bit of a gamble and play the Cardinals on the run line. 

Pick: Take St. Louis at the +103 giving the run and a half on the run line at Pinbet.

 

14May
Tuesday's Game Two

By: Ron Patrick

 

St. Louis took the opener of this series Monday night 6-3, breaking a tie game with three runs in the seventh off the New York bullpen.

The Cards won Monday as -200 favorites on the MLB odds boards, and much to our delight they covered the run and a half on the run line at a price of +120.

Monday's game also sneaked OVER its total of eight, giving the Mets a record of 23-11 on the totals this season.  

This despite the fact New York has been held to three runs or fewer each of its last seven games. 

So the Cardinals have won 10 of their last 12 games while the Mets have lost four straight as the teams head into the second game of this series Tuesday night (8:15 pm ET). 

Tuesday's MLB Betting Odds 

Most baseball betting shops we surfed Tuesday morning opened St. Louis at around -155 for Tuesday night's game, and many then bumped that price a nickel or so, to the -160 range, even though the Cardinals are giving  rookie call-up John Gast his first-ever ML start.

[gameodds]3/226628/43/us[/gameodds]

Tuesday's Pitching Match-Up

Gast, a lefty, is expected to start Tuesday in place of the injured Jake Westbrook, while New York will throw Dillon Gee. 

Last year Gast went 13-7 with a 4.09 ERA combined in Double- and Triple-A ball. Then this Spring down in the Grapefruit League Gast gave up five runs in six innings of work. But so far this year down at Triple-A Memphis Gast went 3-1 with a 1.16 ERA, allowing 28 hits in 38 2/3 innings, walking 13 while whiffing 35. 

The Mets are 7-9 versus left-handed starting pitchers this season. 

Gee (2-4, 5.55), by our tough standards, is just one-for-seven on quality starts this season, although he'd have a couple more if he had gotten just a few more outs. Most recently Gee held the Pirates to one run through five innings, but in his two starts before that he gave up eight runs through 11 innings.

For the season Gee has allowed 44 hits in 35 2/3 innings, and owns an unimpressive 22/13 K/BB ratio. 

The Mets are 3-4 in Gee's starts this year.  

Gee started once last year vs. St. Louis and performed well, allowing two ER through seven innings, walking two and striking out eight in a game New York eventually lost 5-4. 

Our Take On Tuesday's Game

St. Louis is rolling, while New York is reeling.  And the Mets are having serious troubles scoring runs. So despite the price on a rookie starting pitcher making his ML debut we'll take the Cardinals as one of our free MLB picks for Tuesday. 

Pick: Take St. Louis at the -155 offered at TheGreek.

 

13May
Monday's Series Opener

By: Ron Patrick

 

Mets-Cardinals MLB Betting Odds 

Many baseball betting shops opened their betting on Monday's game with St. Louis and Lance Lynn chalked at around -200 over New York with Jeremy Hefner. But many books then dropped the MLB odds to around -190. 

Also, TheGreek was listing the Cardinals at -240 to win this series, based on the first three games, with the Mets getting +230 as the underdogs. 

Mets-Cards Series Set-Up 

St. Louis just took two of three games at home from Colorado, missing out on the sweep by losing Sunday 8-2. The Cardinals only scored eight runs total in the series against the Rockies, but got back-to-back shutouts from Shelby Miller and Adam Wainwright Friday and Saturday.

So St. Louis, with nine wins over its last 11 games, is now 23-13 and leads the NL Central by two games over second-place Cincinnati. 

On the other side of this match-up New York just dropped three of four games at home to Pittsburgh, losing Matt Harvey's start Sunday 3-2. The Mets scored a total of 10 runs over the four-game series vs. the Pirates, and have been held to three runs or fewer each of their last six games. 

So New York, at 14-20, is 5.5 games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East. 

This is the first meeting this season between these National League rivals.  Last year New York took the season series from St. Louis four games to three, with the totals going 4-3. 

Monday's Pitching Match-Up 

Lynn (5-1, 2.72) is working on a string of four quality starts in a row. Last time out he held the Cubs to two runs through seven innings, although St. Louis lost that game 2-1. Over his last four starts he's allowed just four earned runs and 12 hits over 28 innings, and for the season he's permitted 45 baserunneres (29 hits + 16 walks) through 43 innings, with 47 strikeouts. 

The Cardinals are 5-2 in Lynn's starts this season, with the OVER/UNDERS going 3-4. 

Last year Lynn made two appearances against the Mets, allowing two ER and five hits in 5 1/3 innings. 

Hefner (0-4, 4.63) is three-for-six on quality starts this season, but New York has lost each of his outings. Not all of that is his fault; two starts ago he held the Marlins to two runs through eight innings, and just before that he held the Dodgers to one run through seven innings. The Mets lost those games by scores of 2-1 and 3-2. 

Last time out Hefner allowed the White Sox to score four runs on eight hits through six innings of a 6-3 New York defeat. 

For the season Hefner has permitted fewer hits, 32, than innings pitched, 35, and owns a 25/12 K/BB ratio. And while he's been tagged for eight homers, he's allowed just one long ball over his last three starts, covering 21 innings. 

This will be Hefner's first-ever appearance vs. St. Louis. 

In the battle of the bullpens for this series Mets relievers own a 4.61 ERA and have blown six of 10 save opportunities, while Cardinals relievers own a 5.28 ERA and have blown seven of 18 save opps.

[gameodds]3/226540/43/us[/gameodds]

Mets-Cards Betting Trends 

New York is a lopsided 22-11 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, thanks mainly to a 4.45 team ERA and relatively low total postings. 

Our Take on Monday's Game 

Lynn has been great, while Hefner has been better as a late. With the Mets having trouble scoring runs lately, St. Louis might seem an obvious pick. But that price on the Cardinals is a bit high for our taste. So we'll gamble a little and add a St. Louis run-line play to our list of free MLB picks for Monday. 

Pick: Take the Cardinals minus the run and a half at the +121 offered at Matchbook.