Cardinals vs. Mets Betting Odds & Picks: Why to Back St. Louis Early
Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Nolan Arenado.
- The New York Mets are slight home favorites at home tonight against the St. Louis Cardinals.
- Miles Mikolas takes the mound for St. Louis, opposed by New York starter Trevor Williams.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Editor’s Note: Monday’s game between the Cardinals and Mets has been postponed because of rain.
Cardinals vs. Mets Odds
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Just like everybody expected, the New York Mets hold the best record in the National League halfway through May. New York lost its first series of the season over the weekend and currently boasts a 23-13 record.
St. Louis is coming off a big Sunday Night Baseball win against the Giants and sits 2.5 games back of the Brewers for the top spot in the National League Central standings.
This will be the second meeting between these two teams this year. New York took two out of three from St. Louis at the end of April.
St. Louis Cardinals: Mikolas, Arenado Have Stepped Up in Big Ways
What a story the resurgence of Miles Mikolas (RHP) has been for St. Louis. With Jack Flaherty on the Injured List, Mikolas has been asked to step up after making just nine starts over the past two years. Through seven starts this year, Miklolas holds a 3-1 record and a 1.49 ERA, the third lowest among qualified pitchers.
Obviously that ERA isn’t sustainable, but his 2.55 xERA ranks 11th in the league. Mikolas has a very balanced pitching arsenal, throwing a slider, sinker, curveball and fastball. His sinker has been especially effective and helps him rank in the top 10% of the league in generating soft contact.
Speaking of resurgences, how about Nolan Arenado? After batting .255 with a .226 wOBA last season, Arenado is currently batting .312 with a .411 wOBA and ranks fourth in the league in WAR.
Outside of Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt, the rest of the Cardinals have been just average. St. Louis ranks 15th in wOBA and 14th In wRC+.
New York Mets: Can Williams Put Together Quality Start?
Former Pittsburgh Pirate Trevor Williams was traded from the Cubs to the Mets last year and made just three starts with New York as he worked mostly out of the bullpen. This year it’s been more of the same as he’s has made five appearances and just one start. Regardless of the role, he’s pitched to a 5.73 ERA.
Williams throws his fastball almost 50% of the time and opponents are hitting .357 against it. He gives up a ton of hits, but they aren’t necessarily hard hits. He pitches mostly to contact and has a 7.36 K/9 rate.
New York has made some big moves over the past two seasons and those transactions seem to be paying off as the team ranks in the top 10 in both wOBA and wRC+.
Pete Alonso has hit eight home runs already and Brandon Nimmo is on fire after batting .435 last week.
As good as the Mets offense has been, they really don’t hit the ball hard. New York sits just 26th in Hard Hit% and average exit velocity. The Mets also have one of the lowest barrel rates in the league.
That has been the strength of Mikolas this year as he is tied with Max Scherzer for generating the second lowest Hard Hit% among qualified starters. Mikolas and Scherzer only train another St. Louis starter, Adam Wainwright.
Back on April 25, Mikolas went toe-to-toe with Scherzer and tossed seven shutout innings while allowing just four hits and striking out five. Mikolas did not get the run support to earn the win, but he’ll have a better chance with Williams pitching for the Mets.
In Williams lone start this year, he allowed seven hits and four runs in just two innings against Arizona. He made one start against the Cardinals last year (as a member of the Cubs) and was tagged for four runs on seven hits while striking out just three batters in five innings.
New York has an advantage between the bullpens, so I’ll just focus on the starting pitching matchup. Williams will likely only go a couple of innings and Mikolas is having a comeback season. I’ll take the Cardinals first five innings at +100 or better.
Pick: St. Louis First Five +100 or better