Mets vs. Cardinals Odds, Pick, Betting Prediction: Fade New York’s Struggling Offense
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images. Pictured: Tommy Edman
Mets vs. Cardinals Odds
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We are now more than a month into the season, and I’ll be honest, I have no idea if either of these teams is any good or not.
Both made headline-grabbing offseason moves and came into the season with high expectations but sputtered a bit out of the gate and have really underperformed on offense.
Despite last night’s eight-run performance, the New York Mets have been ice cold at the plate and sit 29th in the league in runs per game. The Mets have been so inept on offense that all-world pitcher Jacob deGrom has just a 2-2 record this season, despite allowing just one run in each of his two losses.
The Mets sit tied for the lead of the struggling NL East with an 11-11 record, despite a -12 run differential.
After starting the year slowly with a pedestrian 8-10 record, the Cardinals appear to have finally hit their stride. Since then, St. Louis is 8-2 in its last 10 games and is coming off a three-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
St. Louis now sits a game back of the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central and is tied for the second best run differential in the National League at +19.
New York Mets
The Mets elected to roll with a bullpen game on Monday night, to allow deGrom to pitch on his normal rest schedule. Is there a unit in baseball that fans of that team trust less than Mets fan trust their bullpen?
Despite perception, the New York relievers have been solid this season, and any struggles haven’t totally been their fault. The Mets bullpen ranks 15th in the league in bullpen ERA, but leads the league with a 3.17 xFIP.
Untimely mistakes have been a recurring theme for the Mets in recent history and this season they sit 25th in fielding percentage and 23rd in Ultimate Zone Rating.
The Metropolitan bullpen was also dealt a blow last night when closer Edwin Diaz was removed from the game with back tightness. Miguel Castro, Jacob Barnes and Trevor May all pitched an inning last night as well.
New York will likely need to rely on Sean Reid-Foley (4.21 ERA) or Robert Gsellman (4.22 ERA) to get through multiple innings for them tonight.
The biggest story for this Mets team in 2021 has been its hitting, or lack there of. Especially prized offseason acquisition Francisco Lindor, who is batting just .171 on the season and enters the game hitless in his last 19 plate appearances.
Two of the team’s best hitters this season J.D. Davis (.390) and Brandon Nimmo (.318) both missed last night’s game with injures and are uncertain for Monday.
It’s one thing to get a base hit, but it is another thing to be able to get base hits when they matter. The Mets have done the first, but really struggled with the second.
New York is actually ninth in the league in team batting average, which is great. But the Mets’ biggest struggle this season is that they rank 29th in the league with just a .207 batting average with runners in scoring position.
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals placed pitcher Adam Wainwright on the COVID-19 list on Thursday but are expected to remove him on Monday. Wainwright is vaccinated and was just a close contact to a family member, so the right-hander is expected to make his start Monday night and should not be affected.
The 39-year old Wainwright is the fifth oldest player in baseball (his teammate Yadier Molina is sixth). Just when it looked like Wainwright’s career was coming to an end after an injury-plagued 2018, he bounced back with a terrific 2020 campaign and has been good again this year.
Despite an 0-3 record, Wainwright has a 4.08 ERA in his five starts this season, and an xFIP of 3.17. He has been excellent in each of his last two outings, fanning 10 and allowing just one run in seven innings on April 20, and allowing just two runs in a nine inning, complete game loss on April 26.
The concern for Wainwright is he has a Hard Hit% of 42.0, which is the highest in the last seven years for him, albeit in a small sample. He also has a 10.05 K/9 rate, which is great, but at the highest mark in his 16-year career, so it seems likely that will regress at some point.
The St. Louis offense has been fairly mediocre to start the season, sitting 19th in batting average, 15th in OPS, 17th in wOBA and 18th in wRC+. They do sit eighth in the league with 1.3 home runs per game.
It has not been superstars Nolan Arenado or Paul Goldschmidt carrying the load for St. Louis as expected. Instead it has been 39-year old Yadier Molina, batting a team best .323 with a .420 wOBA, as well as Tommy Edman who leads the team with 33 hits.
Molina is currently on the injured list with a foot injury, but Edman and Tyler O’Neill have been red hot of late, each racking up at least 10 hits in the last seven games.
Despite the Mets bats breaking out for 17 hits last night, a lot of that can be attributed to poor fielding and sloppy play from the Phillies that allowed innings to continue and New York to gain momentum.
Arenado and the Cardinals bats have been getting it done over the last 10 games and I am going to trust them to keep it going.
Wainwright is one of the smartest pitchers in the game and has been dominant in his last two starts. He throws his curveball and cutter as his two most used pitches, and the Mets struggle to hit both.
They are batting 28th in the league against cutters this season. The Mets lineup has just a career .145 batting average against Wainwright.
I am choosing to fade the Mets off their thrilling and emotional win last night, and will back the better starting pitcher and offense in better current form at home.
Pick: St. Louis Cardinals ML -118 (Play to -125)