St. Louis Cardinals (0-0) at New York Mets (0-0)
|Date & Time||Thursday March 29, 2018, 1:10 PM (EDT)|
The Line: New York Mets -140 / St. Louis Cardinals +130 --- Over/Under: 7
The St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets meet Thursday in MLB action at the Citi Field.
The St. Louis Cardinals are always a competitive team, as they’ve won 83 or more games in each of the last 10 years. The Cardinals needed that extra bat to get back over the hump, so they went out and grabbed Marcell Ozuna, giving St. Louis a big bopper in the order for the first time since Albert Pujols. The Cardinals now have a more balanced offense that should be able to score runs a little easier. The difference in the Cardinals being a wild card contender and a World Series threat is the health of the pitching depth, as Adam Wainwright has to be more reliable and Michael Wacha must return to his All Star form after back-to-back subpar seasons. The St. Louis Cardinals haven’t missed the playoffs three straight years since 1997-99. Carlos Martinez gets the ball, and he was 12-11 with a 3.64 ERA and 217 strikeouts last season. Martinez is 3-2 with a 2.41 ERA and 25 strikeouts in his career against the Mets.
After just 70 wins and brutal injury luck, the New York Mets hope to be a surprise team and return to the playoffs. The Mets added some veterans and reliable hitters in Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier and Adrian Gonzalez, which should not only strengthen the lineup overall but also provide Yoenis Cespedes with some much needed protection. Scoring runs was like pulling teeth for the Mets last season, and that should change with more proven bats in the order. Obviously the deciding factor for the New York Mets this season is the health of the starting rotation, as Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey have to be on the mound. When healthy, the Mets have one of the better rotations in the game, giving them a fighting chance. Syndergaard gets the ball, and he was 1-2 with a 2.97 ERA and 34 strikeouts last season. Syndergaard is 0-2 with a 2.77 ERA and 14 strikeouts in his career against the Cardinals.
The Cardinals are 22-8 in their last 30 vs. National League East, 7-3 in their last 10 during game 1 of a series and 4-1 in Martinezs last 5 starts. The Mets are 0-4 in their last 4 vs. National League Central, 2-5 in Syndergaards last 7 home starts and 0-5 in Syndergaards last 5 starts. The Cardinals are 4-1 in Martinezs last 5 starts vs. Mets and the under is 4-1-1 in the last 6 meetings.
The Mets will be a playoff contender if they can just stay healthy, and betting against Syndergaard usually isn't a wise play. However, any time I can get Martinez at plus money, I take it. Martinez is one of the best young pitchers in baseball and is going to give you a chance to win games. He's also been better on the road in his career, allowing a 3.21 ERA compared to a 3.62 ERA at home. Syndergaard is Syndergaard, and the Mets should be favored. But getting 1.3 times my money with another ace, I can't pass up that value.