St. Louis Cardinals (33-33) at New York Mets (33-34)
MLB: Thursday, June 13th, 2019 at 7:10 pm (Citi Field)
Line and Odds: New York Mets -141/St. Louis Cardinals +131 Over/Under: 7
Free ESPN MLB Picks New York Mets vs. St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals are looking to elevate themselves from the middle of the NL Central standings. St. Louis currently ranks 3rd in the NL Central with a 33-33 record. They are 5.0 games behind the 1st-place Milwaukee Brewers, and 4.5 games behind the 2nd-place Chicago Cubs. Fittingly, the Cardinals are 5-5 in their last 10 games and they rank 16th in the MLB in run differential. To some extent, it is the Cardinals’ offense that is holding them back from baseball’s elite. St. Louis scores 4.61 runs per game, which ranks 19th in scoring. They rank 22nd in hits per game, averaging 8.20 hits per outing. Their on base percentage of .325 ranks 13th in Major League Baseball. These OBP results make sense when you look at their stats regarding strikeouts and walks. The Cardinals’ batters rank 10th in strikeout percentage, and 12th in walk percentage. Their lineup gets struck out on 22.2% of their plate appearances and draw walks on 9.4% of their plate appearances. However, their hitting statistics leave a lot to be desired. Their .404 slugging percentage ranks 22nd in baseball. St. Louis’ batting average on balls in play is .292, which ranks 19th. They are 23rd in both isolated power and home run rate.
While the Cardinals’ offense has been below league-average, their defense has been moderately above average. St. Louis gives up 4.50 runs per game, ranking 11th in runs allowed. They allow opponents to acquire 13.80 total bases per game, which ranks 7th-best in the majors. The Cardinals give up 7.91 hits per game, ranking 5th in hits allowed per outing. St. Louis ranks 13th in both slugging percentage (.420) and on base percentage (.320). They are 6th with an opponents’ batting average on balls in play of .282. Their pitchers rank 17th in opponents’ home run rate, giving up homers on 3.6% of their opponents’ plate appearances. They strike out batters on 22.8% of their opponents’ plate appearances, ranking 15th in strikeout percentage. Defensively, St. Louis ranks 1st in double plays per game and 1st in stolen bases allowed per game. The biggest flaw in St. Louis’ pitching staff is their tendency to give up walks. They give up walks on 9.7% of their opponents’ plate appearances, ranking 27th in walk percentage. Pitcher Jack Flaherty will get the nod as today’s starting pitcher for the Cardinals. The 23-year-old right-hander has started 13 games and pitched for a total of 68 and 1/3 innings. Flaherty has compiled a 4-3 record with a 4.08 ERA, a 1.200 WHIP, and a 3.17 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has given up 7.8 hits and 1.6 home runs per 9 innings, this season.
The New York Mets are in a position similar to that of the St. Louis Cardinals. New York has a record of 33-34 and they’re 3rd in the NL East. They are 5.5 games behind the first place Atlanta Braves and 4.5 games back of the 2nd-place Philadelphia Phillies. Just like St. Louis, the Mets are 5-5 in their last 10 games. New York ranks 20th in Major League Baseball with a -14 total run differential. The Mets average 4.69 runs per game, ranking 18th in terms of scoring. They acquire 14.67 total bases per game, ranking 16th in the MLB. New York averages 8.63 hits per game, a mark that ranks 14th. The Mets place 17th with a slugging percentage of .425. They rank 18th in isolated power and extra base hit percentage. Mets’ batters rank 15th in home run percentage, hitting homers on 3.6% of their plate appearances. They draw walks on 8.5% of their plate appearances, ranking 17th in walk percentage. New York ranks 15th in on base percentage (.324) and 16th in OPS (.748). Their batters hit a .301 batting average on balls in play, the 8th-best mark in baseball.
The Mets’ pitchers have been solid over the first half of the season, but the fielding has been a problem. New York allows 4.90 runs per game, ranking 17th in runs allowed. They allow opponents to acquire 14.78 total bases per game, a number that ranks 19th in baseball. They give up 8.85 hits per game, ranking 22nd in hits allowed. New York’s pitchers rank 11th with a 2.80 strikeout-to-walk ratio. They strike out batters on 23.9% of their opponents’ plate appearances, ranking 10th in strikeout percentage. They walk batters on 8.5% of their opponents’ plate appearances, ranking 14th in walk percentage. The Mets’ pitchers rank 8th in opposing home run percentage, giving up homers on 3.2% of their opponents’ plate appearances. There are two particularly problematic areas for the Mets’ defense and fielders. New York’s opponents’ batting average on balls in play of .313 ranks 29th in all of baseball. If the pitcher allows the ball to be placed in play, the fielders have shown an inability to get the runner out. Also, New York struggles when opponents attempt to steal bases. The Mets rank 30th in stolen bases per game allowed and 29th in opponents’ stolen base percentage. Opposing runners are successful on 84.1% of their stolen base attempts. Mets ace Jacob DeGrom heads to the mound as today’s starting pitcher against the Cardinals. For DeGrom, it has been another season where his record has not measured up to his level of performance. He currently has a 3-6 record in his 13 starts. However, he has an ERA of 3.45, a WHIP of 1.150, and a 4.70 strikeout-to-walk ratio. DeGrom has given up 8.0 hits and 1.1 home runs per 9 innings, this season.
Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends
St. Louis are 2-4 SU in their last 6 games.
St. Louis are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games against NY Mets.
St. Louis are 5-14 SU in their last 19 games on the road.
NY Mets are 5-2 SU in their last 7 games.
The total has gone OVER in 6 of NY Mets’ last 9 games against St. Louis.
NY Mets are 13-3 SU in their last 16 games at home.
ESPN MLB Scores St. Louis Cardinals vs. New York Mets
I’m taking the New York Mets -141 in this matchup. In record, standings, recent performance, and run differential, these two teams are similar in strength. Both squads are in the middle of the MLB pack and fighting to achieve playoff status. An argument could be made that the Cardinals are slightly better, but if that’s true, it certainly isn’t by much. When factoring the home field advantage and the quality of the two starting pitchers, New York should be a bigger favorite against St. Louis. I expect Jacob DeGrom to have a great outing and the Mets fielders will not come into play much. New York will score enough runs by drawing walks and putting the ball in play to scratch out a low-scoring victory.
New York Mets -141