The owners of the MLB’s 3rd best winning percentage, the New York Mets, visit the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night. St. Louis is also tied for the division lead in the NL Central division with the Milwaukee Brewers. Through 20 games, the Mets have amassed a 14-6 record, while St. Louis has a 13-8 record through 21 contests. Zack Wheeler will take the hill for the hot Mets. Wheeler is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA in the young season. For the Cardinals, Luke Weaver will get the starting Nod. The young Weaver has a 2-1 record with a 4.22 ERA. St. Louis comes into this game favored, at -170.
Mets: Slow down Redbird hitting
The Cardinals have an incredible 7 players batting .300 or above. For the Mets to continue their hot start to their season, they will need an effective, efficient pitching outing from Wheeler. He will have to find a way to get ahead in the count, and also be able to get his out outcome across the plate. If he is able to do this, he should be fine barring a great hitting performance from any of the St. Louis hitters.
Similar to St. Louis, the Mets have 8 players batting .250 or above (One is the pitcher Wheeler). This trend will have to continue for this series to be a success for New York. Weaver for the Cardinals has a good record, but his ERA paints a shaky picture. Look for the Mets to jump on Wheeler early, attempting to get into the bullpen.
Cardinals: Figure Out Wheeler
Zack Wheeler is certainly a power pitcher, with a strong fastball ranging anywhere from 95-100 mph. To prevail against a power pitcher, St. Louis will have to sit back on the fastball, fight it off, and wait for the changeup. Also, should Wheeler show any sign of a lack of control, look for the Cardinals to be taking more often than not, looking to get on base via the walk.
The Cardinals are coming off of a sweep of the bottom feeding Cincinnati Reds. St. Louis was firing on all cylinders in that series, pitching and hitting very well en route to a convincing three wins. They will have to see more of the same in order to knock off one of the best teams in baseball.
Cardinals Top Mets
I predict a fairly low scoring game, possibly decided by a few key hits down the stretch. Both teams certainly have the talent in the batter’s box to make that happen, per the impressive batting averages above. Paul DeJong and José Martinez have been excellent for St. Louis lately, while Asdrubal Cabrera has hit extremely well for New York.
Look for DeJong or Martinez to deliver for St. Louis down the stretch, leading the Cardinals to a hard fought victory. Meanwhile, both starting pitchers will put up quality starts, each giving up only a handful of runs. Between the good hitting and pitching, take the Cardinals at -170
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