This game could be low scoring as Matt Harvey (5-1, 2.31 ERA) and the New York Mets (22-16) go up against John Lackey (2-2, 3.22 ERA) and the St. Louis Cardinals (25-12) in the first of a four-game series at Citi Field. The game gets underway at 7:10 p.m. ET on Monday, May. 18 and will air on FSN-MW, SNY and ESPN.
Harvey is 0-2 with a 3.00 ERA against the Cardinals in his career, but is up against a strong St. Louis offense that's hitting .268 on the year. Lucas Duda (.294, 20 Rs, 3 HRs, 14 RBIs) continued his strong season yesterday, going 2 for 3 with one RBI. In his pitching opportunities against the Mets, Lackey is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA. He meets a less-than-stellar New York offense that's batting just .239. Matt Carpenter (.328, 28 Rs, 7 HRs, 24 RBIs) has been hitting the ball well for the Cardinals, going 2 for 4 yesterday.
New York, a -137 favorite, will look to capitalize at home against St. Louis. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is six runs. The Mets perform well as a favorite with a 17-4 record and have an overall money line of +625. New York's pitching staff performs very well on its own field, with an NL-best 2.50 team ERA at home. The Mets are second in the league in WHIP at 1.14.
Moving on to the away team, the Cardinals come into this game with a win percentage of .500 when playing as the underdog (5-5) and an overall money line of +1,028. The Cardinals are a problem for opposing batters, sporting an NL-low 2.92 ERA this season. They also average just 7.5 hits allowed per road game, best in the NL. The St. Louis pitching staff has been an intimidating group on the road this year, averaging an NL-best 8.8 strikeouts per game.
The Mets will take on a right-hander (Lackey) in this game. They have done very well against right-handed starting pitchers this season (19-11), especially at home where they have a 14-3 record. Taking the hill against the Cardinals will be the right-hander Harvey. Right-handed starters haven't been a big issue for them as they sport a 20-7 record.
Predictions: SU Winner - STL, O/U - Over
In their last game, the Cardinals won by a margin of one run. The Mets are 7-7 in one-run games. The Cardinals have a 7-6 record in close games.
The Cardinals are 4-2 when they go into extra innings.
The Cardinals are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Mets have a 5-13 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Cardinals are 16-6. The Mets have a 13-2 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 22nd in runs, New York has earned 149 this season. St. Louis ranks 12th with 161 runs.
Ranking 17th, New York is in the bottom half of the league in walks, notching 106 this season. St. Louis ranks in the top half at 13th with 119.
The Mets are 14-5 when they hit at least one home run. The Cardinals perform similarly when they hit one or more homers with a 15-6 record.