A pair of teams in the thick of the National League wild card race take the field to finish off a series in the Big Apple. The St. Louis Cardinals are on the road as they play the final game of a three-game set with the New York Mets Wednesday night. In the opening game of this series on Monday night, it was St. Louis turning in a second straight shutout victory as they rolled to a 7-0 triumph. Will the Redbirds take the series here or can the Mets earn a win in the finale to keep pace in a crowded NL wild card field? This article was published prior to the conclusion of the middle game of the series Tuesday night at Citi Field.
St. Louis Cardinals Looking to Keep Pressure On in NL Wild Card ChaseSt. Louis won their third straight and fifth in the last six games as they shut down the Mets in the series opener Monday night. The Cardinals entered Tuesday third in the NL Central, 14.5 games behind the Brewers for the division lead. In the NL wild-card picture, the team was half a game behind the Reds for the second wild-card spot. On Monday night, St. Louis banged out 15 hits with Harrison Bader (RBI) and Yadier Molina (two runs, RBI) leading the way with three apiece. Paul Goldschmidt hit his 25th homer of the season in the contest for the Cardinals. That was more than enough for Adam Wainwright (16-7) to pick up the win as he threw six scoreless frames, allowing four hits with three walks and four strikeouts before turning things over to the bullpen.
Everyone loves Sosa... and insurance runs! pic.twitter.com/JvuBhbLopZ— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) September 14, 2021
Jon Lester gets the call for St. Louis as he makes his 25th start of the season overall and his ninth with the Cardinals after being acquired at the trade deadline. He is 5-6 with a 4.75 ERA, a 1.542 WHIP, 48 walks and 72 strikeouts over 119.1 innings of work. Lester didn’t factor in the decision in his last start, which came Friday at home against the Reds. He threw seven innings, allowing two runs on three hits with four walks and two strikeouts in a game the Cardinals dropped 4-2. On the road this season, Lester is 2-4 with a 4.96 ERA, a 1.676 WHIP, 22 walks and 24 strikeouts over 45.1 innings in 10 starts. Lester makes his 12th career start against the Mets in this contest. He comes in 8-1 with a 3.18 ERA, a 1.308 WHIP, 28 walks and 58 strikeouts over 65 innings of action. Lester is 3-1 with a 3.18 ERA, a 1.235 WHIP, nine walks and 30 strikeouts over 28.1 innings in five career starts at Citi Field.
New York Mets Battling in NL Playoff PictureNew York was blanked in the opening game of this set after taking the Subway Series from the crosstown Yankees over the weekend. The Mets entered Tuesday third in the NL East race, 5.5 games behind the Braves for the top spot in the division race. In the NL wild-card picture, the team was 3.5 games behind the Reds for the second wild-card spot. On Monday night, the team had six hits with no player having more than one. Dominic Smith had the lone extra-base hit in the contest, a double, and the team was zero for seven with runners in scoring position. Rich Hill (6-7) took the loss on the mound as he allowed three runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts over five innings of work.
Tylor Megill is in line to take the mound for the Mets in this contest as he logs his 16th start of the season in this contest. He comes in 3-4 with a 4.06 ERA, a 1.197 WHIP, 20 walks and 88 strikeouts over 77.2 innings of work this season. Megill earned the win in his last start, which came Friday at home against the Yankees. He threw seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts in a 10-3 Mets victory. At home this season, Megill is 3-1 with a 3.80 ERA, a 1.156 WHIP, 14 walks and 55 strikeouts over 45 innings in nine starts. In his 16th career major league start, he pitches against the Cardinals for the first time here. Megill is 3-1 with a 3.80 ERA, a 1.156 WHIP, 14 walks and 55 strikeouts over 45 innings in nine career starts at Citi Field.
The top trends for this contest are:
- Cardinals are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. National League East
- Mets are 4-1 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This one is going to be a challenge for the Cardinals as Lester continues to struggle, especially on the road, this season. He’s improved since going to St. Louis, posting a 2-1 mark with a 4.30 ERA, a 1.455 WHIP, 19 walks and 21 strikeouts over 44 innings in eight starts. The Cardinals have won three straight but we know that they have had struggles putting runs on the board this season despite some talent in their lineup. Megill turned in a solid showing in his last start by shutting down the Yankees. He pitches well at home and the Mets find a way to come up with the win in the series finale here.
Full-Game Total Pick
We saw a total of seven runs in the opening game of this series, leaving it short of the total. That marked the second time in three meetings this season that the teams were short of the total. St. Louis entered Tuesday having seen the under hit in four of their last five contests. New York has seen the under go 4-0-2 in their last six against NL Central foes, 6-1 in their last seven games on Wednesday and 5-1-2 in their last eight against left-handed starters. Lester has seen an average total of 6.5 runs per game in his last four starts, with the under going 3-1 in that stretch. Megill does his part against a soft Cardinals’ squad and that keeps this game under the total.