Mets, Cardinals Sitting Atop Divisions
When it comes to April baseball, it is hard to top this matchup of the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals, who currently sitting atop their respective division standings in the National League.
Even without injured ace Jacob deGrom, the New York Mets lead all major league teams with nine wins from their starting pitchers. The Mets also lead the way with 0.89 walks and hits per inning and an opposing batting average of .190. Those numbers are a key part of the Mets vs Cardinals game preview.
The numbers for the St. Louis starters aren’t bad, but they pale in comparison to what the Mets are putting up.
New York is sending future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer out for the series opener. When it comes to New York Mets vs. St. Louis Cardinals predictions, it should be noted that Scherzer was 2-0 and didn’t allow a run in two starts against St. Louis a season ago.
Among the probable starting pitchers for St. Louis include reliever Jordan Hicks, set to make his second consecutive start after opening his career with 112 straight appearances out of the bullpen. Former Mets pitcher Steven Matz will get the call for the Cardinals in the series finale.
Team records: Mets 12-5 (first in NL East), Cardinals 9-5 (tied for first in NL Central)
Date: Monday, 7:45 p.m. ET (teams also play on Tuesday at 7:45 p.m. and Wednesday at 1:15 p.m.)
Location: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
Television: MLB Network (TBS on Tuesday)
Alonso Seeks Power Boost for Mets
When Pete Alonso’s name is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is his tape-measure home runs.
However, Alonso doesn’t have an extra-base hit in his last seven games. He does have eight hits during that stretch to improve his batting average from .209 to .254. More importantly, the Mets are 5-2 in that span and now lead the National League East Division by four games.
Something to consider in the Mets vs Cardinals game preview: Alonso hit .280 but had just one home run against St. Louis in 25 at-bats during the 2021 season. During Alonso’s spectacular rookie season in 2019, three of his 53 homers came against St. Louis, including two at Busch Stadium. He had a .370 batting average and .778 slugging percentage against St. Louis during the 2019 season.
Unlike a year ago, when a power slump from Alonso could spell disaster for the Mets, the lineup is able to produce when Alonso isn’t driving in runs. Francisco Lindor, Brandon Nimmo, Eduardo Escobar, Jeff McNeil and J.D. Davis all have better slugging and OPS numbers than Alonso.
Arenado Hitting Stride with Cardinals
Nolan Arenado displayed power in his first season with the Cardinals with 34 doubles, 34 homers and 105 RBIs, but struggled with consistency at times. There were naysayers who suggested that much of Arenado’s gaudy statistics could be attributed to playing his home games in the launching pad better known as the home field for the Colorado Rockies.
The altitude has nothing to do with his success in St. Louis. Arenado ranks second in the majors with a 1.153 OPS. He is one off the MLB home run lead, going deep five times, and he is hitting .364. Arenado is hitting .433 at home after batting just .228 at Busch Stadium in 2021.
Something that could be of interest in the Mets vs Cardinals game preview: Arenado hit .346 with two homers among his nine hits against the Mets last year and will look to pick up where he left off when New York comes to town.
Nolan Arenado, Cardinals IF: Arenado is 6-for-17 in his four games. He had a four-game hitting streak snapped in Sunday’s loss to Cincinnati.
Ryan Helsley, Cardinals P: Helsley has struck out 10 of the last 14 batters he has faced in the last four games.
Francisco Lindor, Mets IF: Lindor is 7-for-17 with two runs and three RBIs in his last four games.
Drew Smith, Mets P: Smith has given up no hits and one run in 3.1 innings in his last four appearances. He has yet to allow a run.
Aaron Brooks, Cardinals P: Brooks allowed three hits, three runs and two home runs in 2.2 innings in his last appearance.
Paul DeJong, Cardinals IF: DeJong is 0-for-9 with six strikeouts in his last three games.
Travis Jankowski, Mets OF: Jankowski is 2 for his last 14 with no extra-base hits in his last five games.
Trevor Williams, Mets P: Williams allowed seven hits and four runs in two innings of work in his last outing.
Starting pitchers Jacob deGrom and Taijuan Walker are both on the injured list and reliever Sean Reid-Foley is day-to-day for the Mets. Pitcher Drew VerHagen is on the injured list for the Cardinals, as are fellow pitchers Jack Flaherty and Alex Reyes.
Mets vs Cardinals Probable Starting Pitchers
Monday: Max Scherzer (Mets) vs Miles Mikolas (Cardinals)
Tuesday: Chris Bassitt (Mets) vs Jordan Hicks (Cardinals)
Wednesday: Carlos Carrasco (Mets) vs Steven Matz (Cardinals)
Mets vs Cardinals betting preview
Monday’s series opener will mark just the third time in the last 30 games played in St. Louis that New York will be favored, according to the Mets vs Cardinals odds. Much of that can be attributed to Scherzer on the mound for New York.
The Mets have won the last two games they played at Busch Stadium, but St. Louis had won six of the previous seven meetings when hosting New York.
Four of the last 10 games between the Mets and Cardinals in St. Louis have been decided by one run. Overall in the series, St. Louis has won 10 of the last 13 meetings.
The Mets are tied for the major league lead with seven road wins while St. Louis is 3-1 at home.
The Mets lead the majors with 146 hits and are in the top five in batting average, runs, stolen bases, walks and on-base percentage. The Cardinals rank first with 13 stolen bases.