Game time: 7:10 p.m. ET
Venue: Citi Field, Flushing, NY
Where to watch: Bally Sports Midwest, WPIX
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Cardinals -115, Mets -105
Cardinals: 72-69 (3rd place, NL Central)
Mets: 71-72 (3rd place, NL East)
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Cardinals - Mets preview and analysis
Cardinals: 4-6 in last 10
Mets: 5-5 in last 10
Monday begins the biggest stretch of baseball this season for the New York Mets.
Still within reach of a wild card spot, and even the National League East, the Mets will begin a three-game series against a team they’re chasing in the wild card race, the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Mets, who enter Sunday having lost 8-7 to the New York Yankees the night before, are five games back of the Atlanta Braves for first place in the division with 19 games to go. Following this set against the Cardinals (trailing by two games for the second wild-card spot, the Mets will take on the Philadelphia Phillies for three games in Citi Field.
Despite having lost four of their last six, the Mets still find themselves within striking distance of a playoff spot. New York lost two of three to the Miami Marlins before starting their Subway Series with the Yankees. The Mets won the series opener on Friday, 10-3. The finale is to be played on Sunday Night Baseball.
Javier Baez continued his hot stretch with a 2-for-4 night that included his 30th home run of the season. Michael Conforto, Kevin Pillar and Jared McCann also had two hits. Despite giving up five runs, Taijuan Walker pitched six strong innings (6 IP, 5 ER, 8 strikeouts, 1 BB) after giving up those five runs in the first two innings.
The Cardinals enter Sunday two games back of the San Diego Padres for that second wild-card spot in the National League but have won three of four entering Sunday’s series finale against the Cincinnati Reds in Busch Stadium.
St. Louis got on the board with a 6-4 win on Saturday, which included Nolan Arenado’s 30th homer of the season that broke a 4-4 tie in the eighth inning. While the Cardinals have to focus on the Reds and find a way to surpass them in the standings, a series win for the Mets could swing things quickly in the National League postseason race.
With Adam Wainwright getting the start, the pitching matchup certainly weighs in the favor of the Cardinals. But in a world where the Mets have seen the offense come alive at a great time, this has all the makings of a trap game in favor of New York. We like the Mets in a mild upset, in which the line could move greater before gametime.
The Cardinals are 36-16 in their last 52 games when favored between -100 and -150 on the road.
The Mets are 43-26 (+9.4 net games on the money line) when the line is between -100 and -150.
Players to watch
Cardinals: Adam Wainwright has dominated in his last four starts, all wins. He has a 1.52 ERA while only allowing five runs since Aug. 22.
Mets: Javier Baez has found his groove in New York over the last 15 games, batting .357 with six homers and 11 RBI.
Tommy Edman (S) 2B
Paul Goldschmidt (R) 1B
Tyler O'Neill (R) LF
Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
Dylan Carlson (S) RF
Paul DeJong (R) SS
Harrison Bader (R) CF
Andrew Knizner (R) C
Adam Wainwright (R) P
Jonathan Villar (S) 3B
Francisco Lindor (S) SS
Michael Conforto (L) RF
Pete Alonso (R) 1B
Javier Baez (R) 2B
Jeff McNeil (L) LF
Kevin Pillar (R) CF
James McCann (R) C
Rich Hill (L) P
Batting average: Paul Goldschmidt (.284)
Hits: Paul Goldschmidt (151)
Home runs: Nolan Arenado (30)
RBI: Nolan Arenado (94)
Stolen bases: Tommy Edman (24)
Wins: Adam Wainwright (15)
Saves: Alex Reyes (29)
ERA: Adam Wainwright (2.98)
Batting Average: Brandon Nimmo (.302)
Hits: Pete Alonso (129)
Home Runs: Pete Alonso (32)
RBI: Pete Alonso (85)
Stolen Bases: Javier Baez (16)
Wins: Marcus Stroman (9)
Saves: Edwin Diaz (28)
ERA: Jacob deGrom (1.08)
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