St. Louis Cardinals -109 at New York Mets -101 (Total: 8.5)
Jake Westbrook (4-4, 3.84 ERA) vs. John Niese (3-2, 4.55 ERA)
It’s been a rough week for the St. Louis Cardinals. Not only have they lost four straight and seven of their last nine games, they also were no-hit by Johan Santana and the Mets Friday night, providing the FIRST no-hitter in the 51-year history of the New York Mets. I guess when things are going bad, they might as well hit rock bottom…
Tonight they will try to get back to their winning ways with Jake Westbrook on the mound. Westbrook has been decent this season, but his last three starts have been terrible. He is 0-2 with an 8.40 ERA over his last three starts and has recorded only 15 innings. The Cards are going to need a much stronger start tonight if they hope to snap their losing ways, especially given some of the offensive scuffles they’ve experienced of late. They’ve been shut out in three of their last nine games and have yet to score a single run in against the Mets in this series.
New York has been the exact opposite over their last ten games. They have won 7 of 10, and have averaged five runs per game even in their three losses. They have thrown four shutouts as a team over that stretch, and as mentioned before, have yet to allow the Cards to dent the plate a single time. The Cards are hoping that John Niese’s recent struggles continue tonight and that their offensive drought comes to an abrupt end. Niese is 1-1 over his last three starts, but the rest of his stat line looks very similar to Westbrook’s; he has lasted just 15.1 innings with an ERA of 7.47 and a WHIP of 1.53.
I like the Mets tonight if I was picking a winner. The value pick at basically even money is a good one. But the wager I absolutely love is the OVER 8.5 runline tonight. Both pitchers have given up runs by the boatload over the last month, and the Cards are too good an offensive team to continue to struggle. On the season they are still hitting .272 and averaging over five runs per contest. Their .272 average is still tops in the National League, even after being no-hit Friday and shutout again last night.
Between Westbrook’s struggles, a tired Cardinals bullpen and a good Cardinal offense that has been shut down improbably long heading into tonight, the 8.5 total seems awfully low.
Free Pick: Total Runs Scored: OVER 8.5