Cardinals at Mets – MLB Pick for March 29th

Opening Day is finally here! Some would argue, myself included, that Opening Day is the greatest day of the year. Yeah, I know that these games mean absolutely nothing. Winning or losing on Opening Day likely has almost zero correlation to how well your season will play out, but it’s the anticipation of it all.

We have been watching games that don’t matter in spring training for a month now. These games finally matter, well sort of! As much as one game out of 162 can matter, that is! It is finally time to see what all of those revamped lineups and rotations look like and all thirty teams are in action today!

We have games starting as early as 9:40 AM PST and starting as late as 7:10 PM PST. It is a full day of MLB action, I hope you are ready, I know that I am!

The St. Louis Cardinals will travel to New York City to face that other team from the Big Apple, the Mets, on Opening Day. The Cardinals are ready to win, and win now, as they have now missed the playoffs in two consecutive seasons. For a team that is accustomed to making the playoffs, missing two years in a row is unacceptable.

For the Mets, this year is all about getting healthy and staying healthy. They have one of the best young rotations in the game and if they can keep everyone healthy they could very well compete for the playoffs this year.

The Cardinals will send out starter Carlos Martinez (0-0 0.00 ERA) to face off against the Mets Noah Syndergaard (0-0 0.00 ERA). The Mets are -133 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at 7 runs. First pitch is scheduled for 10:10 AM PST from Citi Field.

The New York Mets were as banged up as any team that I can remember last season. Their rotation ended up in shambles as Harvey and Syndergaard missed most of the year. But had they stayed somewhat health this wasn’t a team that lacked talent. Heading into this season they look like a dark horse team that few will see coming, and that adds up to a lot of value for us.

The Mets brought in Jay Bruce last year, and all he did was hit 29 home runs and drive in 75 runs in just over a hundred games. A healthy Jay Bruce smashing in the middle of the lineup will be key for the Mets this year.

They also have Yoenis Cespedes healthy, and when he is healthy, he is an MVP candidate level player. Throw in offseason acquisition Todd Frazier, a lock for thirty home runs this year, and all of the sudden you have a very formidable middle for the lineup for the Mets.

But it is not the lineup that teams are going to be scared of this year. It is the rotation. DeGrom, Syndergaard, Harvey, and Vargas make up one of the most potent starting rotations in all of baseball. DeGrom was great last year for a bad team, and Thor might be the best pitcher in the land not named Scherzer or Kershaw when he is healthy. If Harvey can find a way to recapture what made him a break out star, this rotation could feature multiple All-Stars.

Syndergaard was one of the best pitchers in the majors in 2016. He averaged more than a strikeout an inning and had an era of 2.60 ERA. His WAR was 5.3, outstanding for a starting pitcher. In 2017 Thor only started seven games as he went down with an injury early in the year.

But even in just seven starts, we saw flashes of what makes this guy so tough to hit. Thor pitched just 30 innings but struck out 34 batters and had an ERA under three. If he stays healthy this year, you can pencil him in for 250 strikeouts and fifteen plus wins.

The St. Louis Cardinals don’t like missing the playoffs. It almost seems like a birthright for Cardinals fans that at the end of the year, they will be playing in the postseason. That is why it is so shocking that they have missed the playoffs the last two seasons.

It must have been a kick in the gut for Cardinal’s fans that Giancarlo Stanton vetoed a trade to the Cardinals in the offseason because he wanted a team that was “ready to win now.”

The Cardinals did what they could to build another contender this year when they brought in young power hitter, Marcell Ozuna. Ozuna had a breakout season last year for the Miami Marlins and was the centerpiece of the Cardinals rebuilding process. Ozuna hit .312 with 37 homers and 124 RBI last year. Those are MVP numbers, and the kid is just 27 years old. This is a guy that St. Louis fans should be loving for the better part of a decade.

I think the New York Mets are going to be a team that surprises a lot of people this year. I like the lineup, and I love the rotation, especially Syndergaard. I crushed last season backing deGrom in the second half of the year getting dog money, and I suspect I will be backing the Mets a lot again this year.

This line stinks like people can’t forget how bad the Mets were last year and are holding it against this team. If I can get a healthy Syndergaard at less than -150, I am taking it every chance that I get. He is a top-five pitcher in the National League and needs to be valued as such.

Give me the New York Mets -133 today on Opening Day!

The Bet: New York Mets -133

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