It’s a hugely important series in the National League Wild-Card race starting Monday as the St. Louis Cardinals visit the New York Mets. Both are chasing the San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds for the final playoff spot in the Senior Circuit. These next weeks are the most important.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. New York Mets
- When: Monday, September 6 // Wednesday, September 8
- Where: Citi Field, Corona, New York
- TV: Bally Sports Midwest
- Radio: KMOX 1120 AM (Cardinals) // WCBS 880 AM (Mets)
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- MLB Betting Odds: Mets -160(Sept. 13) // Mets -179 (Sept. 14) // TBA (Sept. 15)
READ MORE: 2021 World Series Betting Odds (September)
Either the Los Angeles Dodgers or San Francisco Giants, whichever team doesn’t win the NL West Division, is going to claim the NL’s first Wild-Card spot. The Padres and Reds are currently tied for the second one with the Cardinals a game back of those two and the Mets three back. New York is still somewhat in the NL East race, five games back of first-place Atlanta. I frankly doubt either of these teams makes the playoffs. This marks the latest the Cardinals have played the Mets in Flushing in a regular season series since Sept. 27-30, 1993.
While the Mets did beat the Yankees on Sunday night, each of their last eight losses have been by one run. That is the longest streak in franchise history, surpassing the previous high of six straight loses by one run from June 9-19, 1998. Fifteen of the team’s last 17 losses have been by one run. Overall, the Mets are 27-30 in one run games this season.
What will Francisco Lindor do for an encore here? He hit three homers in Sunday night’s win over the Yankees, the first three-homer game of the All-Star’s career. He nearly set off a brawl when he taunted his opponents after his second home run. He became the first player with a three-homer outing in the 139-game history of the Subway Series.
Monday, September 13th
Monday features a matchup of veteran pitchers in Adam Wainwright for the Cardinals and lefty Rich Hill for the Mets. Wainwright (15-7, 2.98) earned the win over the Dodgers last Wednesday, allowing four runs on seven hits and no walks while striking out four over 8.1 innings. The 40-year-old trails only Julio Urias for the major-league lead in wins this season, and he has a 2.38 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 106:24 K:BB across 18 starts since the beginning of June. Wainwright is only the second Cardinal ever to win at least 15 games after turning 40. He made his big-league debut vs. the Mets in 2005 and is 6-6 with a 4.95 ERA in 80 career innings against them.
Hill (6-6, 3.82) limited the Marlins to one run in six innings and struck out eight in a no-decision Wednesday. He last faced the Cardinals in 2020 while with the Twins and threw five scoreless innings. Overall, he’s 4-1 with a 4.38 ERA in 39 innings against St. Louis.
Tuesday, September 14th
Tuesday’s scheduled starters are Jake Woodford (2-3, 4.28) for the Cards and Marcus Stroman (9-12, 2.87) for the Mets. Woodford tossed four innings of one-run ball in a no-decision last Thursday against the Dodgers. Stroman pitched 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball against the Marlins on Thursday. Stroman struck out seven and walked none. He should be a lot better than 9-12 but doesn’t get much run support.
Wednesday, September 15th
The finale on Wednesday features Cardinals lefty Jon Lester vs. Mets rookie Tylor Megill. Lester (5-6, 4.75) +yielded two runs on three hits over seven innings while taking a no-decision in Friday’s loss to the Reds. Lester has allowed two or fewer runs in five of his last six starts. He has pitched into the seventh inning in two of his last three turns through the rotation. Megill (3-4, 4.06) allowed two runs on four hits and a walk over seven innings Friday, striking out 10 and earning a win over the Yankees. The seven innings and 10 strikeouts were career highs.
MLB BettingPick: Mets take two of three