ESPN Wednesday Night Baseball Preview – Cardinals at Mets

A pair of dominating left-handers take center stage in the Big Apple on ESPN.

St. Louis Cardinals at New York Mets

St. Louis is set to play the second game of this three game series this evening, as part of a six-game, seven-day road trip.  The Cardinals fell 8-2 in defeat on Tuesday evening at Citi Field and the team is now 8-4 since the All-Star break.  The club is batting .294 and averaging 6.0 runs per game in its 55 wins, while hitting just .223 and scoring 2.5 runs a game in 45 losses.  Surprisingly, the team picked up a loss with starting pitcher Adam Wainwright on the hill, as they are 40-23 in games involving the right-hander, Chris Carpenter and tonight’s starter.  It was the fifth time in 11 road starts this season that the Cards have scored no runs or one run while Wainwright was in the game.  The lineup went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 runners on the night.  St. Louis has posted a 2-3 mark as a road underdog of +100 to +125 this season (-90) and an even 29-29 the last three years (+250).

Cardinals starting pitcher Jaime Garcia is 9-4 with a 2.21 ERA in 19 starts this season and has given up just 97 hits in 110 innings of work.  The left-hander has led the team to two consecutive home victories over the Dodgers and Phillies, giving up three runs and 12 hits over 10.1 innings.  He is 5-3 with a 2.96 ERA in 10 road outings.  In four July starts, Garcia stands a perfect 2-0 with a 1.99 ERA, surrendering just a single home run in 22.2 frames.  He will be making just his second career start against the Mets, tossing seven innings of one-hit ball at Busch Stadium on April 17, but the team fell 2-1.

New York came back from its dismal 2-9 road trip and managed to score over six runs for the first time since July 4.  “Our time will come as a team,” said outfielder Carlos Beltran.  The Mets are 31-16 overall at home (+1,260) and have won 17 of their last 24 games at Citi Field.  The pitching staff has posted a 3.15 ERA over its last 16 games, which ranks third in the majors over that span, but the club has managed to produce a lowly 5-12 record over that stretch.  New York is 5-10 when playing a team with a winning record in the second half of the season and the total stands at 4-10 O/U in those contests.

Mets starting pitcher Johan Santana is 8-5 with a 2.79 ERA in 21 starts this year and has led the team to four consecutive victories.   Over that span, he has allowed just two runs and 21 hits over 31 innings of work.  He has compiled a solid 6-3 mark and 2.81 ERA in 10 home starts, giving up just a single home run in 67.1 frames.  The left-hander is 14-6 with a 2.81 ERA in 24 career games at Citi Field.  He received a no-decision on April 17 versus the Cardinals in St. Louis, going seven shutout innings in the Mets’ 2-1, 20-inning victory.  Santana struck out a season-high nine and allowed just four hits in that contest.  In four career starts against the Redbirds, he is a perfect 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA.

Bettors will need to focus in on both teams record with the total being 7 or less.  St. Louis is currently 5-7 on the road in this situation (-410), while New York stands at a dominating 7-1 at home in 2010 (+590).

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