Mets vs. Cardinals MLB Odds & Picks: Expect Pitchers To Steal Spotlight in Low-Scoring Affair (Tuesday, May 4)

Mets vs. Cardinals MLB Odds & Picks: Expect Pitchers To Steal Spotlight in Low-Scoring Affair (Tuesday, May 4) article feature image
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Jim McIsaac/Getty Images. Pictured: New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom.

Editor’s Note: Jacob deGrom has been scratched from Tuesday’s start against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Mets vs. Cardinals Odds

Mets Odds -210
Cardinals Odds +180
Over/Under 6.5 (-117 / -105)
Time 7:45 p.m. ET
TV MLBTV
Odds as of Tuesday morning via DraftKings.

After watching as Joey Lucchesi forfeit a lead in which they had to work so hard to get off Adam Wainwright, the New York Mets will hope to get out in front early again Tuesday and remain in the lead behind ace Jacob deGrom.

Will they be successful in their quest to avenge Monday’s loss or will their bats let them down again?

Let’s take a look at the matchup and see if we can find some value.

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New York Mets

The Mets have been notorious for their inability to score runs when their ace is on the hill, and 2021 has been no exception. DeGrom ranks 120th among starters in run support, with just 2.6 runs scored for him per nine innings.

It’s actually a step in the wrong direction from last year, when they scored 5.8 runs per nine behind deGrom to put him 21st, but the sample was obviously small and the team’s offense wasn’t struggling like it has been this year.

This lineup has been dreadful. After a season where it sat in second place in wRC+ and an off-season when the team not only retained its entire lineup but added Francisco Lindor, the offense has ranked 17th in wRC+ so far.

Lindor, specifically, has been a special kind of awful at the plate with just 14 hits in 86 at bats — one of which was a home run and another a double — and 14 strikeouts. It’s about time we stop making fun of impatient New York fans and begin hearing them out, for a slow start is quickly turning into a trend.

However, aside from Lindor, the offense has finally started to wake up. Over the past two weeks, J.D. Davis has posted a 1.210 OPS, Pete Alonso has hit three homers en route to a .992 OPS and Jeff McNeil is hitting .294. Even Michael Conforto, who looked all out of sorts, has batted .279 this season.

It’s not the entire team, but it might as well be when you consider the importance of the names I just mentioned.

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St. Louis Cardinals

Speaking of heating up, the Cardinals have begun to see the ball better of late as well. They rank 10th in baseball over the past week with a 111 wRC+, finally delivering on some of the potential that this talented offense has.

The return of Harrison Bader has breathed life and energy into the lineup, and huge contributions from youngsters Tyler O’Neill and Dylan Carlson have lifted this team to new heights. Even Matt Carpenter, who’s not playing every day, has begun to swing the bat.

It might be a moot point discussing offense when you’re getting ready to go up against deGrom, and perhaps even more of a moot point when your team’s throwing a 23-year-old in his second season in the league. That’s what the Cardinals have in Johan Oviedo, who will get the ball.

Oviedo had five pretty forgettable starts in 2020, but has come out strong in 2021. In 4 2/3 scoreless innings in relief against the Brewers, he allowed just two hits and two walks. He followed that up with a decent start against the Phillies, allowing three runs on three hits over five innings.

The righty is hardly highly-touted, checking in as the No. 9 prospect for St. Louis, but his 96-mph fastball has helped play up his slider, which he’s generated a 54.2% whiff rate on so far this season.

As a result, he’s struck out 29.7% of the batters he’s faced, and that great swing-and-miss stuff has worked in chorus with some weak contact. Oviedo ranks in the top 20% of the league with a minuscule 31.8% hard-hit rate, and in the top 15% in average exit velocity. Strikeouts and week contact were hard to come by last year for Oviedo, but he’s been a new man so far in 2021.

Mets-Cardinals Pick

The Cardinals are hot at the dish, and deGrom is achieving legendary status on the hill, so something has to give. I’m betting that it’s the Cardinals’ bats here.

With that said, Oviedo has been dominant in his own right, and while the Mets have heated up of late, it’s hard to ignore that they’ve given deGrom fewer than three runs per nine innings on average and generally speaking have looked lethargic at the dish, as recently as Monday’s contest.

While I think the Mets win this game, and dare not fade deGrom, I want to back Oviedo here as well. I believe in his incredible two pitches, which have been complemented periodically by a great curve and changeup.

Offense should be hard to come by in this showdown, which has forced me to take the under on the total. With that said, though, I want no part of dealing with the Mets/ bullpen, so I’m taking the first five innings under as my top play.

Pick: First Five Innings Under 3.5 Total Runs (-137)

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