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St. Louis Cardinals vs. New York Mets
Where and when: Citi Field, New York, New York, Sunday, 1:10 pm EST
The St. Louis Cardinals will play the finale of a four-game series versus the New York Mets on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field in New York City. The Cardinals have owned the series thus far in picking up victories in both games one and two.
After a 5-4 win in the opener on Thursday night, St. Louis was able to put the Mets away with four runs in the eighth inning to go up 8-5 thanks to a three-run homer by Dexter Fowler along with a home run by Paul DeJong. The Cardinals were also able to tack on an extra run in the ninth as the win was their second straight.
Also, with the win, the team inched a bit closer to the second-seeded team in the NL Central in the Chicago Cubs, to whom they fell in three games at Wrigley Field earlier in the month. In fact, after suffering a sweep versus the Cubs, St. Louis has been able to pick up victories in four of their last five outings, overall.
The Mets, on the other hand, has struggled as of late in dropping three of their last four outings. The bullpen wasted a seven-inning, eight strikeouts performance from Jacob DeGrom in the opener versus the Cardinals while Jeurys Familia was the culprit for game two in giving up four runs in the 8yh en route to their most recent defeat. Interesting enough, Familia entered the contest allowing only one hit in three relief innings.
In all, the Mets rank as one of the worst bullpens in the league to where opponents are batting an average of .264 per outing. And while the Cardinals have struggled at the plate entering this contest, New York has allowed eighteen hits through the first two games of the set along with four home runs.
Vargas gets start for Mets/Wheeler scratched
After originally inking Zack Wheeler for the finale, the Mets changed course and assigned Jason Vargas (3-3) to the starting role on Sunday. Vargas has won two straight games entering this contest after pitching over fifteen innings versus both the San Francisco Giants along with the New York Yankees while allowing just three earned runs on twelve hits in convincing, blowout victories. He was also successful in a 5-4 victory at Busch Field versus St. Louis earlier in the season in allowing just one earned run on three hits in four innings. In all, the Mets are winners of four of their last six games with Vargas on the mound while the left-hander has had quality starts in his last three appearances.
— New York Mets (@Mets) June 15, 2019
On the other hand, he struggled at Citi Field versus the Cardinals in August of 2017 as he gave up six runs along with two home runs in 4 ⅔ innings of pitching in a 10-3 blowout loss. To go along with this, Yadier Molina has had huge success versus Vargas in batting .385 (5 RBI’s) on twenty-eight at bats, lifetime. Also, Matt Weiters (.261 on 23 AB) has also knocked around the left-hander in his respective career.
Hudson a welcome sight for Cardinals
Dakota Hudson (5-3) continues to be a great addition to the rotation in his second year in the majors. He pitched twenty-six games for St. Louis last season while ending with a record of 4-1 during this time. In 2019, he has already pitched fourteen games while winning three of his last five outings, overall. Most importantly, he possesses a decent 3.47 ERA in 2019 while giving up only seven earned runs in his last five starts.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 15, 2019
Hudson has been effective at utilizing his changeup to confuse batters at the mound as this has allowed him to remain on the hill for extra innings, thus saving the bullpen. In all, the right-hander has had quality starts in seven of his last eight contests.
Most recently, the Cardinals won their fifth straight with Hudson on the mound in a 7-1 win over the Marlins on June 11th as he allowed just one earned run for his third straight contest in seven innings of work. The victory was his third straight road win. He also faced the Mets at Busch Stadium earlier in the year and despite giving up three earned along with three homers in a less than stellar, five inning performance, the Cardinals picked up the 6-4 win in the end.
- NYM are 3-7 in their last 10 Sun. games.
- No trends to report
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Look for the visitors to end their set at Citi Field with a win as the struggling offense for the Mets will have difficulties in solving the riddle that has become Dakota Hudson. As pointed out, the second year man has really shined in his performances on the year while being very durable as well. Vargas may have a decent night on the hill, however, with no bullpen to speak of, look for the Mets to fold late.
Prediction: Pick: St. Louis Cardinals -125
Full-Game Total Pick
I will back the over as New York’s bullpen continues to blow it. As stated, Vargas has not had much success versus the big bats of the Cardinals in his career. Furthermore, with St. Louis warming up at the plate, one should expect a high-scoring affair to where the Cardinals will run away from the struggling Mets at some point.
Prediction: Pick: Over 9
Full-Game Prop Bet
The Cardinals will come out with a victory over the struggling Mets in their finale on Sunday; However, with Vargas coming to the mound, look for the home team to keep this game close. The right-hander has really performed much better as of late and despite being owned by Molina at the plate, will find a way to keep the game close throughout his time on the hill.
Prediction: Pick: New York Mets +1.5
First Five Innings Side Pick
Again, the Mets have had decent success versus Hudson during an outing at Citi Field earlier in the season, as pointed out. With that being the case, look for the bats to get going early in this contest as the home team will remain in the game throughout the first five innings. It is for this reason that I will take New York with the run line.
Prediction: Pick: New York Mets +0.5
First Five Innings Total Bet
Look for the under to be the strong play after five frames, despite both offenses managing to put a couple runs on the board. As stated, Vargas will be looking to continue his recent success (along with Hudson) versus teams that have been known to go through lulls, offensively. In all, one should look for a competitive, low-scoring contest as the sixth inning approaches.
Prediction: Pick: Under 5
First Five Innings Prop Prediction
I will back the Mets at a great price as they will look to salvage a series where they have struggled at the plate. And while they will not light up the scoreboard, expect the home team to draw first blood while holding on to a slight lead advantage after five.
Prediction: Pick: New York Mets +100