The St. Louis Cardinals visit the Big Apple to take on the Mets in the first game of the series beginning Tuesday. It is a matchup between two relatively inexperienced pitchers with Michael Wacha against Jeremy Hefner.
Cardinals’ stud rookie Michael Wacha makes just his third career start and first on the road against a pretty lowly Mets team. Wacha dazzled in his first start against Kansas City but then reminded everyone that he is just a rookie after getting knocked around against Arizona to the tune of 10 hits and six runs in 4.2 innings pitched. Wacha turns just 22 on the first of July and has electrifying stuff that could have this New York team flailing for most of the night. That being said, Wacha is still adapting to the big league game and great starts deep into the game should not be expected week in and week out. Expect Wacha to have a good night on the mound against an inept New York Mets’ lineup that struggles to hit above average pitching. The problem is that Wacha will continue to be watched closely by Cardinals’ skipper Mike Matheny and may not be able to take the ball into the later innings. This leaves the door open for the Mets to take advantage of a St. Louis bullpen that struggles to shut teams down at times. If the Mets get this game it will be because they get to the bullpen of the Cardinals.
St. Louis should be able to put up some runs against Jeremy Hefner of the New York Mets. At 27 years old, Hefner is much older than Wacha but only has one year of experience to go with it. Hefner’s WHIP has been okay this year at 1.23 and put together a fairly good start a few weeks back against the Cardinals on the road. Hefner surrendered just five hits and three runs over six strong innings of work against a very high-powered St. Louis offense. Hefner is capable of putting together some nice outings but he lacks the stuff to shut teams down. Hefner has allowed at least a run in every appearance he has made this season despite giving up more than four runs just once all year. St. Louis should be a shoe-in for about three to four runs with much potential to go over that.
There is a lot of uncertainty in terms of either side really being able to shut the other down for the entirety of the ball game. Because of that, the total of 7.5 seems just a tad too low here. There should be value in the over so play it with confidence here.
Free Pick: Cardinals/Mets Over 7.5