The St. Louis Cardinals have just three games left before the All-Star Break. They also sit three games under .500, which means they will need to win all three to avoid a losing record before taking a few days off, Carlos Martinez excepted. The Cardinals continue their homestand with a series against the NY Mets, one of my least favorite squadrons. The Cardinals should destroy the Mets.*
*W% of .556 with title. W% of .448 without title.
The Mets have a lot of good pitchers, but for the most part, they have been injured or ineffective this season. That has led to an ERA near five and a FIP just a little below that. Their hitting as a team has been pretty good. They missed the bat of Yoenis Cespedes for a while, but he’s back and hitting like his normal self. Michael Conforto has been great for the team, but he’s been on the disabled list with a hand injury and just got sent out for rehab.
Also on the disabled list is Neil Walker, who was producing before a hamstring injury sidelined him. Jose Reyes is the current starting shortstop, and he is not good. Asdrubal Cabrera has moved over to second base, and he’s having a decent season offensively. Right now, Wilmer Flores and T.J. Rivera are splitting duties at third base and both players are adequate.
Jay Bruce is having a fine season out in right field and could be traded soon. Lucas Duda is having a fine season at first base and he could be traded soon. Curtis Granderson is having a decent season though he probably shouldn’t be playing center field and he could be traded soon. Travis d’Arnaud is a decent hitter for a catcher and is really bad at throwing out baserunners, and he isn’t likely to be traded soon as far as I’m aware.
The Mets best pitcher this year has been Jacob deGrom and he starts tonight. deGrom has struck out 29% of batters against 9% walks and that’s caused a solid 3.63 FIP and 3.55 ERA. He’s given up a few more home runs this season than he has in the past, but his velocity on the fastball is back up to near 96 mph, what it was when he had a five-WAR season two years ago. In what should be an exciting pitching matchup, Carlos Martinez will go for the Cardinals and will fortunately not have to face Bryce Harper.
It looks like Zach Wheeler will pitch for the Mets on Saturday, but no official announcement has been made. Wheeler hasn’t been great this season after coming back from Tommy John surgery and then complications from the same. He’s walking too many guys and giving up a lot of homers which is a bad combo causing an ERA and FIP both around five. He was on the DL after two disastrous starts in mid-June, giving up 15 runs in 3.2 innings. In his last start, he went 3.2 innings, giving up two unearned runs and his last scheduled start was rained out. Adam Wainwright will pitch for St. Louis.
On Sunday, it looks like Steven Matz will start, but again, we don’t have official word just yet. The 26-year-old lefty isn’t striking anybody out in his five starts this year, but thanks to an absurd 96% left-on-base rate, his ERA is just above two. He still relies on a hard sinker to induce ground balls and also relies on a change and curve. He’s gone at least six innings in every start and seven innings in four of five, not giving up a run in his last two outings. Lance Lynn will make the start for the Cardinals.
Tonight, July 7, 7:15 pm CT, Fox Sports Midwest
Saturday, July 8, 3:10 pm CT, Fox Sports Midwest
Sunday, July 9, 1:15 pm CT, Fox Sports Midwest