By Greg Dempson
At this juncture of the season, handicapping MLB is similar to wagering on preseason football, who is and who isn’t playing. With many of the baseball teams, you don’t know who is going to play as it’s that time of the year when many of the also ran teams will bring players up from their farm systems or rest some of their veterans. Such is not the case with the Mets and Cardinals tonight as they battle for a post season Wild Card berth. The Mets are 3½ games behind the Cards while St. Louis is 1½ games ahead of the Marlins for the second Wild Card berth.
The Mets send Jacob deGrom to the mound to duel vs. Carlos Martinez. In his last start deGrom was lit up for 8 earned runs, (including one homer,) on 13 hits in 5 innings to lose against the Giants, (10–07.) His ERA away from home is 3.75, WHIP of 1.315 with he/team at 4–6 in his 10 road starts. deGrom is 1–1 vs. the Cardinals, ERA of 4.36, WHIP of 1.217, winning last season (5–0) at home while losing in 2014 at Busch Stadium, (6–2,) while pitching against Martinez.
As for Martinez, he was very impressive in his last outing at Houston. He allowed 1 earned runs through 7 innings while walking none and striking out 7 in a (8–2) victory. Martinez won at New York earlier this season, (3–2,) and he’s had one start per season the past three seasons pitching a combined 15.3 innings allowing 3 runs, (2 earned,) on 11 hits. Martinez/team are 3–0 in those three games.
· My last two opinion plays split, I lost with the Braves at +153 on the money line while winning with the over at 11.5 runs in the Rockies Cubs game. Opinions do not count against my official record. My Every Edge MLB record is 32–17–01.
Keys to the Game
· The Mets The Mets will be without second baseman Neil Walker tonight.
· The Mets will need a strong start from deGrom as their bullpen was taxed last night pitching 8.7 innings as Jon Niese pitched to only four batters before exiting the game due to a sore knee. That sets up for a system which is live tonight.
· Play against road teams with a struggling bullpen whose ERA is greater than 6.00 in their last 15 games after 3 straight games where they committed no errors. This system is 68–34 = 66.7% the past five seasons.
· In the month of August, play on home winning between 51% to 54% of their games, teams when the line is + or –125, and they’re playing a winning team. This system is 58–34 = 63% the past five seasons.
Mets vs Cards Pick
I made a selection on the Cardinals when the line was –105 and I would still back them at the current money line of –117. My Every Edge selection for this evening is on the St. Louis Cardinals at –117 on the money line.