The St. Louis Cardinals start the second half of the baseball season with the best record in baseball and generally as the National League pennant favorites at the various sportsbooks. They host the New York Mets for three games starting Friday night. The Cards are -140 favorites on MLB odds with a total of 7.
A Quick Look at the New York Mets at St. Louis Cardinals Free MLB Lines Pick & TV InfoTime: Friday, 8:15 p.m. ETVenue: Busch Stadium, St. LouisNational TV: noneOpening line: Cardinals -140, Mets +130 (7)
The Cardinals (56-33) have a 2.5-game lead atop the NL Central but entered the break on a three-game skid. The Mets (47-42) are second in the NL East, two games behind Washington. They entered the break on a four-game winning streak. This will be the final series between the team barring a playoff matchup. The teams split four games in New York from May 18-21. The Mets took Game 1, 2-1 in 14 innings. John Mayberry Jr. hit a pinch-hit RBI single to win it. The Cards had tied it 1-1 in the ninth off Mets closer Jeurys Familia on a Jason Heyward sacrifice fly. In Game 2, the Cardinals won 10-2. Randal Grichuk had three extra-base hits and drove in three runs a night, and Mark Reynolds homered among his three hits. In Game 3, the Cardinals won 9-0. Matt Adams, now on the disabled list, had a three-run homer and Matt Holliday and Kolten Wong each had three hits. In the finale, the Mets won 5-0 as pitcher Jacob deGrom retired his final 23 batters. Lucas Duda homered twice.Speaking of Holliday, the Cards are expected to welcome him back here. He was named an All-Star Game starter but didn’t play due to a right quad strain that has kept him off the field since June 8. The Cardinals have gone 18-13 in Holliday’s absence and lost four games in their NL Central lead over the Pirates during that span. Holliday noted that the final test will be “doing some more baserunning.” He did take batting practice with the NL All-Stars on Tuesday. Holliday is hitting .303 with 26 RBIs this season. Mets outfielder Juan Lagares was removed from Sunday’s game against the Diamondbacks with tightness in his left calf, but it appears to be a very minor issue. With the extra rest that the All-Star Break provided, he should be ready Friday.Rookie right-hander Noah Syndergaard (4-4, 3.11) starts for New York. The Mets won his final three starts before the break and Syndergaard allowed just three runs and 11 hits over 22 innings in that stretch. He struck out a career-high 13 in his final start, coming against Arizona. Syndergaard threw a career-high 116 pitches in his last outing, so Mets manager Terry Collins could be cautious here. Syndergaard has yet to face the Cardinals.It’s Lance Lynn (6-5, 2.90) for St. Louis. Lynn is coming off probably his worst start of the season, and the only one in which he didn’t complete at least five innings. Lynn lasted just four innings against the Pirates on July 10, allowing nine hits and five earned runs. Lynn hasn’t faced the Mets this season. Duda is 0-for-10 career against him. Daniel Murphy is 6-for-14 with two doubles and three RBIs.
Matt Holliday coming right back at ya! pic.twitter.com/JTU2iWMmfm— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) July 14, 2015