If the St. Louis Cardinals are going to get back in the National League Central race, they’ll have to play better on the road. The Cardinals look to do so when they begin a four-game series against the host New York Mets on Monday.
St. Louis has struggled to an 18-23 road record after dropping two of three in Pittsburgh over the weekend to open a 10-game road trip. Adam Wainwright looks to shake off his own woes on the road this season, as he is 3-4 with an 8.36 ERA in eight starts away from home. The Mets began the second half by taking two of three from visiting Colorado but were routed 13-4 in Sunday’s series finale. St. Louis took two of three from New York at home in its final series before the All-Star break.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), SNY (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Adam Wainwright (10-5, 5.20 ERA) vs. Mets RH Zack Wheeler (3-6, 4.86)
Wainwright won his last three starts before the All-Star break, recording at least seven strikeouts in each outing. The 35-year-old defeated the Mets in his last turn on July 8 in St. Louis, allowing one run and recording seven strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings. Wainwright is 4-5 with a 4.66 ERA in 12 career appearances (10 starts) against New York.
Wheeler is winless in his last seven starts, with his last victory coming on May 20. The 27-year-old had a stretch of three straight turns in which he didn’t make it past the fourth inning, but he bounced back with a strong outing on July 8 at St. Louis, allowing two runs over six frames of a tough-luck loss in his first career meeting with the Cardinals. Wheeler has struggled to a 2-4 record and 5.35 ERA in eight home starts this season.
1. Cardinals 1B Matt Carpenter is 9-for-23 during his six-game hitting streak and has reached base in 19 consecutive contests.
2. Mets LF Yoenis Cespedes (hip) sat out Sunday but is expected back in the lineup for the series opener.
3. New York RF Jay Bruce, who has gone 11-for-30 with four home runs during his seven-game hitting streak, is 13-for-44 with three homers and 15 strikeouts against Wainwright.
PREDICTION: Mets 6, Cardinals 5