The Cardinals are World Series contenders in baseball gambling this season while the Mets are still a marquee team.
MLB gambling favors St. Louis in this matchup since they are the home team. The Mets have had their problems this spring and many of their positions are unsettled. The Mets will start the season without Carlos Beltran and they are also likely to begin without Jose Reyes. The pitching staff has questions as well. Johan Santana is the number one starter but how well he pitchers coming off injury is a question mark. Frankie Rodriguez is the closer and he is usually solid.
Oliver Perez is hoping to bounce back while Jon Niese, John Maine and Mike Pelfrey have their moments when they can impact baseball gambling. General Manager Omar Minaya doesn’t seem worried though. "We don't need to know yet," Omar Minaya said, "Two weeks is two weeks. We don't feel any urgency at this point." Pelfrey is supposed to be the #2 starter but how much confidence the Mets have in him is unclear. "He showed us better stuff than he did at the same time last year," manager Charlie Manuel said.
The Cardinals are supposed to be more settled than the Mets and the MLB gambling odds reflect that, but they still have questions of their own. The bullpen is the main area of concern. "We're getting to the point of the spring where, earlier you were just watching them work, but now you start to evaluate," manager Tony La Russa said. The Cardinals have Ryan Franklin as the closer and they also have spots that look to be filled by right-handers Jason Motte and Blake Hawksworth, lefties Dennys Reyes and Trever Miller and right-hander Mitchell Boggs.
Another spot may go to one of the younger players like Kyle McClellan, Adam Ottavino or Fernando Salas. Ottavino is a former first-round pick and could have the edge. "You've got to pay attention to what he's done," pitching coach Dave Duncan said. "I felt like at the beginning of spring he was getting real close to turning the corner with controlling his delivery. I suggested one more little step and he adopted it, and he's had these last two outings where he's thrown the ball outstanding."
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