Johan Santana is scheduled to be on the mound on Thursday for the Mets and when he starts, the Mets are almost always favored in MLB wagering.
Santana is 8-5 on the season with a 2.79 ERA. In his last three starts he has been brilliant, going 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA. With an ERA that low, Santana should have three wins but the Mets don’t always score enough runs for him. Santana has been very solid in the past ten seasons against the Cardinals, going 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA.
The Cardinals are scheduled to send Blake Hawksworth to the mound on Thursday. He is just 4-6 on the season with a 5.23 ERA. He pitched only 4 1/3 innings last time out against the Cubs. Somehow he is 2-1 in his last three starts even though his ERA is 6.32. The only positive for Hawksworth is that in 6 2/3 innings of work against the Mets he has yet to give up a run.
St. Louis and New York are strong home teams but each team is weaker on the road. The Cardinals have not done much on this current road trip as they played poorly against the Cubs before this series against the Mets. St. Louis really should be doing better on the road considering they have a great starting pitching staff led by Adam Wainworth and Chris Carpenter. In fact, the Cardinals lead the league in ERA. The Padres had led the league but St. Louis has now moved into the top spot.
The Mets are also winning with pitching. Santana only has eight wins but his ERA is excellent. The problem for the Mets has been their hitting that is well below average. New York simply doesn’t score enough runs to win on a regular basis. Even when they get great outings from their pitchers they don’t always win because of their lack of scoring. The Major League Baseball trading deadline is Saturday and how well the Mets do in this series against the Cardinals and the next couple of games against Arizona could decide whether the Mets considered themselves buyers or sellers.