The New York Mets could’ve used this kind of play, oh, a couple of months ago, but they’ll still look for an impressive road sweep against the St. Louis Cardinals in the final game of this four-game series. First pitch of Sunday’s matinee is set for 2:15 p.m. ET from Busch Stadium. Righty Carlos Carrasco (3-6, 6.40 ERA) will take the mound for the visitors, while the Cards counter with Dakota Hudson (4-0, 4.03).
St. Louis enters as -135 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Mets at +114. The run total is set at 10.5.
Mets-Cardinals picks: Sunday, August 20
Out: INF Mark Vientos (wrist), OF Starling Marte (groin), INF Luis Guillorme (calf)
Out: Lars Nootbaar (abdomen), 2B Nolan Gorman (back), OF Dylan Carlson (oblique), SP/RP Jake Woodford (shoulder), UTIL Brendan Donovan (elbow), RP Ryan Helsley (forearm)
Carlos Carrasco vs. Dakota Hudson
Few starters have been hit as hard of late as Mets righty Carlos Carrasco, who has a 9.64 ERA and 1.033 OPS allowed over his last six starts dating back to July 18 (and expected batting average and slugging percentage marks that sit in the bottom five percent of all starters). He went just three innings in his last outing, with two runs allowed on four hits and three walks against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He’s struggled mightily in his career against Paul Goldschmidt (4-for-8, two doubles) and Nolan Arenado (3-for-4 with a homer).
Thrust back into the rotation after St. Louis dealt away Jack Flaherty and Jordan Montgomery at the trade deadline, Hudson has actually been decent in August, with a 3.86 ERA over three starts — allowing three or fewer runs and going at least five innings in each of those outings. He has had some BABIP-fueled luck during that stretch, but he’s shown solid command and his slider is carrying a gaudy 46.7% whiff rate.
After a 13-run outburst on Saturday, the Mets have racked up 50 runs over their last seven games. They should be good for at least a few more against a pitcher in Hudson who’s hardly overwhelming, while Carrasco represents a great bounce-back opportunity for a Cardinals offense that’s been stuck in neutral recently.
Pick: Over 10.5
It’s just way too hard to trust Carrasco with the way he’s pitching right now, even if a hot New York lineup gives him a fair amount of run support this afternoon. Goldschmidt and Arenado are due to bust out any day now, and I’m betting it’ll come on Sunday — St. Louis still has the deeper lineup and more trustworthy starter here.
Pick: Cardinals -135