Two of the top teams in the National League will meet this Friday when the New York Mets (7-11 preseason) welcome the St. Louis Cardinals (8-10 preseason) to Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie, Florida for some Grapefruit League action. First pitch is at 1:10 PM ET on ESPN.
After winning the NL pennant last year, the Mets (+1200) find themselves tied as the fourth-favorites to win the 2016 World Series. Their team should be even better this season with short stop Asdrubal Cabrera (.744 OPS for Tampa Bay in 2015) and second baseman Neil Walker (.756 OPS for Pittsburgh) shoring up the middle of the infield, supporting arguably the best pitching rotation in the big leagues.
The Cardinals (+1800) are coming off a 100-win season, but their World Series hopes dimmed when outfielder Jason Heyward (.797 OPS) defected to the Chicago Cubs in free agency. Their rotation also lost a key component when Lance Lynn (3.44 FIP) underwent Tommy John surgery during the offseason. For St. Louis to compete again in 2016, right fielder Stephen Piscotty (.853 OPS) and center fielder Randal Grichuk (.877 OPS) will have to deliver on the promise they showed at the plate last year.