Blue Jays vs Cardinals Picks and Predictions: St. Louis' Bats Stays Hot and Toasty

It's the battle of the birds when Toronto and St. Louis lock talons for Game 1 of a short two-game series. Which team will emerge victorious come Monday night? Find out in our MLB betting picks and predictions for Blue Jays vs. Cardinals.

Last Updated: May 23, 2022 2:15 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Albert Pujols St. Louis Cardinals MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals and Blue Jays get going in a two-game mini-series in St. Louis tonight. 

For Toronto, the next few weeks are relatively important.The Jays took two of three from Cincinnati and now look to build on that with a tough upcoming stretch of games. They are now 22-19 and seven games back of first in the AL East.

The Cards' offense exploded over the weekend, scoring five or more runs in each of the three games against Pittsburgh, including an 18-run outburst on Sunday. They are now 23-18 on the season and three games back of first in the NL Central. 

Who will get the first of these two games between St. Louis and Toronto? Find out in our free MLB betting picks and predictions for Blue Jays vs. Cardinals on Monday, May 23.

Blue Jays vs Cardinals odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

Opening odds for today's matchup were released last night. We saw rare true coin-flip opening odds as both sides were listed at -110. Since then, the Cardinals have taken a bit of money and are now -120, with the Cardinals coming back at +108. 

The total opened up at 7.5 and has moved to 8 in some places.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Blue Jays vs Cardinals predictions

Picks made on 5/23/2022 at 12:50 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Blue Jays vs Cardinals game info

Location: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
Date: Monday, May 23, 2022
First pitch: 7:45 p.m. ET
TV: Sportsnet 1, Bally Sports Midwest

Blue Jays vs Cardinals betting preview

Starting pitchers

Jose Berrios (3-2, 4.83 ERA): It's been a rough start for Berrios. He was impressive in his start against Seattle when he went seven scoreless innings. Unfortunately, those outings have been few and far between. Just look before that. When Berrios saw two power offenses in back-to-back starts, he was shellacked. Against Cleveland, he gave up six earned runs in just over four innings; He then followed that up by giving up five earned runs through five against the Yankees. Berrios has had the misfortunes of facing some pretty talented offenses, but there's little to have optimism about for the moment. Perhaps he can build on his previous performance against Seattle, though. 

Miles Mikolas (3-2, 1.68 ERA): If Mikolas is going to pitch like he has to start the season all year for the Cardinals, then they are a true contender. He's off to the best start of his career, and it feels like it may have staying power. Mikolas' success isn't a product of luck or lousy swinging — he's doing what he's done throughout his career. The significant change for him? He's fixed his home run issues, with his barrel rate moving to the lowest of his career. Additionally, he's allowed just two home runs this year after routinely giving up the long ball in the past. This fix has done wonders for his overall game. Mikolas' ERA is at a sparkling 1.68 with an expected ERA of 2.84. In Busch Stadium, he's been virtually unhittable this year with a WHIP of .88 and an ERA of .86 in night games. We should expect some regression, but even with that, Mikolas could be on pace for the best season of his career.


Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Blue Jays: No injuries to report.
Cardinals: Dylan Carlson RF (Out), Tyler O'Neill RF (Out), Jack Flaherty SP (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Blue Jays are 1-4 in the last five meetings. Find more MLB betting trends for Blue Jays vs. Cardinals

Blue Jays vs Cardinals picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

Today is a story of two teams headed in two different directions. For that reason, among others, it's impossible not to like the Cardinals here. 

Sure, the Blue Jays won the series against the Reds over the weekend, but they weren't impressive outings against baseball's worst road team. Toronto scored just seven runs over the three-game series, a number that doesn't exactly inspire confidence for the immediate future. That especially holds when it is headed to face one of the hottest pitchers in baseball in Mikolas. 

That's one of the most significant issues here for Toronto. The offense just hasn't been good, sitting 26th in baseball in runs per game. Look, it's eventually going to break out. I wrote about this in the last Baseball Notebook on Friday, and nothing has shaken me from that belief yet.

Chief among the problems for the Jays' offense is the struggles of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette. I'll give those two players the benefit of the doubt, as they have the history of producing that's earned them that. But even with that, it's hard to predict this game to be the one where they breakout. 

We've spoken a decent amount about Mikolas' impressive start, but that's not the biggest story to this matchup. The story is about the specific edge he has here with the Blue Jays lineup. The best attribute Mikolas has had as a pitcher this year (and during his rookie season) is inducing soft contact. This year, his hard-hit rate is near the top of the majors and has been the lynchpin to his success.

Despite the Jays' struggles in the run department, they hit the ball hard and still profile well in that metric. It's strength vs. strength, and I'll side with the Cardinals' righty.

I love the Cards to win here today, but I like them even more in the F5 market. I view this as a decisive pitching mismatch and want to take advantage of that the best way I can. My projections see this as a 50/50 prospect, but this will be a rare time where I have to disagree with some of those numbers. 

I'll grab the Cardinals first five and will do it confidently.

Prediction: Cardinals first-five moneyline (-110 at FanDuel)

Over/Under analysis

For the moment, I'm not going to have confidence in the Blue Jays' offense to do much of anything. But, on the other hand, I don't want to completely fade them because, as previously noted, I have faith in them to improve. Because of this conundrum, I'll be looking to bet the Cardinals team total instead of the overall game total.

Jose Berrios has been wrong so far this season, plain and simple. Virtually every peripheral number you can find on him is in the dumps. The most alarming one may be his expected ERA, with it being nearly two runs worse than his actual ERA.

This suggests that even though he's had some bad outings, they could have been worse. It may feel like I'm coming down hard on Berrios, but it's tough to back him now. He's shown some great promise in the past; Last year was likely the best year in his career. Unfortunately, he did it by relying on the ground ball, and he hasn't gotten that this year. 

The Cardinals don't precisely rip the cover off the ball as a collective, but they are a hot offense right now. They've scored over 3.5 runs in eight of their last nine games. Even though they may lack some power, they have enough big bats in their offense to take advantage of Berrios. They also do a terrific job of avoiding ground balls — having the fifth lowest ground ball rate. By proxy, they have one of the higher flyball rates in the league, which has been a problem for Berrios this season. 

I'll roll with trends and the Cardinals getting to four or more runs in their last ten games for the ninth time. 

Prediction: Cardinals team total Over 3.5 (-128 at FanDuel)

Best bet

There's an oddity in this one; The lines don't make much sense. The Cardinals are juiced to -128 to get to four runs or better, while the Blue Jays are at -115 to do the same. So, in short, oddsmakers believe that the Cards have a better chance to get to four runs than the Jays. Yet when you head to the alternative markets, the "Race To" markets oddsmakers are saying something different. Toronto is the favored team to get four runs first. This doesn't make sense, and I'll take advantage of it.

The handicap of this one follows the same path as the handicap for the total. But, again, we're going to continue backing the trends. St. Louis' offense has been hot, and you've been able to count on it to four runs about 80% of the time over the last ten games. On the other hand, the Blue Jays' offense has been struggling, and this is just another spot where I can take advantage of that without completely fading them. 

Projecting this one out, I have the "fair price" of this at about +100. That's a significant edge and why it will be my best bet for this game. 

Pick: Cardinals race to four runs (+150 at FanDuel)


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