The New York Mets defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 in Game 1 of their series. Tonight Kyle McClellan looks to tie the series and keep the St. Louis Cardinals in the thick of the NL Central race when he takes the mound Tuesday in the second game of a series with the New York Mets.

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ESPN's cameras will be on hand for the prime-time telecast (7:00 PM ET) that finds New York knuckleballer R.A. Dickey opposing McClellan. Early morning MLB odds have the Mets slight favorites around -110 at most MLB books with an 8.5-run total. 

Mets take Game 1

Tuesday's series opener went New York's way by a 4-2 count in a game that saw the line shift from the Mets the small MLB betting favorite at the outset before closing with the Cards drawing light chalk. The victory lifted New York to .500 on the season (48-48), 12 games back of the Phillies in the NL East, and dropped St. Louis to third in the NL Central (50-46), 1.5 games behind the Pirates. 

Adding to the thrill of victory for the Mets was the return of stars Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran following injury stints. The pair combined for five hits and a pair of runs in Tuesday's win. 

McClellan & the Cardinals

It has been nearly two weeks since McClellan (6-6, 4.24) last experienced game action, and the result was the 5th-straight defeat on his personal ledger in a 4-1 home loss to the Diamondbacks. The righthander was a -130 favorite in the contest and it marked the sixth start in a row for McClellan that ended in a Cardinals defeat after St. Louis won eight of his first nine. 

That early streak for McClellan and the Cards doesn't include his lone relief appearance of the season on April 22. With rain falling, St. Louis skipper Tony La Russa opted to go with Miguel Batista to begin that game. Batista only faced one batter before umpires halted the proceedings with McClellan taking the mound after the delay and throwing six innings. 

A converted reliever, this will be his first career start vs. the Mets. McClellan came out of the 'pen eight times the previous three seasons against New York, fashioning a 0.93 ERA in 9.2 innings with Met hitters batting just a buck ninety-four. 

Dickey & the Mets

Jose Reyes New York MetsDickey (4-8, 3.70) will be out for his first win of the month despite a decent 3.32 ERA in three July starts. He took the loss at home last Friday to the Phillies as an even-money underdog, allowing four runs over seven innings in a 7-2 defeat. 

The former Tennessee Vol star will also be looking to repeat his most recent performance against the Redbirds, a start here at Citi Field just less than a year ago when he came up two outs shy of a complete game shutout. A -145 MLB money line favorite in that July 29, 2010 game, Dickey needed 9th-inning help to complete the 4-0 New York triumph. 

An underdog in each of his last six assignments, this will be the first time Dickey has been the favorite or a pick since a June 11 appearance at Pittsburgh. In his eight games as the favorite or pick this year, the Mets are 1-7 and down 7.75 units. 

Wednesday night's forecast for Queens looks fine with a game-time temp in the low 80s, mostly clear skies and a SSW wind around 10 mph blowing out to center. The two clubs wrap their series up Wednesday afternoon with a mound battle between Jake Westbrook and Jonathon Niese.