Series Preview: World Series Champions (0-0) at St. Louis Cardinals (0-0)

In Series Previews by berselius8 Comments

The only way this could be better would be if the Cubs opened the season at home, raising the World Series banner with the Cardinals in the house. As was mentioned in this weekend's (correctly recorded) podcast, the Cubs had relatively little spring training drama this year aside from maybe Heyward's new swing. Meanwhile the Cardinals situation is such that stories like Dexter Fowler suggesting that players can pick music for BP is a franchise-altering move.

Team Leaders (projected)



I was pretty down on the crazy Cardinals win forecast from PECOTA, but ZiPS has their best player projected for barely more than three wins. We're through the looking glass, not that I don't expect the Cardinals to have like five players top that number….except that no one did last year either.

Injury News

Brian Duensing is the only Cub on the injury report, which was good news for Tommy La Stella and Matt Sczcur. This whole 10-day DL thing is going to take some getting used to.

The Cardinals have two pitchers out for the seasons with TJS, Zach Duke and top prospect Alex Reyes. Lance Lynn missed last year due to TJS, and is making his first MLB appearance since fall 2015. Trevor Rosenthal and Tyler Lyons are also on the shelf, though should be back in the next week or two.

Pitching Matchups

K/9, BB/9, projected ERA listed for each starter.

Sunday: Jon Lester, LHP (8.95, 2.28, 3.25) vs Carlos Martinez, RHP (8.56, 3.14, 3.46), 7:35 PM CT

Martinez has been talked about a as a breakout guy this year, since he's got a great ground ball rate and gets strikeouts. The biggest question mark is whether he can stay healthy. He came up as a big fastball guy but in the past year or two he's thrown a lot more sinkers and change ups.

Tuesday: Jake Arrieta, RHP (8.68, 2.87, 3.28) vs Adam Wainwright, RHP (7.07, 2.64, 3.94), 7:15 PM CT

It feels strange to not have Waino as an opening day starter. His walk rate spiked last year coming off of Achilles surgery, but most pitchers would kill to "only" have a 2.67 BB/9. His ground ball rate also dropped significantly, and time will tell if this is a bounceback season.

Wednesday: John Lackey, RHP (8.05, 2.45, 3.74), vs Lance Lynn, RHP (8.03, 3.34, 3.87), 12:45 PM CT

I'm not exactly sure why the 2016 ERA leader is the Cubs fifth starter, but whatever. Maybe it was those bad tacos.

Lynn missed last season with TJS, and had a strong spring training until suffering a rib injury a week or so ago. It doesn't sound too serious and he should make this start. I feel like there was talk about bullpenning him back in 2015 for some bizarre reason, but I must have been mistaking him for someone else. Wacha? He also had a pretty good spring.

Opening Day Lineups


  • LF Schwarber
  • 3B Bryant
  • 1B Rizzo
  • RF Zobrist
  • SS Russell
  • CF Heyward
  • C Contreras
  • P Lester
  • 2B Baez


  • CF Fowler
  • SS Diaz
  • 1B Carpenter
  • 3B Peralta
  • C Molina
  • RF Piscotty
  • 2B Gyorko
  • LF Grichuk
  • P Martinez

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