St. Louis Cardinals: Who Should Start Opening Day vs. the Cubs
The St. Louis Cardinals will open their 2017 season against the rival Cubs at Busch.
The St. Louis Cardinals will most likely start Carlos Martinez on Opening Day, which is Sunday Night Baseball against the Cubs. At just 25, Martinez is already the ace of the Cardinals. There is a completely compelling and valid case for Martinez to be the starter on Opening Day in St.Louis. I think he definitely will be too. Let’s dive in to some pitcher rundowns and who the opening day ace isn’t.
Starting with Wainwright’s case, there really isn’t much of an argument for Waino to be the Opening Day guy for the St. Louis Cardinals. Last season, he struggled mightily as he was coming off of a serious injury. It was also his first full season since the injury. But I think at his age, he is out of his prime, clearly. Zach agrees and warns of decline as well– check it out.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that Wainwright is one of the great pitchers in Cardinals history, and is a great role model for Cardinal fans and the city of St.Louis.
On to Mike Leake, who will be in his second season with the club and struggled as well last season as most Cardinal pitchers did. Martinez stands as the lone exception to this statement of course. Leake is a great innings-eater which is one thing he has going for him. But I don’t even think he will start in their first series against the rivals.
Leake has to be better in 2017 to even keep a spot in the rotation. He is making a lot of money, which helps him in ways.
Michael Wacha, as most Cardinals starters have, has been dealing with a great deal of injuries. When he came up, he looked like a sure-fire ace of the Cardinals. It has been a few years, and quite honestly, he is far from it. He can get a small pass for the injuries he has dealt with, but even when he’s “healthy” something seems off.
Once Wacha can heal, if he doesn’t perform well, he better watch out, just like Leake. These guys have to prove themselves more to even be in the same sentence as Carlos Martinez at this point.
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The St. Louis Cardinals will get Lance Lynn back this year. I actually think that this will help the club. Lynn was a winner when he pitched from 2012-2015, as he racked up sixty wins in his last four seasons as a starter with the Cardinals, excluding 2016 of course. He has a career ERA of 3.37 and is one of the more underrated starters in the Central when healthy. He could be a starter in the Cubs series and may be the best case other than Martinez for the Opening Day starter.
Lynn could be a big part in getting the St. Louis Cardinals back into the postseason and back into full swing. He has pitched over 200 innings in fifty percent of his four seasons as a staple in the rotation.
Now back to the guy who will, without a doubt, be pitching on Opening Day against the Cubs, barring an injury. Martinez is an elite pitcher, the best pitcher on the team, and one of the best in the Central. He has won thirty games in his last two years, with an ERA of just over 3.00 in both seasons. Last year, he was by far the best pitcher in the rotation by a LOT.
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Martinez is the ace, and as far as I know, will be for many years to come! I cannot wait for Opening Day. The mission to playoffs 2017 starts with Martinez on April 2nd. Finally, regarding the rotation, you never know but maybe Alex Reyes could get on the rotation at some point this year– fun times as usual in St.Louis!