St. Louis Cardinals: Opening Day lineup released – game on!

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 21: Carlos Martinez
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 21: Carlos Martinez /

The day has finally arrived for the St. Louis Cardinals: Opening Day!

The winter of our discontent is finally finished and the sound of the National Anthem will once again kick-start the Nation’s pastime. That’s right, the St. Louis Cardinals (our favorite) will once again begin competing for the NL title starting today in New York.

Thankfully the game is in New York since the rains have seemingly made themselves at home in St. Louis. That aside, I- for one- am so excited to have REAL baseball back!

Let’s take a look at the released lineup for the St. Louis Cardinals on Opening Day. This is what we all assumed, so no real surprise here, and what we can fairly well count on being THE lineup as things progress (at least a little while through April).

In the leadoff spot is the right fielder Dexter Fowler. We all anticipated that he would bat leadoff since that is why the Cardinals signed him. In Spring Training, Fowler batted .231/.305/.385 and will look to solidify his play this season in RF and at the plate.

Behind him is the firmly-minted center fielder Tommy Pham. If Pham’s vision is set, look for him to push hard to repeat numbers from 2017. The two-spot is a great place for Pham who batted .220/.333/.373 this spring.

Matt Carpenter, who will play third base today and likely for the foreseeable future to make space for another impact bat in the lineup, will bat in the now-comfortable three-spot. Carp, who likes batting leadoff, showed that by changing approach, he is a formidable number-three hitter. He slashed .391/.533/.696 this spring.

The new member of the St. Louis Cardinals, Marcell Ozuna, will bat fourth and play left field. Ozuna is ready to bring his fun and bearish play to the Cardinals and become that feared bat for the Birds on the Bat. He slashed an impressive .356/.379/.695 this spring with four no-doubt home runs.

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Protecting Ozuna is Jose Martinez who will bat fifth (not Yadi) and play first base. Carp’s move to third is to open a space for Martinez who plays a respectable first base but is in the lineup for his bat that awakened in 2017. Martinez slashed .273/.344/.545 this spring.

Yadier Molina, who will start his fourteenth season today as the St. Louis Cardinals catcher, will bat sixth. Molina’s play this spring sent prospect Carson Kelly packing for the minors with his .294/.339/.569 numbers.

2017 surprise star, Paul DeJong, will follow Molina in the seventh spot and provide some impressive pop at the bottom of the lineup. DeJong- who received an extension for the St. Louis Cardinals just weeks ago- will return to his impressive defensive spot of short stop. In Spring, DeJong slashed .234/.302/.574.

Kolten Wong will play second base today and will bat eighth. We at Redbird Rants are predicting that Wong will have a breakout year in 2018 so mark you books now. Wong batted .205/.327/.273 this spring.

All of the St. Louis Cardinals position players will be in support of today’s Opening Day starter, Carlos Martinez. Look for All-Star material out of Martinez this season.

The Cardinals and Mets will face each other this afternoon with coverage on Fox Sports-Midwest.

Next: Bold Cardinals predictions

I’m excited. Can you tell? Are you? Hit me up on Twitter and let me know your thoughts and go Cardinals!!!