Cardinals: What to expect from Opening Day in Cincinnati
By Matt Graves
The St. Louis Cardinals kick off their season in under 30 hours. What should fans expect out of Opening Day in Cincinnati?
As usual, the St. Louis Cardinals are starting their season on the road. This year, they take a trip to Cincinnati to play the Reds on Opening Weekend.
At the time of writing, first pitch is fewer than 30 hours away and fans will soon see Nolan Arenado on the field in Cardinal Red in a game that matters for the first time.
After the odd 2021 season, a return to a 162 game schedule is a welcome sight, but things won’t be perfectly normal at season’s beginning.
Rather than a fully packed stadium like usual on Opening Day, Great American Ballpark will be at just 30% capacity on Thursday when the teams take the field.
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Per the Springfield News-Sun, all 12,695 tickets for available seats have been sold. Changing back from cardboard cutouts to real fans that are able to attend is going to be such a nice change. Cardinals fans got some of that from the limited crowds at Roger Dean Stadium during spring training, but it isn’t the same as what everyone is used to.
St. Louis Cardinals ace Jack Flaherty will take the mound against Luis Castillo at 3:10 CT on Thursday and for the first time ever, the game will be shown on Bally Sports Midwest. At the time of writing, the high for Thursday is just 39 degrees, but the chance for rain is low.
Behind Flaherty, the Cardinals are expected to roll out a lineup of Tommy Edman, Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Paul DeJong, Tyler O’Neill, Yadier Molina, Dylan Carlson, and Justin Williams. This is the lineup fans have seen the last bit of spring which tips manager Mike Shildt’s hand pretty well.
2021 will be a hotly contested season in the NL Central with every team but the Pirates capable of winning the division. By the end of the day Sunday, fans will know if the team has started off on the right foot or not.