Cardinals at Dodgers series preview: Everything you need to know for Opening Day

The St. Louis Cardinals face a tough opponent in Shohei Ohtani's Los Angeles Dodgers to open the 2024 season. Here's what to expect.

2024 Seoul Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres
2024 Seoul Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres / Gene Wang/GettyImages
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Game 2: Zack Thompson vs Bobby Miller

Again, with an offseason that was supposed to be headlined by three starting pitching acquisitions, fans should be shocked that the Cardinals will start Zack Thompson in the second game of the season. Are the Cardinals really running out the same rotation again? And against the Dodgers? Credit to Thompson, however, as he's earned this starting role. He was the lone bright spot in the Cardinals' rotation in the second half of 2023, and his solid Spring earned him the spot considering Sonny Gray's injury.

While he won't eat as many innings as the rest of the rotation, Thompson's youth and high upside make him probably the most intriguing starter, minus Gray. He recorded a 2.81 ERA this Spring, and with more consistent playing time in the rotation, rather than bouncing back and forth between the bullpen, Thompson might have a chance to fully blossom into the starter St. Louis thought he'd be when they selected him in the first round of the 2019 Draft.

Conversely, the Dodgers will start a future star in Bobby Miller. Once a top pitching prospect in the Dodgers' system, Miller had a solid 2023 season, recording a 3.76 ERA in 22 games started. He's certainly not as scary as Glasnow, but Miller could break out further in 2024, cementing him as the next homegrown ace for LA, heir apparent to Clayton Kershaw. His ceiling is as high as it gets for pitching talent, and he could quickly shut down the Cardinals' lineup.

Both young starters will have a challenging task keeping the other team's lineup at bay during game 2, and we could see a slugfest if the veteran talent on both teams erupts after a quiet game 1.