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
3 of 5

Game 3: Lance Lynn vs Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Lance Lynn will start game 3 of the series against his former team as he hopes to rebound from a hopelessly dreadful 2023. By far the worst year of his career, Lance Lynn finished his LA career by allowing an MLB record four home runs in a single inning to the Arizona Diamondbacks as the Dodgers were unceremoniously swept out of the NLDS despite a 100-win season.

Lynn struggled immensely with the long ball in 2023, and his return to Dodger Stadium should not be a confidence booster for Cardinal fans. After finding himself at the wrong end of many home run highlight reels in 2023, Lynn could be immortalized in infamy once again should he groove a breaking pitch to Shohei Ohtani for the first home run of the two-way star's Dodger career. The Dodgers' heavy-hitting lefties will be waiting.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto, however, did not give Dodgers fans any reasons for confidence in game 2 of the Seoul Series. I've already broken down Yamamoto's struggles in a separate article, but the Cardinals need to pile on while the young Japanese ace adjusts to Major League hitting for the first time in his career. If Yamamoto struggled with the pressure in Seoul, he might find it similarly nerve-racking to start in front of the Dodger faithful in LA.

I have no doubt Yamamoto will figure out MLB hitters soon and become one of the top pitchers in the entire league. He's just too talented a baseball player for the skills not to translate. However, the Cardinals have a golden opportunity to pounce on him early and secure a much-needed win on the road at Dodger Stadium. If Yamamoto's poor start in Korea was a minor hiccup, though, the Cardinals might be in big trouble against one of the most talented pitchers in the world.