Dodgers' lineup will prove challenging for the Cardinals' pitchers

The Dodgers opener in Korea gives Cardinals fans a scary outlook for the opening series in LA.

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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As most of Major League Baseball is still playing Spring Training exhibition games, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres opened the regular season early Wednesday morning in Seoul. The Cardinals will have a tough task ahead of them when they open their regular season in LA, as the Dodgers' "super team" looks as advertised to start the season.

The duel between Tyler Glasnow and Yu Darvish didn't last very long, but both starters were effective, and neither team allowed an extra-base hit. However, the potent Dodgers' lineup looked very dangerous despite the lack of power. Every Dodgers hitter was putting together quality at-bats and battling despite the tough Padres opposition. They raised Darvish's pitch count to nearly 75 after less than just 4 innings, prompting new manager Mike Shildt to use his bullpen prematurely despite a strong outing from his starter.

The Dodgers struggled early in the game with runners in scoring position, but the Padres afforded them just one too many chances to pull ahead after an unfortunate equipment mishap by first baseman Jake Cronenworth. And then, the floodgates opened. Back-to-back singles by Mookie Betts and Shohei Ohtani allowed the Dodgers to pull further ahead, ultimately winning the game 5-2 despite trailing to open the 8th inning.

For Cardinals fans looking ahead to Opening Day next week, there are a few important takeaways. First, the Dodgers are beatable. Despite all the money they spent this offseason, it looked like they would drop the season opener in disappointing fashion. However, even on an off day with no extra-base hits, they will battle and eat away at the pitch count.

However, once the lineup starts firing on all cylinders, it may be tough to beat. The Dodgers' power deficit in the first game may be due to Korea's low run-scoring environment, the large outfield at the Gocheok Sky Dome, and the stadium's proximity to sea level. We'll see for sure just how good this lineup is come next week, but for now, I'm excited, albeit nervous, for the Cardinals' opener next Thursday.

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