The St. Louis Cardinals will host the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first game of a three game series at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals are a -125 favorite with the Diamondbacks as a +115 underdog. The run line has the Diamondbacks set at -190 with the Cardinals at +160 and the over-under is 8 at -110/-110 respectively.
Arizona off to Quick Start
Robbie Ray will take the mound against the perennial contender Cardinals after the Colorado Rockies got to him for 6 runs in his last outing. Ray got the win behind the Diamondbacks stout offense but did not look to be in mid-season form as he struggled with command throughout the five innings he pitched.
A bounce back game is not out of the question considering Ray was one of the top pitchers in baseball last year with a 2.89 era and 218 strikeouts. It is also noteworthy that he achieved this while pitching in the desert air of Chase field, one of the league’s most hitter friendly parks last year.
The Diamondbacks lineup is headlined by the super talented Paul Goldschmidt, who terrorized MLB pitching last year with 36 homeruns, 120 RBIs, 18 steals, and a .297 batting average. He is definitely the most potent power/speed threat at first base in all of MLB and is perennially one of the top hitters overall as well.
Goldschmidt is protected in the lineup by AJ Pollock, another power speed threat, who would probably be considered one of the best hitters in baseball if he could shake the injury bug. The Diamondbacks are a young and talented team that boasts power and speed throughout their entire lineup.
Cardinals Counter with Wainwright
These young upstarts will be facing veteran pitcher Adam Wainwright. Wainwright is no longer the 20 win, sub-3 ERA pitcher he was a few years ago but the crafty veteran always finds a way to surprise in a handful of starts between injuries he endlessly battles in the twilight of his career.
He will have an excellent chance to prove he still has it with the hard hitting Diamondbacks in town. Supporting him will be an improved lineup from last season with the acquisition of outfield slugger Marcell Ozuna.
Ozuna broke out in a big way in 2017 to the tune of 37 homeruns, 124 RBIs, and a .312 batting average. The Cardinals have sneakily built a very solid lineup in a division where the Cubs and the Brewers stole much of the limelight with off season acquisitions. If players like Jose Martinez, Paul deJong, and Tony Pham live up to their potential in 2018, the Cardinals could unsurprisingly surprise everyone in the NL central.
The Cardinals are always a bad team to bet against but this gam ehas the feel of the beginning of the farewell to Adam Wainwright. He may go out there and show off his Cy Young worthy stuff but a short outing from the aging star seems more likely.
Arizona Wins on the Road
Robbie Ray has the stuff to become a star like Wainwright but is a young player on the rise who needs to prove that last season was not an outlier and he can be counted on down the stretch. We like the Diamondbacks 6-4 over the Cardinals. Take the underdog!
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