Opening Day is finally upon us, after the treacherous winter weather, baseball is back. The New York Mets open up at Citi Field against the St. Louis Cardinals in a three game series to start the season. The St. Louis Cardinals come into town with the newly acquired Marcell Ozuna to go along with their core of Carlos Martinez and Yadier Molina.
Projected Starting Pitchers
(3/29, 1:10 PM) Carlos Martinez (0-0 -.–) vs. Noah Syndergaard (0-0 -.–)
(3/31, 1:10 PM) Michael Wacha (0-0, -.–) vs. Jacob deGrom (0-0 -.–)
(4/1, 1:10 PM) Luke Weaver (0-0, -.–) vs Steven Matz (0-0 -.–)
The New York Mets bring in a very talented team that has a very good mix of knowledgeable veterans and hungry young players. From Amed Rosario to Adrian Gonzalez, the focus for the Mets is simple, win the World Series. The team did not have a winning record in Spring Training but that does not translate to the regular season their confidence is high going into Opening Day.
The Cardinals also bring in a team similar to the Mets and the acquisition of Marcell Ozuna has put them in a position to compete with the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers in the strong National League Central. Their ace Carlos Martinez and young upstart outfielder, Tommy Pham, are just a couple of talented players this team possesses.
Both teams bring very talented pitchers to the table in these first three games of the year. It would be no surprise if all three of these games ended with a 3-2 score. Mets manager Mickey Callaway is pulling a page out of old Cardinals manager, Tony La Russa’s book. Callaway is opting to bat Syndergaard eighth and Rosario ninth to put two leadoff men in front Yoenis Cespedes.
Kevin Plawecki is also getting behind home plate over Travis d’Arnaud. This is not unfamiliar to have d’Arnaud on the bench. The same situation occurred last year with Rene Rivera getting the opening day nod. Syndergaard is not comfortable with throwing to d’Arnaud and Callaway feels Martinez is a good matchup for Plawecki.
Matchups to Look For
Jay Bruce has struggled against Martinez and Wacha going 5-47 (.106) in his career against the Cardinals two starters. Jacob deGrom has been terrific over his career during day games. He is 17-8 with a 1.99 ERA during the day.
Marcell Ozuna is no stranger to Citi Field and has shown he love to hit there. Ozuna has hit .310 with 17 RBIs in his career at Citi Field. Mets fans know way too well that Yadier Molina has torched over his career putting a .321 average up in 77 games against the Mets.
The Mets are 35-21 on Opening Day but oddly enough they are 1-3 in March Opening Days. The last time they won a March Opening Day was back in 1998, which was a 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Yadier Molina will make his 14th consecutive Opening Day start, which is the longest streak by any active player with one team. He will tie former New York Yankee catcher Bill Dickey and put himself one behind Ray Schalk for the most all-time.