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Cardinals v Yankees Game Thread: 3/31/2016

Mike Leake pitches for the Cardinals with the game on MLB Network and at noon.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

This is it. The final Cardinals game of the year that does not count in the standings begins at noon. Mike Leake starts for the Cardinals, setting him up to start the third game of the season next Wednesday. Due to the policy of having an off day after home openers to have a built in rain-out make-up date as well as as an off-day next Thursday while traveling from PIttsburgh to Atlanta, the Cardinals have three off days before they even play their eighth game of the season. While this would present the opportunity to skip the fifth starter until April 17 against the Reds. This would be incredibly foolish given the Carlos Martinez is currently lined up to take the fifth start of the season, and he might be the best starter on the team. The Cardinals have opted to be smart and not skip any starters, which should provide both the bullpen and rotation good rest in the the early going.

It is difficult to know whether today's lineup is a preview for Opening Day, but Wong in the two-spot does not seem entirely likely, especially with a left-hander on the mound Opening Day. That spot is more likely to go to Stephen Piscotty, who is hitting 6th today.

Enjoy the Game!