After a series win at Miller Park against the Brewers, the Cardinals will play at Busch Stadium for the first time in 2018 as they host the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks are 5-1 to open the 2018 season and are fresh off a sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The three-game series will begin Thursday evening.
Thursday is Opening Day in St. Louis, and the Cardinals activated Adam Wainwright off the disabled list (hamstring strain) to make the 6:15 PM Central time start. In three starts during the spring exhibition season, Wainwright allowed just one earned run over 10 2⁄3 innings with 10 strikeouts. Arizona slugger Paul Goldschmidt has three extra-base hits - including two homers - in his career against Wainwright.
The Diamondbacks will counter with Robbie Ray on Thursday. Ray surrendered six earned runs in his first start of the season against the Rockies but, nonetheless, ended up with the win. In his career against the Cardinals, Ray has had some struggles. Dexter Fowler is 5-for-8 against the lefty with a double and a home run, and Yadier Molina is 1-for-4 with a double, two walks, and a run batted in.
After a day off on Friday, the middle game of the series on Saturday will feature Michael Wacha for the Cardinals at 1:15 PM. Wacha logged 19 innings in five Grapefruit League starts, walking just three batters. A.J. Pollock has flustered Wacha in the past, going 3-for-7 with a double, a homer, three walks, and three RBIs.
Zack Greinke will toe the rubber for the Diamondbacks on Saturday. Greinke limited the Rockies to one run in 5 2⁄3 innings and whiffed nine batters in his start on 3/31. Marcell Ozuna has smacked three home runs off Greinke in his career, batting .364 (4-for-11) overall.
Sunday’s finale will be started by Luke Weaver for St. Louis at 1:15 PM. Weaver was solid against the Mets on 4/1, allowing just one run through five frames. The Diamondbacks’ lineup has not seen much of Weaver, as he has only one start against Arizona in his young career.
Taijuan Walker will take the ball for the Diamondbacks in the final contest. Walker started Monday’s marathon game with the Dodgers, charting the first five frames in what was ultimately a 15-inning affair. Jose Martinez hit a home run off Walker last year, and Molina is 3-for-7 off the former Mariner.
- For Wainwright to join the active roster, the Cardinals optioned Jack Flaherty to Memphis.