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Series Preview 4/5-8: Padres vs. Cardinals

The Cardinals are in St. Louis, and baseball is back at Busch Stadium! Happy Friday!

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers
Flaherty will start the home opener on Friday afternoon.
Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

After rain postponed the start of this series back a day, the Cardinals are in St. Louis for a weekend series with the Padres. And today is Opening Day!

The Cardinals won both games in Pittsburgh this week and enter the weekend with a 3-3 record. The Padres took three from the Giants in their first series of the season and won the series finale against the Diamondbacks; they are 4-3 at the start of play on Friday.

Prior to the series opener, the Cardinals activated infielder Jedd Gyorko off the injured list and optioned infielder Drew Robinson to Triple-A Memphis. Gyorko hit two home runs against the Padres last season. In other injury news, left-hander Brett Cecil had surgery on his left wrist; there isn't a timetable for his return at this time.

On Friday, the Cardinals will send Jack Flaherty to the mound for his second start of the year and his first Opening Day nod at Busch Stadium. This game will start at 3:15 PM Central time. Flaherty was roughed up for four earned runs in his start against the Brewers on 3/29 in Milwaukee. The 23-year-old Flaherty earned today’s start after an impressive rookie season last year, when he started 28 games for the Cardinals and led the staff with a 10.85 K/9.

The Padres will counter with Nick Margevicius. Margevicius is a 22-year-old left-hander who made his MLB debut on 3/30 and limited the Giants to one earned run over five innings. Margevicius was an All-Star last year in the Midwest League for the Fort Wayne TinCaps.

Saturday’s matchup features Michael Wacha and Chris Paddack at 1:15 PM. Wacha worked six innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts against the Brewers in his first start of the season. Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer is 4-for-17 (.235) in his career against Wacha.

Paddack is 23 years old, and, like his teammate Margevicius, made his Major League debut in the first series of the 2019 season. Paddack was the piece the Padres got back in the June 2016 trade with the Marlins that sent Fernando Rodney to Miami. Paddack was named an Organization All-Star and is the fifth-rated prospect in San Diego’s system.

The finale of this three-game series is set for Sunday, with another 1:15 PM start. Adam Wainwright will start for the Cardinals. At a chilly PNC Park on Monday, Wainwright allowed four runs and walked four batters in four innings of work against the Pirates.

Matt Strahm will start for San Diego. Strahm is 27 years old and was drafted by the Royals back in 2012. This is Strahm’s second year with the Padres and his first as a starter. The left-handed Strahm appeared in 41 games (just five starts) for the Padres last season and limited batters to a .178 batting average with 69 punchouts in 61 13 frames.

So, to recap:

Friday, 4/5, 3:15 | Flaherty v Margevicius | FSMW, MLB Network, KMOX, CRN, WJIR

Saturday, 4/6, 1:15 | Wacha v Paddack | FSMW, KMOX, CRN, WJIR

Sunday, 4/7, 1:15 | Wainwright v Strahm | FSMW, KMOX, CRN, WJIR

Notes around the league:

  • Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw likely has one more rehab start before making his 2019 debut. Kershaw experienced shoulder discomfort early in the spring.
  • Stephen Piscotty drove in five runs on Thursday in the Athletics’ 7-3 win over the Red Sox.