The St. Louis Cardinals have three games in the books coming off winning two of three against the Pittsburgh Pirates. A surprise off-day due to inclement weather has given them an extra day of rest and a chance to skip their fifth starter, Jordan Hicks. It appears they have elected to do just that handing the ball to Dakota Hudson on Tuesday evening and Adam Wainwright on Wednesday afternoon. The Royals are going with left-hander Daniel Lynch and someone named Zack Greinke on Wednesday.
Lynch is just in his second season in the big leagues. He only pitched 68 innings in 2021 for 15 total starts and a 5.69 ERA. He looks to be a fastball, slider pitcher and will sprinkle in a changeup and sinker against righties. He threw only 33 curveballs to batters in 2021 and all of them were to right-handed hitters. The Cardinals powerful right-handed bats could have a big day against the 25-year-old.
The Zack Greinke versus Adam Wainwright matchup on Wednesday will hopefully be a fun one. Greinke is coming off an 84-pitch 5 2⁄3 inning start on Opening Day where he gave up one run while walking one and striking out one. Greinke is known to be one of the best for a reason. He walks very few batters and typically strikes out a lot. He does this by pounding the strike zone with his four-seamer and then painting the bottom corners with his changeup, curveball, and slider. If he is behind in the count he might try to sneak a curveball in for a strike. When he is ahead, he rarely misses over the plate.
As an offense the Royals were near the bottom of the league in 2021 and have done little to really improve on that. They were led by Salvador Perez with a 127 wRC+. The biggest change is the addition of 22-year-old rookie third baseman Bobby Witt Jr.. In AA and AAA in 2021 Witt hit a combined 33 homers and stole 31 bases. He also walked about 9% and struck out around 23% of the time. Listed at 6-1, 200 lbs. he looks to have a combination of size, power, and speed that make for a very interesting young player.
The defense is really the shining star for the Royals. Left fielder Andrew Benintendi and center fielder Michael A. Taylor both took home Gold Gloves in 2021. Nicky Lopez was one of the best defensive shortstops in the American League and Whit Merrifield was solid at second base.
The Cardinals offense is coming off a series where they hit very well — a team 151 wRC+ in their series against the Bucs. Nolan Arenado has started this season off hot going 6-12 with three doubles and two home runs. Paul Goldschmidt has walked five times in 13 plate appearances. Tommy Edman, Tyler O’Neil, and Paul DeJong each have hit one home run. Let’s see if they can continue their hot streak against the young lefty, Lynch, and the esteemed veteran Greinke.
Tuesday, April 12, 6:45 pm CT: Daniel Lynch (LHP) vs. Dakota Hudson
Wednesday, April 13, 12:15 pm CT: Zack Greinke vs. Adam Wainwright