For the second straight season, barring something unforeseen in the Matrix, Carlos Martinez will once again be the Opening Day starter for the St. Louis Cardinals, this year on March 29 against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Though most had probably assumed this would be the case for the Birdos, manager Mike Matheny essentially confirmed the decision to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
“He better to be assuming,” Matheny said. “I’d imagine it would be Carlos.”
Since becoming a full time starter for the Cardinals, Martinez has consistently been among the team’s top pitchers, coming in second in fWAR behind John Lackey in 2015, and leading the staff in 2016 and 2017. These performances have catapulted him to the top of the Cardinals rotation and thereby earned him the honor of starting the first game of the season.
Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals longtime ace and fearless leader of the pitching staff, is slated to start the Cardinals’ Home Opener. Wainwright had started four consecutive Opening Days and five total.
In other news, Opening Day of 2018 would be the fourteenth consecutive Opening Day start for the Cardinals backstop, Yadier Molina. This would tie him with Lou Brock for the team lead in Opening Day starts, and put Molina in the lead for most consecutive Opening Day starts.
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