Forget about MLB opening day last week in Japan, that was no stinkin’ opening day, it was two spring training games overseas that counted in the standings. This is opening day. St. Louis Cardinals against the new look Miami Marlins in their new crib with their new digs, new team name, new manager and new lineup.
For the Marlins, those who will be wearing the team’s new rainbow logo will include shortstop Jose Reyes, the reigning NL batting champ, starters Mark Buehrle and Carlos Zambrano, and All-Star closer Heath Bell. Hanley Ramirez, who will shift to third base after missing the final two months of last season with a left shoulder injury and young slugger formerly known as Mike Stanton is now known as Giancarlo Stanton.
The reigning World Series Champion Cardinals are vastly different too. Most notably missing, for the first time in 16 years, is their skipper Tony La Russa. And if that’s not different enough for you, the best hitter in baseball Albert Pujols is no longer with the Red Birds either.
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Inside the Numbers
- This will be the first time the Cardinals and Marlins have met on opening day.
- The Cardinals have lost four of their previous five opening day games, and since 1892 the Cardinals are 63-57 on opening day.
- Matt Holliday’s .383 average during Grapefruit League play was the highest for any National League hitter in Florida. Holliday’s .676 slugging percentage off Marlins pitching in his career is the highest of any hitter, and his .368 lifetime average against the Marlins is the third highest for an opponent in their history.
- Back in 2006, the Marlins had a payroll of $15 million. Tonight, they open the season with a payroll that includes a fourth starter, Carlos Zambrano, who will make $16 million. (Noted – his salary is mostly paid by the Chicago Cubs.)
- The average resale for the Marlins game against St. Louis is $229.78, topping even the New York Yankees’ Opening Day price, according to the ticket search engine SeatGeek.com.
- The Marlins will meet this afternoon to determine if the roof will be open or closed at their new ballpark. Two indicators for an open roof, according to team president David Samson, is a temp of 80 degrees or less and less than 60 percent humidity.
RH Kyle Lohse (14-8, 3.39 ERA – ‘11) vs. RH Josh Johnson (3-1, 1.64 ERA – ‘11)
Game Time: 7:05 p.m. ET – ESPN