If Game 1 of this rivalry was any indication of what this series will be like in 2017, it should be a fascinating time for those betting baseball. There were clear differences in the Cardinals approach.
Borrowing a page from the Cubs playbook, St. Louis was more patient at the plate and worked the counts, exactly like Joe Maddon’s team has the past two years. However, the beauty of baseball brings us two completely different starting pitchers, which not only changes the MLB odds, but a completely different way to look at the game itself.
It is not Chicago was not confident about their season opener near the Arch, but Jake Arrieta brings results to Busch Stadium that could help their cause. The right-hander was 18-8 with a 3.10 ERA after winning the Cy Young in 2015 and picked up a pair of World Series victories. Arrieta pounds the strike zone to keep the pressure on the hitters and against the Cardinals is 7-2 with a 1.85 ERA in 13 career regular season starts. Last season, hitter’s batted just .194 against the righty, which was a MLB-low.
At 35, Adam Wainwright no longer has the same velocity or snap on breaking pitches and posted a career-worst 4.62 ERA last year. This does not mean Wainwright is washed up, since from May 18-July 21 last season he posted a 2.58 ERA over a dozen starts. Against Chicago, the 6’7 right-hander is 13-8 (Cards 20-11), but he was knocked around in his last trio of starts against the Cubs with a 7.98 ERA.