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Series Preview: Pirates at Cardinals

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MLB: Exhibition-Pittsburgh Pirates at Cleveland Indians
It’s on!
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

tenor.com

For the first time since September twenty-ninth, 2019, the Pirates will be playing baseball that counts for something. And that ... counts for something. There will be plenty of time to complain about analyze things, but for now let’s embrace optimism on this, the Pirates’ 2020 Opening Day.

As has been their habit the past few years, the Bucs start their season on the road, this time in St. Louis against the Cardinals. The Pirates struggled last year against St. Louis, only taking five out of seventeen games. The Cardinals’ lineup is almost identical to 2019, with a good crew of young players, including breakout rookies Tommy Edman and Jack Flaherty.

Flaherty, who will be the Cardinals’ starter tonight, is coming off an impressive second half of 2019, where he compiled a ridiculous 0.91 ERA. Against the Pirates last year, he went 1-0 with an even more ridiculous 0.80 ERA, fanning eighteen and walking four. Veteran Adam Wainwright will pitch for the Redbirds on Saturday afternoon, while Dakota Hudson will take the mound for the series finale on Sunday.

As for the Bucs, Joe Musgrove gets the ball tonight, his first-ever Opening Day start. Admittedly, his record against the Cardinals last year was borderline abysmal, going 0-4 with a 10.00 (no typo) ERA in four starts. As others have suggested, with his strong performance in last Saturday’s exhibition against the Indians, tonight’s game should hopefully showcase the progress he seems to have made working with new Pirates pitching coach Oscar Marin. Trevor Williams will start tomorrow afternoon, and it’s been announced that Mitch Keller will be Sunday’s starter.

Per MLB.com, here are the projected lineups for the series:

Cardinals:

Kolten Wong, 2B

Tommy Edman, 3B

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B

Paul DeJong, SS

Matt Carpenter, DH

Yadier Molina, C

Dexter Fowler, RF

Tyler O’Neill, LF

Harrison Bader, CF

Pirates:

Kevin Newman, SS

Bryan Reynolds, LF

Adam Frazier, 2B

Josh Bell, 1B

Colin Moran, 3B

José Osuna, DH

Guillermo Heredia, RF

Jacob Stallings, C

Jarrod Dyson, CF

As we did last year, Bucs Dugout will have a game thread with updated lineups for every game. I will be starting the game thread on Sunday and plan to hang out with yinz for the game. Also, if you’re not already doing so, follow BD on Twitter for news and occasional live Tweeting of games.

Let’s play ball.