Miami Marlins closing pitcher Louis Head delivers a pitch during the ninth inning of an MLB baseball game on Sunday, April 17, 2022, in Miami, Fla. (AP Photo/Mary Holt)

Marlins start series with Cardinals

Just under two weeks into the season, the Miami Marlins (4-5) prepare to host their NL rival the St. Louis Cardinals (5-3) in a three-game series. The Cardinals went 6-0 against the Marlins last season.

The Marlins dropped their opening series to the Giants 2-1 and have gone 3-3 since. The Cardinals took their opening series versus the Pirates 2-1 and have gone 3-2 since.

On the Mound

Tuesday, lefty Jesus Luzardo is expected to make his second start of the season for the Marlins. In his first start this season, he went five innings giving up two hits and striking out twelve batters in a 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. Last season, Luzardo finished with a 6.61 ERA, 1.62 WHIP and 22.0% strikeout rate in 95.1 IP.

For the Cardinals, Adam Wainwright is expected to make his third start of the season Tuesday. He has an ERA of 3.48 and is 1-1 on the season pitching a combined 10.1 innings. Last season Wainwright finished with a 3.05 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 21.0% strikeout rate in 206.1 IP.

Wednesday RHP Sandy Alcantara (3.18 ERA) is expected to make the start for the Marlins while St. Louis still has yet to announce a starter.

Thursday RHP Pablo Lopez (0.87 ERA) is expected to make the start for the Marlins while St. Louis has yet to announce a starter.

What to Look Out For

Tuesday will be Albert Pujols last start against the Marlins at home. At the age of 42 and in his 22nd season in the MLB, Pujols announced he will be retiring after the 2022 season. He returned to the Cardinals this season where his historic career began. With the new universal designated hitter rule, Pujols has assumed a platoon role against left-handed pitchers. Because Luzardo is making the start Tuesday, Pujols will likely be placed in the DH slot. However, this will be a challenge for Pujols if Luzardo comes out as strong as he did in his first start this season.

Wednesday Alcantara will make the start against the Cardinals, who he dominated against in two starts last season, giving up just two earned runs and striking out 17 batters in 14.1 innings. He will look to replicate the strong performances he had against the Cardinals last season and in the Marlins’ home opener last week.

Thursday the key matchup to watch will be Lopez and Nolan Arenado. Lopez had been strong in his two starts this season allowing just one run on seven hits and striking out eight batters. For the Cardinals, Arenado has been hot hitting .433 with four home runs and more walks (five) than strikeouts (four). He has also been responsible for driving in more than a quarter of the team’s runs.

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