In the second of a three-game bid, the Toronto Blue Jays (1-0) will visit the reigning NL Central champion St. Louis Cardinals (0-1) Saturday at Busch Stadium. With first pitch scheduled for 2:15 p.m. ET, the projected starters are right-handed hurlers Kevin Gausman and Jack Flaherty.
On Opening Day, the Jays came from behind late in an instant classic, winning 10-9 in St. Louis. For game two on Saturday, DraftKings Sportsbook has the Blue Jays as -125 road favorites, leaving St. Louis as a short-dog (+105) on the moneyline. The total is set at 7.5 runs (O -120/U +100).
Blue Jays-Cardinals picks: Saturday, April 1
OUT: LHP Hyun Jin Ryu, RHP Chad Green, RHP Mitch White
OUT: RHP Adam Wainwright, RHP Wilking Rodriguez, RHP Giovanny Gallegos (day-to-day), SS Jose Fermin (day-to-day), C Wilson Contreras (day-to-day)
RHP Kevin Gausman has over 10 years of experience in the Bigs and pitched to a 10-8 record with a 3.35 ERA in 2022. A finesse pitcher, Gausman possesses a devastating splitter than often has hitters looking foolish. He faced the Cards twice in 2022, splitting that as well with a win and loss, giving up five combined ER.
Now in his seventh season at the Major League level (all with St. Louis), RHP Jack Flaherty has had the luxury of being groomed by one of the top developmental organizations in baseball. For 2022, Flaherty was limited by strains in his oblique and throwing shoulder, pitching to a 2-1 (4.25 ERA) record in only eight starts; He’ll be looking to start 2023 on a high note.
Glancing at both of the lineups at hand here and remembering their Opening Day offensive explosion, I would feel like a fool playing anything except the over. With the total set at 7.5 runs, the over is naturally juiced to -120 in this contest. Still, with names like Nolan Arenado, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Paul Goldschmidt, George Springer, Matt Chapman and Brendan Donovan (among others) in this series, I don’t mind spending a little extra on more runs.
Pick: Over 7.5
This game really could be a Pick ‘em, especially when you consider that the Cards are playing in St. Louis fresh off Clydesdale Day. Both pitchers and lineups are excellent in this one, as this series has the potential to be the most thrilling of the commencing weekend. Keeping in mind the Cardinals’ dominance at Busch Stadium in 2022 (53-28 home record) along with their underdog price on Saturday, and I am confident that they bounce back in game two versus the Jays.
Pick: Cardinals +105