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Today's Matchup: Brewers (Greinke) vs. Cardinals (Wainwright)

If I have a picture of Miss America at my disposal, I'm going to use it.
If I have a picture of Miss America at my disposal, I'm going to use it.

On opening day, we had Yovani Gallardo against Jaime Garcia. Today, we'll see the Brewers and Cardinals two best healthy pitchers, in my opinion.

Zack Greinke (0-0, 0.00) is a sabermetric darling. His FIP and xFIP were absolutely extraordinary last season as his strikeout numbers were through the roof and he offered little salvation to batters in the form of walks. His biggest problem was the untimely home run as Greinke seemed to give up the long ball more than his 1.00 HR/9 would indicate. And despite just a 2.36 BB/9, he had a 1.20 WHIP, showing that hitters were "hitting the ball where they ain't."

Still, with a better defense behind him and his BABIP likely to come down from the .318 he posted last season, Greinke could be poised for a big season. He has been a popular pick to win the National League Cy Young Award, and as a potential free agent following 2012 could add an extra digit to his upcoming contract with a great season.

Greinke hasn't had the best results against the six St. Louis players who have faced him at least 10 times.

Player PA Line
Matt Holliday 19 .444/.474/.778
Yadier Molina 18 .375/.389/.500
John Jay 16 .200/.250/.200
Lance Berkman 15 .400/.400/.667
Rafael Furcal 15 .333/.333/.667
David Freese 12 .333/.500/.667

Adam Wainwright (0-0, 0.00) is making his first start since September 24, 2010. After that, Wainwright went through Tommy John surgery and missed all of 2011. Wainwright had become one of the very best pitchers in baseball at that point and, in 2010, posted a 2.42 ERA and a 2.86 FIP while finishing 2nd in the Cy Young race. That followed a 2009 where he had a 2.63 ERA and a 3.11 FIP and finished 3rd in Cy Young voting. Wainwright was very, very good and he probably still will be after the surgery. For what it's worth (very little), Wainwright did have a 1.45 ERA and 0.91 WHIP this spring. Still, there should still be some rust and I don't think it can be expected that Wainwright will pitch very deep into his first few games.

Six Brewers have faced Wainwright at least 10 times in their career, with mixed results.

Player PA Line
Aramis Ramirez 46 .381/.435/.643
Ryan Braun 44 .195/.250/.366
Corey Hart 41 .244/.244/.439
Rickie Weeks 31 .185/.290/.296
Nyjer Morgan 12 .583/.583/.667
Alex Gonzalez 10 .100/.100/.100

The Brewers lineup is as follows:

Weeks 4
Morgan 8
Braun 7
Ramirez 5
Hart 9
Gamel 3
Gonzalez 6
Lucroy 2
Greinke 1

In the Bullpen:

Tim Dillard pitched 2 innings (33 pitches) yesterday.
Manny Parra pitched 2 innings (47 pitches) yesterday
Marco Estrada pitched 1.1 innings (13 pitches) yesterday.
John Axford has yet to pitch this season
Francisco Rodriguez has yet to pitch this season
Jose Veras has yet to pitch this season
Kameron Loe has yet to pitch this season