The St. Louis Cardinals open 2013 at Busch Stadium this afternoon against the division rival Cincinnati Reds. Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia will look to stay perfect against the Reds at home as he takes on righty Mat Latos.
Garcia is the best guy to have on the mound for St. Louis to open the season at Busch — his career ERA at home is 2.48 with a 1.18 WHIP. He’s also the best pitcher in the rotation against the Reds. In 11 starts against Cincinnati, Garcia has only lost twice — both at Great America Ballpark — in 2011 and last season, and has one no-decision.
In home games against the Reds, he is a perfect 6-0 and has never gone less than six innings pitched. Additionally, he’s never allowed more than two earned runs pitching against Cincinnati at home.
Garcia has had two bad apperances in his career versus the Reds, both on the road. One was his rookie year in August of 2008 when he pitched 0.2 innings giving up three runs on three hits and one home run. The other was his worst ever against the Reds, as Garcia gave 11 hits and three earned runs over 4.1 innings.
As for Lato, with both Cincinnati and the San Diego Padres, he has a 1-3 record at Busch. He pitched there twice in 2012 which resulted in split, once in April in which he gave up a disastrous eight earned runs in the loss, and in October where he was victorious giving up one run in five innings.
For his career, he is 1-4 with one no decision, and he was also beat up badly at home by the Cardinals last season.
Latos’s history doesn’t bode well for the outcome of this afternoon’s game, yet the law of averages indicates that at some point, the Reds will have to beat Garcia at Busch. Given the atmosphere of opening day in St. Louis, coupled with Garcia’s history and the way the offense is hitting, the Cardinals are favored for win today.