The Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals have become bitter rivals. Tony LaRussa has a tendency to do that to teams.
Now that LaRussa has retired and Albert Pujols will be doing his damage in the American League, where does that leave the Brewers and Cardinals?
The Brewers open their season against the Cardinals at Miller Park this afternoon (3:10 first pitch). But just how hated are the Cardinals without the likes of LaRussa hanging around. The new Cardinals manager is Mike Matheny. Matheny spent some time in a Brewers uniform as a player.
AUDIO: Ron Roenicke on the dynamics of the rivalry with the changing of personel :14
Of course, not lost in the all of this is the fact that it’s the Cardinals who ended the Brewers’ World Series hopes last fall, winning the NLCS in 6-games.
The Brewers are the defending division champs and manager Ron Roenicke is confident they’ll be competing for another title this season.
AUDIO: Ron Roenicke said familiarity with his team gives him confidence :12
The Brewers are also missing Prince Fielder and there are those that think Ryan Braun will struggle without Fielder protecting him in the batting order. Manager Ron Roenicke thinks that’s ridiculous and feels Aramis Ramirez will provide plenty of protection.
AUDIO: Ron Roenicke doesn’t believe Braun will struggle without Prince Fielder :07
Yovani Gallardo (17-10, 3.52 ERA) gets the ball for the opener for the Brewers this afternoon. Lefty Jaime Garcia (13-7, 3.56 ERA) gets the call for the Cardinals, who have already captured their season opener at Miami this week, 4-1.
This is the lineup that Ron Roenicke is expected to go with today:
Rickie Weeks 2b
Carlos Gomez cf
Ryan Braun lf
Aramis Ramirez 3b
Corey Hart rf
Alex Gonzalez ss
Mat Gamel 1b
Jonathan Lucroy c
Yovani Gallardo p