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Top prospect Paul Skenes takes on Cardinals; Tickets start at $2

Top prospect Paul Skenes takes on Cardinals; Tickets start at $2

ST. LOUIS – Paul Skenes, a rising star and the first overall MLB draft pick last year, will make his Busch Stadium debut on Tuesday against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Skenes, a 22-year-old who regularly hits 100 mph on the radar gun, has enjoyed a rapid rise to majors. Last summer, he anchored a Louisiana State University pitching staff to a College World Series title. In his first five big-league starts, he’s 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA and 38 strikeouts over 27 innings.

There’s quite some hype around Skenes, and to this point, he’s mostly delivered on it.

Naturally, one might think his start Tuesday in St. Louis might be a hot ticket. Current listings may be an indicator that they’re otherwise not.

The St. Louis Cardinals have listed tickets as low as $8 before fees on their website for Tuesday’s matchup. On some second-hand sites, there are tickets listed as low as $2 for an all-in purchase.

It appears there could be some correlation with ticket sales and attendance woes that resurfaced this weekend. The Cardinals drew less than 35,000 in attendance (tickets sold) for Saturday’s game against the Colorado Rockies. It was the smallest Saturday crowd in nearly two decades of the ballpark, aside from pandemic-altered seasons.

Could a top opponent or young star help out with building up those numbers? Skenes may help with some attendance among true baseball fans, but it remains to be seen where Tuesday stacks up against recent figures.

For what it’s worth, the Rockies (23-43) may not be as strong of a draw as a stronger team compared to a team with young talent (like the Baltimore Orioles) or one with strong history (like the Boston Red Sox or Chicago Cubs). Here are some comparisons…

Opponent

Series dates

Record before STL games

Rising star

Average attendance

Boston Red Sox

May 17-19 (FRI-SUN)

22-22

Rafael Devers (1.8 WAR)

39,322

Baltimore Orioles

May 20-22 (MON- WED)

29-15

Gunnar Henderson (4.6 WAR)

33,834

Chicago Cubs

May 25-26 (SAT-SUN)

27-24

Shota Imanaga (2.4 WAR)

42,982

Colorado Rockies

June 6-9 (THU-SUN)

21-40

Ezequiel Tovar (2.6 WAR)

35,839

Performance may also reflect into some recent attendance trends. The Cardinals have also grappled with some inconsistencies since winning 12 of 15 to reach .500, losing six of their last 10 games, and falling back to two games below the mark.

The Cardinals begin a three-game home series against Skenes and the Pirates (31-34) on Thursday before a weekend road series against the Chicago Cubs.

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