Play Ball! Everything You Need to Know for Opening Day

Play Ball! Everything You Need to Know for Opening Day

The day we have all been waiting for is finally here, and today’s games are filled with great storylines with 26 teams ready to take the field.

The Nationals-Reds and Pirates-Tigers have been postponed to Friday due to inclement weather, otherwise, today would have marked the first time since 1968 that every team had their opener on the same day.

Today’s games will feature the likes of Trout, Harper, Kershaw, Bryant, Altuve, Arenado, Goldschmidt, and Thor. Here is everything you need to know for a jam-packed day of baseball.

Featured Games (ET)

Cubs at Marlins, 12:40

  • Miami made a number of big trades this offseason to unload their unforgiving payroll and rebuild their farm system. While some may disagree with Derek Jeter’s decisions, it has lead to a new look Marlins offense featuring star prospect Lewis Brinson in center field.
  • The Cubs look to recapture their glory from 2016 with a hot start to the 2018 season. Jon Lester is set to lead the Cubs today, and it should be a one-sided affair. Also, with the acquisition of Yu Darvish, the Cubbies should have a reinforced rotation ready to battle all season long.

Astros at Rangers, 3:35

  • It’s a battle for Texas as the Astros make their trip up to Arlington, and fresh off the most exciting World Series in recent memory, the Astros seem ready to keep that energy going. Justin Verlander is set to make his 10th opening day start, but his first outside of Detroit.
  • Reigning AL MVP Jose Altuve is set to lead his team against Cole Hamels. While Joey Gallo and the ever-entertaining Adrian Beltre look to get the Rangers headed in the right direction to start the season.

Giants at Dodgers, 7:08

  • Baseball doesn’t get much more classic than an opening day with the Dodgers and Giants at Chavez Ravine. Clayton Kershaw is set to make his 8th consecutive opening day start, a new franchise record, and Los Angeles has won 7 of those games.
  • The Dodgers are looking to get back to the World Series this year with the help of Corey Seager, and a hopeful repeat of last years form from Cody Bellinger. While the Giants are looking to put last year as far as they can behind them. With the acquisitions of Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria, they hope they can stay out from the basement of the NL West. With Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija starting the season on the DL though, things have gotten off to a rocky start.

Indians at Mariners, 10:10

  • This could be a classic pitchers duel with two AL Cy Young winners in Felix Hernandez and Corey Kluber. Hernandez will be just the 7th player in history to make his 10th consecutive opening day start, and Kluber will look to keep his insane form from last year going. Racking up a 1.62 ERA over his final 23 starts.
  • The Indians lineup features Jose Ramirez and Fransisco Lindor who respectively came in 3rd and 5th in MVP voting. While the Mariners added Dee Gordon, who will debut for his new team in center field, and brought back the legendary Ichiro for what seems to be a victory lap to cap off his career.

The Rest of the League

Cardinals at Mets, 1:10

  • The Cardinals made a splash this offseason by grabbing up Marcell Ozuna during the Miami fire-sale. He looks to provide much-needed pop in their lineup and could be a difference maker for them.
  • The Mets have Thor back. Look out. With Noah Syndergaard ready to throw lightning bolts the National League needs to be on notice. Jacob DeGrom is also healthy and should their rotation stay this way, they could be on the fringe of a playoff birth come September.

Twins at Orioles, 3:05

  • The Twins are looking to build off of last years surprising success. With Jake Odorizzi set to take the mound and Byron Buxton looking more polished this spring, things could be looking great up in Minnesota.
  • Baltimore is hoping they can get back into the playoffs and need to recapture their form from 2016. With Buck Showalter and company in a deep AL it just doesn’t seem likely.

Yankees at Blue Jays, 3:37

  • The debut of the new Bash Brothers, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge look to continue their form from last year and give legitimate nightmares to their opposition.
  • Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak look to keep things hot North of the border, and a revitalized and healthy pitching staff including Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman could be exactly what the Jays need to get into the playoffs in a stacked AL East.

Red Sox at Rays, 4:00

  • The Red Sox will go with Chris Sale to open the season and he looks to get back to his Cy Young ways, while J.D. Martinez will look to make a great impression on the unforgiving Boston fan base.
  • The newly depleted Rays squad will trot out their most likely soon to be traded ace in Chris Archer, while the rest of the team just try’s to look like an MLB squad.

Angels at A’s, 4:05

  • Mike Trout. That should be enough to want to watch this game, right? Well if not the Shohei Ohtani Show hopes to get better reviews than it did this spring, but don’t get your hopes up.
  • The A’s look to come into this season swinging hard. With Kris Davis and Matt Olson looking to recreate a Conseco-McGwire situation in the Bay Area, things could get exciting.

Brewers at Padres, 4:10

  • The Brew Crew looks to stay hot from last year, and Travis Shaw looks ready to have an all-star campaign. With a young and energetic team, things are looking positive up in Wisconsin.
  • The Padres look great on paper. They did in 2016 and 2017 as well. Maybe Eric Hosmer was the missing piece? They still have a young and predictably shaky rotation though, so it seems like a basement battle may be ahead for them.

Phillies at Braves, 4:10

  • If you are a fan of prospects, this is the game for you. Scott Kingery, Rhys Hoskins, Jorge Alfaro, and J.P. Crawford look to headline the Phillies offense, while Aaron Nola will take the bump. With an offseason move for Carlos Santana, the Phillies might actually be exciting to watch.
  • Although the Braves can’t bring Ronald Acuna up until April 13th, Opening day could still be exciting. With Freddie Freeman, Ender Inciarte, and Ozzie Albies leading the Braves into battle their offense looks surprisingly decent.

White Sox at Royals, 4:15

  • With Mike Moustakas back, the Royals didn’t lose everything this offseason. They did lose Salvador Perez to MCL injury though, meaning they are lacking in fire power, with Whit Merrifield being the only other real offensive threat. Danny Duffy will hope to keep things quiet to give them a chance today.
  • The White Sox have a plethora of young talent, ready to invade the big leagues when the time is right. With Tim Anderson looking to be the everyday shortstop and Yoan Moncada hoping to improve off of last year, the White Sox look to have their middle infield set for the next 10 years with players who should be all-star contenders every year. Jose Abreu will look to keep his steady bat going and James Shields will hope to be the ace the White Sox desperately need.

Rockies at D-Backs, 10:10

  • With what could be an NL Wildcard preview, the Rockies will call upon Jon Gray to make his second consecutive opening day start. Something only two other pitchers have done for the franchise. With a potent offense lead by Nolan Arenado, the Rockies will look to cool down the hopes of fans in the desert.
  • With Paul Goldschmidt leading the snakes into battle, the Diamondbacks will look to build off of last season. Patrick Corbin looks to take the bump and prove why he deserved the opening day honor in 2014 before his injury leading to Tommy John surgery. With a deep rotation, the Diamondbacks will look to quiet the explosive offenses throughout the NL West in hopes of repeating last years success.

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