The first week of the baseball season feels a bit odd compared to the rest of the year. Individual games are analyzed more because we forgot how baseball works (i.e. one game doesn’t matter). Start times are odd — more day games than usual, unexpected off days — so every team can optimize Opening Day gate and TV times and stuff. As such, it’s easy to lose track of who is playing when.
So, while we don’t usually do this, I feel like it’s worth reminding everyone when the Opening Day games are today and tomorrow. Because, you know, Google is for suckers:
Today’s games, all Eastern Daylight Time:
Cubs vs. Pirates 1:00PM, ESPN
Royals vs. Tigers 1:08PM
Nationals vs. Mets 1:10PM
Phillies vs. Rangers 2:05PM
Braves vs. Brewers 2:10PM
Red Sox vs. Orioles 3:00PM, ESPN2
Cardinals vs. Reds 4:00PM, ESPN
Twins vs. White Sox 4:10PM
Blue Jays vs. Rays 4:10PM
Rockies vs. Marlins 7:00PM ESPN2
Giants vs. Diamondbacks 9:40PM
Mariners vs. Angels 10:00PM ESPN2
Indians vs. Athletics 10:05PM
The only two teams not to open last night or today are the Yankees and Astros. Their first game is at 7:10PM Eastern time tomorrow night.
Oh, and in case you need something to get you motivated for today:
Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $100,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Opening Day’s games (March 31). It’s $25 to join and first prize is $15,000. Starts at 1:05pm ET on Opening Day. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:
CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos
SP Yovani Gallardo
With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.
LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar
SP David Price
After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.
Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.
Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.
Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.