Though the regular season officially began last week with a two-game series between the Athletics and Mariners in Japan, it will open States-side on Thursday afternoon. All 30 teams will be active. Here’s the schedule along with the pitching match-ups. All times ET.
- New York Mets (Jacob deGrom) @ Washington Nationals (Max Scherzer), 1:05 PM
- Baltimore Orioles (Andrew Cashner) @ New York Yankees (Masahiro Tanaka), 1:05 PM
- St. Louis Cardinals (Miles Mikolas) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Jhoulys Chacín), 2:10 PM
- Atlanta Braves (Julio Teheran) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Aaron Nola), 3:05 PM
- Detroit Tigers (Jordan Zimmermann) @ Toronto Blue Jays (Marcus Stroman), 3:37 PM
- Houston Astros (Justin Verlander) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Blake Snell), 4:00 PM
- Chicago Cubs (Jon Lester) @ Texas Rangers (Mike Minor), 4:05 PM
- Los Angeles Angels (Trevor Cahill) @ Oakland Athletics (Mike Fiers), 4:07 PM
- Pittsburgh Pirates (Jameson Taillon) @ Cincinnati Reds (Luis Castillo), 4:10 PM
- Colorado Rockies (Kyle Freeland) @ Miami Marlins (José Ureña), 4:10 PM
- Cleveland Indians (Corey Kluber) @ Minnesota Twins (José Berríos), 4:10 PM
- San Francisco Giants (Madison Bumgarner) @ San Diego Padres (Eric Lauer), 4:10 PM
- Arizona Diamondbacks (Zack Greinke) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Hyun-Jin Ryu), 4:10 PM
- Chicago White Sox (Carlos Rodon) @ Kansas City Royals (Brad Keller), 4:15 PM
- Boston Red Sox (Chris Sale) @ Seattle Mariners (Marco Gonzalez), 7:10 PM
The two games that really stick out are Mets/Nationals and Astros/Rays. Both feature the reigning Cy Young Award winners, unsurprisingly. deGrom won the award in the National League with Scherzer finishing as the runner-up. A 1-2 match-up between Cy Young finalists should be very entertaining. Similarly, Snell won the award in the AL just ahead of Verlander.
Braves-Phillies should be entertaining, kicking off what should be a season-long, four-team battle in the NL East. The revamped Phillies will feature a horde of new All-Stars in the lineup — Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Jean Segura, and Andrew McCutchen. They’ll also have Nola on the bump following his third-place finish in NL Cy Young balloting. Teheran has been solid against the Phillies in his career, holding them to a 3.65 ERA across 22 starts and one relief appearance, but their lineup hasn’t been this good since he has been a regular in the Braves’ rotation.
Ryu gets the Opening Day start for the Dodgers, becoming the first Dodger not named Clayton Kershaw to start the first game of the season since Vicente Padilla in 2010. Greinke will start on Opening Day for the third time in four years with the D-Backs.
The Red Sox will begin their title defense with a date with the Mariners. Sale, fresh off a five-year, $145 million contract extension, gets the nod opposite Marco Gonzales, who started the Mariners’ first game in Japan against the A’s.
Baseball is almost back!