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Opening Day pitching matchups

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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.

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!

Nolan Arenado swats go-ahead homer for 1,000th career hit

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Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado entered Monday night’s game against the Nationals sitting on 997 hits for his career spanning seven seasons. Arenado hit an RBI double in the first inning, grounded out in the third, doubled again to lead off the fifth, then hit a solo homer to lead off the seventh, breaking a 5-5 tie. The homer, off of Wander Suero, represented the 1,000th career hit for Arenado.

Arenado now has four homers on the season along with 14 RBI, 15 runs scored, and a .281/.337/.483 batting line. He has recovered nicely after a slow start to the season — he had a .610 OPS following an 0-for-4 game against the Giants on April 13.