Get ready to celebrate baseball fans, Opening Day is finally here! After a long winter, it is time to start thinking about warmer temps and summer as the MLB season is set to get underway this afternoon with a full slate of games. Opening Day is more than just the beginning of a new baseball season, it is literally a party for most major cities across the country!
According to an ESPN report, Opening Day 2017 has 12 games on the schedule. The first game of the day will occur in D.C. when the Washington Nationals host the Miami Marlins, while the last game scheduled to be held on Opening Day will feature the Los Angeles Angels taking on the Oakland A’s.
Hopes are once again high for the Nationals, who will basically have a “World Series or Bust” sign taped to their backs in 2017. With players like Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer and a payroll that ranks among the tops in all of baseball, the pressure to win is starting to mount for Washington.
The Nationals will send Stephen Strasburg to the hill this afternoon while the Florida Marlins will counter with journeyman Edinson Volquez. Volquez was a big part of the Kansas City Royals rotation in the past two seasons.
One of the best things about Opening Day is that each team wil once again can start anew. Every team is 0-0 and has a chance to pave their way to a great season, and as history has shown us all too many times, you know there are one or two teams that will surprise everyone this year.
Another great thing about Opening Day? The pitching match-ups are almost always fantastic, and this year is no different.
The defending American League champion Cleveland Indians will send Corey Kluber to the mound to face Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers, while the Seattle Mariners hand the ball to Felix Hernandez when Seattle squares off with Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros.
If that isn’t good enough, how about two rising stars battling it out on Opening Day? That’s exactly what is going to take place when Noah Syndergaard and the New York Mets host Julio Teherán and the young yet talented Atlanta Braves. If these two kids stay healthy, they will have great success for years to come.
Two other fantastic pitching match-ups on this Opening Day 2017 include Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello facing Gerrit Cole when the Boston Red Sox host the Pittsburgh Pirates, while Detroit’s Justin Verlander opposing the crafty left-hander José Quintana as the Chicago White Sox celebrate Opening Day by hosting the Detroit Tigers.
For Porcello, he will be trying to follow up an incredible 2016 season in which he finished 22-4 and pitched a personal record high 223 innings for the Boston Red Sox. The last thing Ricky P will be concerned with on Opening Day 2017 is his status with Boston, however, the same cannot be said for Chicago’s Jose Quintana.
Quintana has been the subject of trade talks since spring training began. The MLB rumors did start to die down a bit over the past week or so, however, they are once again surfacing with St. Louis seemingly the leading contender.
Below is a list of the entire 2017 Opening Day schedule along with the starting pitchers and odds for each game. The times for every game are Eastern Standard.
Monday April 3, 2017 Opening Day schedule:
- Marlins vs. Nationals (-210) — 1:05 p.m. Volquez (0-0) — Strasburg (0-0)
- Braves vs. Mets (-155) — 1:10 p.m. Teheran (0-0) — Syndergaard (0-0)
- Pirates vs. Red Sox (-165) — 2:05 p.m. Cole (0-0) — Porcello (0-0)
- Rockies vs. Brewers (-121) — 2:10 p.m. Gray (0-0) — Guerra (0-0)
- Blue Jays vs. Orioles (-110) — 3:05 p.m. Estrada (0-0) — Gausman (0-0)
- Tigers (-130) vs. White Sox — 4:10 p.m. Verlander (0-0) — Quintana (0-0)
- Royals vs. Twins (-115) — 4:10 p.m. Duffy (0-0) — Santana (0-0)
- Phillies vs. Reds (-115) — 4:10 p.m. Hellickson (0-0) — Feldman (0-0)
- Padres vs. Dodgers (-360) — 4:10 p.m. Chacin (0-0) — Kershaw (0-0)
- Indians vs. Rangers (-115) — 7:05 p.m. Kluber (0-0) –Darvish (0-0)
- Mariners vs. Astros (-125) — 8:10 p.m. Hernandez (0-0) — Keuchel (0-0)
- Angels (-115) vs. Athletics — 10:05 p.m. Nolasco (0-0) — Graveman (0-0)
[Featured Image by Bob Levey/Getty Images]