MLB Opening Day Preview: The first Major League Baseball game of the 2021 season will kick off Thursday at 1:05 p.m. ET. That game is between the Blue Jays and the Yankees at Yankee Stadium and soon after Cleveland and Detroit will begin their 2021 campaign.
Opening Day will feature the first 15 games of a hopeful 2,430 game season. Let’s take a look at these 15 matchups and rank them.
1. New York Mets at Washington Nationals
Met’s Pitcher Jacob DeGrom will be starting against Max Scherzer. The two pitchers share five Cy Young Awards between them. The first pitch is at 7:09 and fans are very excited to see Juan Soto build his legacy even bigger and Fransico Lindor in a Mets jersey for the first time.
2. Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Angels
That last time La Russa managed a game was against Trout and he was hitting .220 and had only four home runs in 40 games.
3. Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
The Blue Jays made moves this offseason with the belief that they could give the Yankees a run for their money in the American League East.
The Blue Jays will get a look at the Yankees in the first game of the season but they will have to do it without George Springer who has a strained oblique.
4. Houston Astros at Oakland A’s
Zack Greinke will be starting for the Astros against A’s starter Chris Bassitt. The AL West rivals are both favorites in the division even though both teams seem to be worse than they were last year. The A’s took the division out from under the Astros last season.
5. Minnesota Twins at Milwaukee Brewers
The Twins will be starting Kenta Maeda and the Brewers will be starting Brandon Woodruff. This is a low-key good Opening Day matchup.
Both teams made the extended playoffs but didn’t win a game there. Both teams are great contenders in their division but the question everyone is asking is will Christian Yelich hit like his old self this season?
6. Atlanta Braves at Philidelphia Phillies
Max Fried will be starting for the Braves and Aaron Nola will be starting for the Phillies. The Braves this year will probably face their biggest challenge that could ruin their streak of National League East titles and it won’t be the Phillies.
There are many great players in this game Thursday and Phillies fans will be happy to be back in the stadium and will definitely be screaming and creating noise the whole game.
7. Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies
The defending champs won’t get to raise the banner this year on opening day but they will definitely come home with the win in this matchup. When the Dodgers return home we will see them raise the banner and wear their gold jerseys.
8. Arizona Daimondbacks at San Diego Padres
Madison Bumgarner will be starting for the Diamondbacks and fans are hoping Bumgarner will be pitching as he used to in the past.
The Padres are starting Yu Darvish and this will be the first time he will be pitching in a Padres Uniform. No matter what team you support I think we are all excited to see the Padres and Fernando Tatis Jr. this season.
9. St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds
Jack Flaherty will be starting for the Cardinals and Luis Castillo will be starting for the Reds. The Reds as always will start the season off at home and Castillo is a sleeper in the NL Cy Young Award race.
Flaherty is also a sleeper in that race and Cardinal fans will get to see Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado in a Cards uniform for the first time.
10. Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox
John Means is starting for the Orioles and Nathan Eovaldi is starting for the Sox. If you look at the stats from the shortened 2020 season the last place team will be hosting a fourth place team. This year is projected to be different for the Red Sox so don’t count them out in this game.
11. Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs
The Pirates are starting Chad Kuhl and the Cubs are starting Kyle Hendricks. The Pirates are not a dynamic team this season and as frustrating as the Cubs were this offseason they still have a lot of talent on the team.
12. Tampa Bay Rays at Miami Marlins
Tyler Glasnow will be the starter on the bump for the Rays and Sandy Alcantara will be starting for the fish. The Rays are last season AL champions but are missing starters Charlie Morton and Blake Snell and will be facing their in-state rivals.
Both teams made it to the Division series last year so this should be a good game since the fish have improved greatly.
13. Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers
Shane Bieber is last year’s AL Cy Young Award winner and will be starting for Cleveland. He will face probably the worst offense in baseball.
Michael Boyd will be starting for the Tigers and Detroit has some young thrilling pitching but fans shouldnt expect to see that in this game. This is also Cleveland’s first game without Francisco Lindor who was a part of their organization since 2011.
14. San Francisco Giants at Seattle Mariners
Kevin Gausman is starting for the Giants and Marco Gonzales will be starting for Seattle. Both teams are currently transitioning, one with veterans and one with young players. These teams seem to be evenly matched this year but the Giants don’t have much room for error in the NL West.
15. Texas Rangers at Kansas City Royals
The Royals have the opportunity to prove that on opening day against the Rangers who are in the middle of rebuilding and don’t pose much threat.