The Major League Baseball season is already one week old, but there are still several Opening Days on tap.Several cities will see their teams in person for the first time Monday, including Boston and Chicago's North Side.The Red Sox open at 2:05 p.m. ET against the Orioles, with left-hander David
The Major League Baseball season is already one week old, but there are still several Opening Days on tap.
Several cities will see their teams in person for the first time Monday, including Boston and Chicago's North Side.
The Red Sox open at 2:05 p.m. ET against the Orioles, with left-hander David Price making his 12th career start at Fenway Park and first as a member of the Red Sox.
Five and O's: Birds soar into Boston
"That will be very exciting," Price said. "I've never been to Fenway for an Opening Day, so to be wearing Boston red, that will be a very special day."
This season's prized free-agent signing for the Cubs, Jason Heyward, will make his Wrigley Field debut at 8:05 p.m., while last season's big signing, Jon Lester, gets the ball against the Reds.
The Astros also open their home schedule at Minute Maid Park on Monday at 8:10 p.m. in a rematch of last season's American League Division Series. If the four-game series in Houston is as close as last year's ALDS that went the distance, Astros fans certainly will be entertained.
There's also plenty of reasons to stay up late this week as division rivals battle out West. The Angels and A's have a three-game series in Oakland and the Mariners host the Rangers for a three-game set early in the week, while the Giants and Dodgers meet in Los Angeles over the weekend.
Here's a bit of focus for each day of the week:
Monday: Lester and Price are the headliners in the biggest markets, but several other cities celebrate their own Opening Day on Monday. The Cardinals, behind Michael Wacha, host the Brewers at Busch Stadium, while Phillies righty Aaron Nola gets the ball for the first game of the season at Citizens Bank Park against the Padres.
The Twins return to Target Field looking to build off last year's successful season. Kyle Gibson starts for the Twins against the White Sox and lefty Jose Quintana.
Tuesday: A couple of intriguing arms look to build off impressive outings Tuesday, first in the afternoon when Kenta Maeda makes his Dodger Stadium debut against the D-backs. Maeda, signed this offseason out of Japan, threw six shutout innings in his MLB debut against the Padres.
In Toronto, Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez looks to continue a remarkable run that began in Spring Training. There, he posted a 0.90 ERA in five appearances. He proved that wasn't a fluke by tossing seven innings of one-run ball against the Rays in his regular-season debut, fanning eight.
Wednesday: The Tigers and Pirates aren't natural rivals, but in hindsight it certainly appears MLB has done a good job trying to make them so. Both teams have been contenders as of late, and the Pirates hold a slight 24-23 all-time edge over Detroit.
After two games in Detroit on Monday and Tuesday, the series shifts to Pittsburgh on Wednesday where Jordan Zimmermann makes his second start for the Tigers. He held the Yankees to two hits in seven scoreless innings in Detroit's home opener.
In Chicago, free-agent signee John Lackey makes his first start at Wrigley Field against the Reds. He's only pitched at the Friendly Confines twice, where he has allowed just two runs in 13 2/3 innings.
Thursday: Two contenders have questions at the back end of their rotation that, at least through the first turn, were solved.
The crosstown Cubs have gotten most of the publicity, but the White Sox also hope to contend after several offseason moves to improve their defense and bolster their lineup. They'll need pitching to hang in the tough AL Central, however, and they're hoping Mat Latos can help.
It didn't appear he could in Spring Training, when he posted a 10.38 ERA. But Latos allowed one hit in six scoreless innings in his debut against Oakland and makes his second start Wednesday against the Twins.
Speaking of key rotation pieces, Matt Cain is certainly that for the Giants. Lost in the hoopla of Ross Stripling's no-no bid and the Giants' two-hit, two-homer win Friday against the Dodgers was Cain's line: six innings, two runs, six hits, one walk and three strikeouts.
Cain was an ace and workhorse during the Giants' 2010 and 2012 World Series seasons, but injuries limited him to 151 combined innings in 2014 and 2015. If he's healthy now as the Giants' No. 5 starter, well, let's just say it is an even year.
Friday/Saturday/Sunday: No East Coast bias here. This past weekend's Giants/Dodgers four-game series in San Francisco was so intriguing on so many levels that we can't wait for a rematch -- and we don't have to. This time it's a three-game set in L.A., but the intensity and play will remain the same.
"For today to be the sixth game of the year, at certain points -- I've never played in the postseason but it felt like postseason baseball in the sixth game of the year," current Dodger and former Giant Charlie Culberson said this past weekend. "As a kid, that's what I picture myself being in. A lot of fun."
For us, too.
Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth.