Best Opening Day winning percentage

Which MLB teams have been the best in season openers?

March 31st, 2023

Hope springs eternal for every Major League team on Opening Day. The long march to the World Series begins with Game No. 1. But these are the clubs that have been the most successful in season openers.

Here are the best MLB teams on Opening Day, ranked by winning percentage (per the Elias Sports Bureau, ties are discounted from calculating a team's win percentage).

1. Mets: .661 (41-21)
The Mets' spot at No. 1 on this list is all the more impressive when you consider that the franchise lost its first eight Opening Day games from its inception in 1962. Even the 1969 Miracle Mets lost their season opener. Since then, the Mets have won 41 of 54 openers, including the first game of their other World Series-winning season in 1986. That amazin' run makes the Mets' Opening Day record the best of any MLB team. Their franchise icons have supplied memorable Opening Day moments, like Gary Carter's walk-off home run on Opening Day 1985 and Tom Seaver's return to the Mets on Opening Day 1983, when The Franchise outdueled Steve Carlton in one of his MLB-record 16 Opening Day starts.

2. Mariners: .617 (29-18)
The Mariners have only been around as an MLB franchise since 1977, but they started strong by winning eight of their first 10 Opening Day games. They've done well in recent openers as well, including taking nine straight from 2007-15 and five of six since '18. Seattle also had three of the best Opening Day performers of all time. Randy Johnson had an MLB-record 107 strikeouts on Opening Day (including two 14-K starts for the Mariners), and Félix Hernández has a career 1.53 ERA on Opening Day while ranking fourth all-time with 78 strikeouts. Ken Griffey Jr. hit eight career homers on Opening Day, tied with Frank Robinson and Adam Dunn for the most in MLB history.

3. Orioles: .595 (72-49-1)
The Orioles are one of the American League's eight original charter franchises, founded along with the league in 1901 as the first Milwaukee Brewers before they spent a half-century as the St. Louis Browns. They've sustained their Opening Day success for well over a century. Baltimore's first two world championship seasons in 1966 and 1970 both started with a win on Opening Day. Orioles Hall of Famer Frank Robinson is tied for the most home runs hit on Opening Day, with eight.

4. Yankees: .567 (68-52-1)
The most storied franchise in Major League Baseball has also been one of the best on Opening Day. Of the Yankees' record 27 World Series championship seasons, 17 began with an Opening Day win. That includes their first World Series season in 1923 -- an Opening Day that also marked the grand opening of the original Yankee Stadium. On that day, Babe Ruth delivered the three-run blast that led New York over the Red Sox. Surprisingly, though, the Bronx Bombers dropped eight of nine Opening Day games from 2009-17.

5. Cubs: .555 (81-65-2)
The Cubs entered Opening Day 2016 without a championship in 108 years. Anthony Rizzo opened the scoring with an RBI single in the top of the first inning, Jake Arrieta threw seven shutout innings, Chicago rolled to a 9-0 win over the Angels and never looked back en route to winning the World Series for the first time since 1908. That 1908 Cubs championship team won on Opening Day, too, led by Hall of Fame double-play combination Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance, plus Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown. The Cubs' 81 Opening Day wins in MLB play are the most of any team.

6. Dodgers: .549 (73-60-1)
The Dodgers' World Series championship season in 2020 -- their first since 1988 -- began with a win on Opening Day in superstar Mookie Betts' team debut. Los Angeles has excelled in recent season openers thanks in part to Clayton Kershaw, who is 5-2 with a 1.73 ERA and 61 strikeouts in nine Opening Day starts. Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax only started one season opener, but fittingly, he pitched a shutout to start the 1964 season. A different Dodgers' Opening Day game also featured one of the most important moments in baseball history: Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier with his Major League debut on April 15, 1947, at Ebbets Field.

7. Rockies: .548 (17-14)
The Rockies have generally played well in openers since joining the Major Leagues in 1993. Their first Opening Day win was in '95, when they also went on to make the playoffs for the first time. That Opening Day victory was a 14-inning thriller against the Mets, with Dante Bichette crushing a walk-off three-run homer to give Colorado the 11-9 win. Among their other highlights: a wild 12-10 comeback over the Padres on Opening Day 2005, capped by Clint Barmes' walk-off homer against Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman.

8. Giants: .543 (76-64-1)
The Giants are one of MLB's oldest franchises, playing their first National League game as the New York Gothams in 1883. They won that game, 7-5, over the Boston Beaneaters (the team that later became the Braves), and have won a lot more since. Only the Cubs have more total wins in Major League Baseball on Opening Day. Among the Giants' best performers in season openers: Juan Marichal (1.73 ERA in 10 Opening Day starts), Willie Mays (seven Opening Day home runs), Orlando Cepeda and Barry Bonds (four Opening Day homers each).

9. Rays: .538 (14-12)
Despite their rocky first decade in the American League, the Rays fared fairly well on Opening Day early on, stringing together five straight victories from 2000-04 after dropping their first two openers. Perhaps most memorable is still the 2012 opener, in which the Rays took a 6-5 deficit into the ninth against Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, tying the game on a Ben Zobrist triple and walking off on a long single from Carlos Peña.

10. Pirates: .533 (73-64)
The Pirates joined the National League as the Pittsburgh Alleghenys in 1887, and they won their first game over the Cubs (then the Chicago White Stockings), 6-2. Their first World Series championship season in 1909 began with a win on Opening Day behind Honus Wagner. So did the 1971 world champion Pirates' season -- that team was led by Hall of Famers Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell.

All records include games played for Major League Baseball only. The National League was founded in 1876, and the American League in 1901.