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Best Opening Day winning percentage

Which MLB teams have been the best in season openers?
@_dadler
March 28, 2019

Hope springs eternal for every Major League team on Opening Day. The long march to the World Series begins with Game No. 1. MLB.com is taking a look at the clubs that have done the best job of getting off on the right foot. Here are the best MLB teams

Hope springs eternal for every Major League team on Opening Day. The long march to the World Series begins with Game No. 1.

MLB.com is taking a look at the clubs that have done the best job of getting off on the right foot. 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: .655 (38-20)
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 38 of 50 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 all-time of any Major League franchise. Some of their most memorable moments involve franchise icons: Gary Carter's walk-off home run on Opening Day 1985 and Tom Seaver's return to the Mets on Opening Day 1983, six years after his shocking trade to the Reds, when he outdueled Steve Carlton. New York's most recent victory in an opener came in 2019, with reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom outdueling the Nationals' Max Scherzer.

2. Mariners: .605 (26-17)
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, taking nine straight from 2007-15. Seattle has also had two of the best Opening Day pitchers 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 1.54 ERA on Opening Day while ranking fourth all-time with 78 strikeouts. Ken Griffey Jr. is the player tied with Robinson atop the career Opening Day home run chart.

3. Orioles: .593 (70-48-1)
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 remarkably 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. Baltimore entered 2019 having won eight straight openers before falling to the Yankees. Orioles Hall of Famer Frank Robinson is tied for the most home runs hit on Opening Day, with eight.

4. Yankees: .560 (65-51-1)
The Yankees snapped a six-year Opening Day losing streak in 2018, thanks to a two-homer debut from Giancarlo Stanton, then won again in '19. Overall, the most storied franchise in Major League Baseball has also been one of its best on Opening Day. Of the Yankees' record 27 World Series championship seasons, 17 have begun with an Opening Day win. That includes their first World Series season in 1923 -- when Opening Day was also 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.

5. Rockies: .556 (15-12)
In the Rockies' quarter-century-plus as a Major League team, they've generally played well in openers. Their first Opening Day win was in 1995, when they also went on to make the playoffs for the first time. That game was a dramatic 14-inning win over the Mets, with Dante Bichette crushing a walk-off three-run homer to give Colorado the 11-9 victory. Among their other victories: a wild 12-10 comeback over the Padres in 2005 capped by Clint Barmes' walk-off homer off Trevor Hoffman.

6. Giants: .551 (75-61-1)
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 became the Braves), and have won a lot more since. Only the Cubs have more total wins in the Major Leagues 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).

7. Cubs: .549 (78-64-2)
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, winning the World Series for the first time since 1908. That 1908 Cubs championship team? They won on Opening Day, too -- led by Hall of Fame double-play combination Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance, as well as Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown. The Cubs' 78 Opening Day wins in MLB play are the most of any team.

8. D-backs: .545 (12-10)
The D-backs won a thriller on Opening Day 2017, rallying for two runs in the ninth inning against Giants closer Mark Melancon for a walk-off win. It was the beginning of a thrilling season, as Arizona made the playoffs for the first time since 2011. The D-backs' memorable 2001 World Series run also began with an Opening Day win -- Randy Johnson struck out 10 Dodgers, and Luis Gonzalez hit the go-ahead homer in the seventh inning, his first of 57 that year. The Big Unit also threw a shutout for the D-backs on Opening Day the following year. Arizona's most recent Opener in 2019 was a tough one, as the Dodgers hit an Opening Day-record eight home runs off D-backs pitchers in a 12-5 victory.

9. Dodgers: .543 (70-59-1)
The Dodgers saw their seven-game win streak on Opening Day end with a 1-0 loss to the Giants to begin 2018, but rebounded with those eight homers against the D-backs to kick off the '19 campaign. Los Angeles has excelled in recent years thanks to Clayton Kershaw, who is 5-1 with a 1.05 ERA and 59 strikeouts in eight Opening Day starts. Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax only started one season opener in 1964 -- but, fittingly, he pitched a shutout. A 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 in Brooklyn.

10. Brewers: .540 (27-23)
Milwaukee's most recent Opening Day victory might be its most memorable, as Lorenzo Cain sent Miller Park into a fever pitch when he robbed Cardinals pinch-hitter Jose Martinez's potential game-tying homer to cap the Crew's 2019 season-opening win.

The Brewers also won on Opening Day in each of their two most successful seasons. They drubbed the Blue Jays, 15-4, to open their run to the World Series in 1982, and eked out a 2-1 opener win over the Padres before marching to Game 7 of the NLCS in 2018.

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

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.