Opening Day FAQ: Giants vs. Padres

March 28th, 2024

For a third straight season, Bob Melvin will be part of Petco Park’s Opening Day. This time, however, he’ll be in the visiting dugout.

The former Padres manager is now at the helm of the Giants, who open their season Thursday in San Diego. The Padres, meanwhile, began their 2024 campaign by splitting a pair of games against the Dodgers in Seoul, South Korea, last week. Their home opener comes against another fierce NL West rival.

The Padres and Giants both made major moves to bolster their rosters in recent weeks. During Spring Training, San Francisco signed Matt Chapman and former Padre Blake Snell, the reigning Cy Young Award winner. San Diego swung a stunning trade with the White Sox, landing Dylan Cease to replace Snell.

Revitalized by those moves, the Giants and Padres have renewed their playoff ambitions. But playing in one of the sport’s toughest divisions, it’s a zero-sum game. Games between NL West teams will be paramount this season.

This particular game should feature its share of drama. Melvin and the Padres parted ways in October when the Giants came calling and asked if they could interview him for their managerial vacancy. San Diego granted that request and would later hire Mike Shildt to replace Melvin.

Those two will square off for the first of 13 times on Thursday. Here’s what you need to know about the opener:

When is the game and how can I watch it?
First pitch is slated for 1:10 p.m. PT. Giants fans can watch locally on NBC Sports Bay Area and listen on KNBR 680 AM. For details on how to watch Padres games, visit for a list of channel locations. Radio is on 97.3 FM.

What are the starting lineups?
Giants: Thursday marks the official Giants debuts of Jung Hoo Lee, Jorge Soler and Matt Chapman, three newcomers who are expected to bring some much-needed punch to a lineup that badly faded down the stretch last year.

Padres: Facing a pair of right-handers in Seoul, the Padres used the same lineup for both of their games against the Dodgers. They did not change it up against Logan Webb. Manny Machado remains limited to DH duties after his October elbow surgery.

Who are the starting pitchers?
Giants: For the third consecutive year, the Giants will hand the ball to Webb, who solidified his ace status with a runner-up finish in the 2023 National League Cy Young race. The 27-year-old right-hander has historically pitched well against the Padres, going 3-2 with a 2.50 ERA across 57 2/3 innings in 10 career appearances (nine starts).

Padres: The Padres are staying on rotation, with Yu Darvish going in the home opener and Joe Musgrove pitching the second game of the series. Darvish allowed one unearned run on Opening Day in Korea but lasted only 3 2/3 innings against a patient Dodgers lineup.

How might the bullpens line up after the starter?
Giants: The Giants will have All-Star closer Camilo Doval ready to take down the ninth, with Taylor and Tyler Rogers, Ryan Walker and Luke Jackson serving as potential setup options at the back end.

Padres: Robert Suarez was never officially named Padres closer, but they seem poised to use him that way. That became evident in Korea. With Suarez at the back end, the Padres are light on righty setup options after sending Steven Wilson to the White Sox in the Cease trade. From the left side, they’ve got Wandy Peralta, Tom Cosgrove and Yuki Matsui as high-leverage options.

Who’s hot and who’s not?
Giants: Webb logged a 10.97 ERA over six exhibition starts this spring, but he’s said he’s not overly concerned by his poor results in Cactus League play. Lee, by contrast, didn’t miss a beat in his first big league Spring Training, batting .375 (12-for-32) with one home run over 12 exhibition games.

Padres: Jake Cronenworth finished the Seoul Series by going 4-for-4 in Game 2. Xander Bogaerts was excellent in both games, starting his season by reaching five times in 10 plate appearances out of the leadoff spot. Meanwhile, Ha-Seong Kim went hitless in Korea.

Anything else fans might want to know?

• The Padres and Giants have met in Petco Park’s opener five times (including the first big league game in the ballpark’s history in 2004). San Diego has won all five of those games, most recently a 2-0 victory in ‘19.

• The Padres had their streak of four straight wins in home openers snapped last season when they lost to the Rockies.

• The Giants have had 17 different left fielders in their last 17 Opening Day lineups, a remarkable run that began with Barry Bonds’ final season in 2007. That streak seems destined to stay alive this year, as Conforto appears in line to get the starting nod in left on Thursday.

• This series will mark the first official clash between Lee and Kim, who became close friends while starring for the Kiwoom Heroes of the KBO.