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MLB Opening Day 2018

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For the first time since 1968, Major League Baseball will start the season with every one of its teams scheduled to play on Opening Day – weather permitting.

Thanks to a revision in the collective bargaining agreement allowing for more off days in season, the March 29 opener is the earliest in history. Mother Nature is already not complying – the Washington Nationals-Cincinnati Reds game has already been postponed to Friday with inclement weather expected.

Seems odd? No worries. Here’s a look at all 15 matchups – with national TV times indicated and what to watch in each:

Cubs at Marlins, 12:40, ESPN: Instead of Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna, the Marlins will trot out Lewis Brinson and other youngsters behind starter Jose Urena as the Marlins officially enter the Derek Jeter era against a Cubs team looking to make a fourth straight appearance to the NLCS.

Pirates at Tigers, 1:10: The lone interleague matchup of the day, both Detroit and Pittsburgh are rebuilding team with young pieces that can surprise, like third basemen Jeimer Candelario and Colin Moran.

Cardinals at Mets, 1:10: Ozuna makes his Cardinals debut against Mets starter Noah Syndergaard, who looks to bounce back after a lost 2017 season.

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Twins at Orioles, 3:05: The Twins send Jake Odorizzi to the mound for the first time to face Manny Machado, Adam Jones and a powerful Orioles lineup.

Astros at Rangers, 3:35, ESPN: Houston begins its title defense with Justin Verlander on the mound, looking to become the first team to repeat as champions since the 2000 Yankees.

Yankees at Blue Jays, 3:37: Reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton makes his Yankees debut, as he and Aaron Judge lead the Yankees into a season full of World Series expectations.

Red Sox at Rays, 4:00: J.D Martinez makes his Red Sox debut against a Rays team that enters the season without Evan Longoria for the first time since 2007.

Angels at Athletics, 4:05: Shohei Ohtani may make his major league debut as the Angels begin their quest to make the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

Brewers at Padres, 4:10: Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich all play their first game in a new uniform in a game between two teams who look to make surprise playoff runs.

Phillies at Braves, 4:10: Philadelphia unveils a revamped roster lead by Carlos Santana at first base against a rebuilding Braves team that features Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies.

Nationals at Reds, 4:10, Friday: Bryce Harper enters the final year of his contract with the Nationals against a Reds team that always makes the most of Opening Day with the Findlay Market Parade. That fanfare will wait until Friday, as the Reds postponed the game with inclement weather expected.

White Sox at Royals, 4:15: Yoan Moncada plays in his first Opening Day game as the White Sox starting second baseman against a Kansas City team that begins a new era without Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain.

Giants at Dodgers, 7:08, ESPN: Looking to get back to the World Series this year, the Dodgers send Clayton Kershaw to the mound against a new-look Giants team that includes Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen.

Indians at Mariners, 10:10, ESPN: This one is all about the pitching matchup, with reigning AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber taking on Felix Hernandez, looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2017. Hernandez makes his 10th consecutive opening-day start.

Rockies at Diamondbacks, 10:10: This is a rematch of the NL wild card game, which Arizona won 11-8. The Diamondbacks must reload after losing J.D. Martinez in free agency while Colorado looks to build off last season.

 

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