It all starts tomorrow. Opening Day 2019, what should be a national holiday. We have quite a few key matchups to start the season. We also have some teams with a lot of question marks that will look to fill some holes from last year. And then there are the games that, on paper, look to be blowouts. Hello Yankees vs Orioles.
The New York Mets travel to DC to take on the Washington Nationals. Jacob deGrom facing Max Scherzer is every baseball fan’s dream pitcher’s duel. The Harper-less Nats will look to figure out the reigning Cy Young Award winner. The Mets will have their hands full trying to deal with Scherzer. Max has a few trophies of his own. This should be one of the better games of the day.
The Arizona Diamondbacks will head to Los Angeles to take on the Dodgers. The Dbacks lost Steven Souza for the season due to knee surgery. However, the pitching matchup of Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu will be worth watching. Puig and Kemp are gone, but the Dodgers are still the favorite to win the NL West.
The loaded Houston Astros will be in Tampa to take on the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays surprised a lot of people last year. They will surely look to build on that this season. The Astros are rolling out Justin Verlander-Upton while the Rays are, obviously, going with Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell. This is another pitcher’s battle that a lot of eyes will be on.
The ESPN Opening Day night game will feature the World Champion Boston Red Sox taking on the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners already have 2 ‘real’ games under their belt with the games they played against Oakland in Japan. Chris Sale will take the mound for Boston and Marco Gonzales will be on the hill for Seattle. Any time Chris Sale pitches, people watch. ESPN knows this. Once the afternoon games are over, a good chunk of baseball fans will be tuning into this game, yours truly included.
I’ll be at Great American Ballpark tomorrow cheering on my Cincinnati Reds for their Opening Day game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. I love the direction the Reds have taken this off-season. The additions of Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp are huge for this team. The free agent signing of Jose Iglesias is already proving to be a smart move with the recent injury to Scooter Gennett. The excitement in Cincinnati is palpable. After a few 90 loss seasons in a row, the probability of this team being over .500, much less a possible playoff team, is a great relief to Reds fans.
Baseball is back. Time to fire up the grill, ice down the beer, and hang with your friends while watching America’s pastime. Enjoy your day and PLAY BALL!