It’s been over 140 days since the 2022 MLB season came to a close in Houston and ever since then, we’ve been eagerly awaiting Opening Day. The long wait will end on Thursday afternoon, when a pair of 1:05pm ET matinee games will simultaneously kick off the 2023 season. The rest of the league will follow suit throughout the day, and you won’t want to miss the opportunity to get tickets from StubHub.
One of those first two matchups will feature the Yankees, who will take on the Giants. Aces Gerrit Cole and Logan Webb will square off at Yankee Stadium, and defending AL MVP Aaron Judge will make his first appearance in pinstripes after re-signing on a nine-year, $360 million deal and being named the first Yankees captain since Derek Jeter. He surpassed Babe Ruth and Roger Maris with 62 homers in 2022; what can Judge possibly do for an encore? His first salvo of 2023 could very well come in the opener, but Webb isn’t going to make it easy. The Giants very much have their eyes on recapturing the NL West, which they took in 2021 with a team record 107 wins before underwhelming last year.
The other 1:05pm ET game will be the Braves against the Nationals in DC. Atlanta did topple Houston to win the 2021 World Series, but the magic was missing in October 2022. Although they won 13 more games than they did the previous year and received Rookie of the Year-caliber contributions from both winner Michael Harris and runner-up Spencer Strider, the Phillies surprisingly dispatched the Braves in a four-game NLDS upset en route to the pennant. Atlanta has won the last five NL East titles in a row but will face stiff competition from the Phillies and Mets for No. 6. As for the Nationals, uh, they are absolutely the divisional patsy after losing almost every useful player remaining from their 2019 championship team. But any team can win on any given day, especially at home.
Below is the rest of the Opening Day slate, with starting pitching matchups for each included:
Here are all MLB pitching matchups for the 15 Opening Day games scheduled for Thursday, March 30th. pic.twitter.com/sKykrLLgiB— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) March 24, 2023