A new era of professional baseball begins today. MLB Opening Day marks the start of a new season with new rules and regulations, some of which are already causing a stir. Games are faster than ever, and batters are connecting with more pitches. The league hopes the changes pay off, but that remains to be seen. In the meantime, MLB teams are ready to start their attacks.
Braves and Nats Take the Field
The Washington Nationals, who had a poor record of 55-107 last season, will take on the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park. Atlanta, 101-61 last year, was able to secure the National League East title after an overall impressive season.
Unfortunately, the Braves were defeated by Philadelphia at the Division II level. Meanwhile, Washington had a strong showing during their previous campaign and finished with a record of 55-107. However, this left them at the bottom of the NL East standings.
The Atlanta squad is equipped with an outstanding offense that ranks among the best in the league. Not only that, but they also have a couple of MVPs set to bolster the team. Additionally, their pitching staff is robust, making it a formidable challenge for any team that comes across them.
As for Washington, they are presently focused on rebuilding, hence the presence of many young and optimistic faces on the field this season. That puts them at a disadvantage today, with the Braves being able to take the game.
Brewers Visit the Cubs
The Milwaukee Brewers will face off against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. The Brewers concluded the previous season with an impressive record of 86-76, securing second place in the National League Central. Meanwhile, the Cubs had a less satisfactory season with a record of 74-88, landing them in third place in the division standings.
The Brewers’ playoff hopes were dashed last year when they ended up seven games behind the Cardinals in the division and finished one game behind Philadelphia. This marked the first time since 2017 that Milwaukee failed to make the postseason.
The Cubs ended the 2022 season fourth in their division and missed the playoffs for the second time since 2014. In preparation for what’s to come, the team decided to part ways with its core players from the victorious 2016 World Series squad, including Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. They are now creating a new strategy.
That strategy will still need a little work. As Chicago settles in, the Brewers, combining seasoned vets with rising talent, will be out in front. In a hard-hitting game, Milwaukee wins.
Yankees and Giants Build On Strength
The San Francisco Giants aim to recover from a disappointing year in which they went from 107 wins and winning the NL West championship in 2021, to a lackluster .500 season that resulted in them missing the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons. To strengthen their team and address gaps in their lineup, the Giants have made strategic moves to enhance their depth.
In 2022, the New York Yankees had a grueling season, finishing with a record of 99-63. Despite winning the AL East title for the first time since 2019 and defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in the ALDS, they were ultimately eliminated by Houston in the ALCS.
New York has had a productive Spring Training, trying to keep their roster secure amidst a flurry of activity. They’ve added round pieces to the lineup, and made strides in achieving their primary objective of bringing Aaron Judge back into the fold.
This has been accomplished through a lucrative nine-year contract valued at $360 million. Additionally, New York has also secured the services of Anthony Rizzo, who has signed a two-year contract with the team.
This will be a close game, with both teams able to count on their power hitters. In the end, the Yankees take an underdog victory to start the season on the right foot.