If you’re a die-hard baseball fan, then you know that no other game in the regular season is more exciting than Opening Day. For a century, this has been the most anticipated day of the year for fans across the country.
The long march to the World Series begins with a game on Opening Day, but which teams have been the most successful in opening-day history? We’ve ranked the best MLB teams on Opening Day by win percentage.
1. Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals
The defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs are set to open the 2017 MLB regular season on April 2 against arch-rival St. Louis Cardinals in Busch Stadium.
The game can be seen in English on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. ET, followed by the defending American League Champion Cleveland Indians against the Texas Rangers on ESPN at 7 p.m. The Sunday Night Baseball team of Dan Shulman, Jessica Mendoza, Aaron Boone, and Buster Olney will call the action.
Fans can also watch the games live on the ESPN App or WatchESPN. All seven games are available in Spanish on ESPN Deportes.
After a long drought, the Cubs roared back in 2015. Their young core of Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Kyle Schwarber took the ball and put together a great year, sweeping a five-game series at Wrigley Field against the Cardinals in late July.
Despite the success, a shaky start to the season saw the team fall behind the Cardinals by a half-game in the NL Central, and they had to make an infamous trade to get back on track. The deal sent outfielder Lou Brock to the Cardinals, along with starting pitcher Ernie Broglio.
The Cubs went on to win the division, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished in the NL since 1989. That’s a lot of baseballs, and that’s a big reason why this matchup is so exciting. It’s going to be a classic rivalry between two teams that are both very experienced and very hungry for victory this season.
2. New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays
The New York Yankees are looking to start the season on a winning note with a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays. It’s possible that the Yankees could win the American League East this year for the first time since 2012.
The team has made a lot of good moves in recent years, including signing catcher Gary Sanchez and acquiring DH Jacoby Ellsbury. They’re both hitting well, and Sanchez’s hot start is key to the team’s chances of reaching 90 wins this season.
If the Yankees can stay healthy and make some more big moves before the deadline, it’s possible that they can win the division with a 93-90 record. It’s also not impossible that they can earn a wild card spot with a 91-87 mark.
Meanwhile, the Rays have been on fire with their young core, with players like Logan Morrison and Corey Dickerson making good moves at the plate and in the field. They also made a good pitch to acquire Masahiro Tanaka.
The Yankees have won nine of their past 11 games, with their best record of the season (89-69) coming at home. They’re just three games behind the Boston Red Sox in the division with four left. That makes them a solid option to make it to the World Series.
3. San Francisco Giants vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
For many baseball fans, the first game of the season is a time to celebrate their favorite sport. Whether you attend a game, watch it on TV, or host a party, it’s one of the most anticipated events of the year.
The San Francisco Giants are no strangers to opening day excitement, and this season they’re looking to end their long losing streak with a victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The two teams have met in a total of 17 games in recent years, including four matchups this season.
Throughout the history of baseball, Opening Day has been an important milestone in the lives of both players and fans. From memorable hitters to record-setting pitching performances, there’s no shortage of great stats from the game’s first games.
In fact, Opening Day is the most-watched regular-season game of all time. There are a number of reasons to attend the game, including the chance to see some familiar names in action and to support your team in their quest for a winning season.
With Opening Day on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to shop for SF Giants tickets. Whether you’re planning a trip to Oracle Park or Chase Field, Vivid Seats will help you get to the game and make the most of your experience! You can also earn free tickets with Vivid Seats Rewards, the industry’s leading loyalty program.
4. Los Angeles Angels vs. Seattle Mariners
For die-hard baseball fans, there is nothing more thrilling than opening day. Whether it’s a team’s home opener or the first game of the regular season, the event is an experience to be cherished.
The Los Angeles Angels are a top contender in the upcoming MLB season, and they’ll start things off against a strong Seattle Mariners team on Friday night at Angel Stadium. It’s a must-see matchup for fans who are looking to see their team get off to a fast start and make it to the postseason.
It will be a great opportunity for fans to see the best pitchers on their team take the mound against their rivals. That’s the main reason why this matchup is so important.
But as the games have come and gone, there are a few other things we’ve learned from Opening Day so far that are worth noting. Here are a few of the biggest takeaways from the Mariners’ 3-0 win over the Cleveland Guardians on Thursday at T-Mobile Park:
Ty France was the hero for the Mariners on Opening Day, collecting three hits and a three-run home run in the eighth inning off Cleveland’s James Karinchak that accounted for all of the scorings. That was enough to give the Mariners a much-needed win on the road in what was their first game of the season.
5. Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland Indians
Opening Day is one of the most exciting days of the Major League Baseball season. Fans can attend a game, watch it on TV, and even organize their own party or play a game in their own backyard to celebrate the start of the new season.
There are a few reasons why Opening Day is special, but the biggest is that fans will get to see some of the best pitchers on their favorite team’s matchup. It is also a great chance to see some of the best prospects in the minor leagues take their first step toward the big leagues.
This year the Cleveland Indians have a very deep group of prospects that includes some of the best arms in baseball in Perci Garner, Shawn Armstrong, Joe Colon, and Jeff Johnson. They also have a lot of talented bats including Bobby Bradley, Nellie Rodriguez, and Jesus Aguilar who will be looking to earn their first Major League call-ups this season.
The Indians are also a very strong team on the field with an incredible pitching staff, led by ace Corey Kluber. This combination of pitching and a stacked offensive line should be enough to bring the Indians back into the postseason this season. However, it will be up to the Indians to keep their top young prospects on their feet this season so that they can make their mark in the Majors.
6. Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals
The Toronto Blue Jays are a rebuilding team that has made a number of major investments in scouting and player development. They’ve drafted some high-end prospects, like Vladimir Guerrero and top pitching prospect Nate Pearson, and signed others to international deals in order to strengthen their minor league system.
The Blue Jays also invested heavily in a robust player development department under Gil Kim, who was hired away from the Texas Rangers to help oversee this effort. This group wanted to encourage individuality from players like Bichette while giving them the guidance and resources they needed to become well-rounded major-league regulars.
He’s been a standout in the minors this season, hitting.297 with an NL-leading 129 runs batted in and a league-leading 147 wRC+. He’s a top-rated prospect who the Blue Jays believe can play every day at shortstop and potentially lead them as a hitter in the future.
Despite his lack of major-league experience, Bichette is a key piece in this rebuild, as he’s the type of player who can provide consistent production at an extremely important position. If he can replicate his success in the minors and make his big-league debut Monday night, it will be a major boost to the Blue Jays’ prospects and future as they work to make their team competitive again in the American League East.
As a fan of baseball, the number 36 means a lot to me and I’m very happy that Mike Moustakas broke Steve Balboni’s single-season Royals record of 38 home runs this year. I think that’s a great sign for the Royals as they enter a new phase of their history and are slowly starting to build a team that can compete again in this tough American League.