2020 MLB Opening Day Schedule, Games and Teams
There are few sporting events that are greeted with as much enthusing as the first day of baseball season. The MLB opening day schedule for the 2020 season promises not to disappoint. With the opening day scheduled for March 26, this is the earliest opening day in league history. Plus, as a special treat, all 30 games are scheduled to play, meaning there will be 15 MLB opening day games, barring any weather issues.
Perhaps the best part is that there is no shortage of compelling matchups and storylines to follow on opening day. Of the 15 games, 12 will be played between a pair of division rivals, which should help ramp up the intensity just a little more. If you’re able to, take the day off of work and grab some MLB opening day tickets so you can enjoy this joyous occasion the right way. Here are just some of the games on the MLB opening day schedule that are worth checking out.
Nationals at Mets
This will be the first game of the day and credit goes to MLB for starting the new season in style. Obviously, the Nationals are the reigning World Series champs, so it’s appropriate that they play in the first game of the new season. However, they have the difficult task of going on the road to face a hungry Mets team. Not only do the Mets have the highest winning percentage on opening day of any team baseball history, but they also have the luxury of sending Jacob deGrom, the winner of the last two Cy Young awards in the National League, to the mound. The Mets, behind a gem from deGrom, beat the Nationals on opening day last season and will look to repeat that against their NL East rivals in 2020.
Yankees at Orioles
Admittedly, this is a rather odd matchup to highlight, as these teams are on opposite sides of the spectrum. After all, the Yankees won 103 games last year while the Orioles lost 108 games. However, all eyes will be on Gerrit Cole, who figures to start on opening day for the Yankees after signing a nine-year, $324 million contract over the winter. With that kind of money coming his way, one bad start will have Yankees fans griping, so it’ll be interesting to see if he’s up to the pressure that comes with wearing pinstripes. If that’s not enough, Camden Yards is a beautiful downtown ballpark that baseball fans everywhere can appreciate regardless of their allegiances.
Twins at Athletics
At first glance, this seems like another odd game to highlight. But it’s the only opening day game to feature two teams that made the playoffs last season. Equally important, both teams will fancy themselves as teams that should be playing in October again in 2020. In terms of entertainment value, this game has the potential to provide some offensive fireworks. The Twins return five players who hit over 30 home runs last season. Just for good measure, they signed power-hitting third baseman Josh Donaldson over the winter, giving them another hitter who is a threat to hit the ball over the wall every time up. Not to be overlooked, the Athletics also have three players who hit over 30 home runs last year, and that doesn’t include Khris Davis, who’s just one year removed from a 48-home run season in 2018. In other words, there’s bound to be some long balls hit in this game.
Giants at Dodgers
For baseball fans on the West Coast, there’s no rivalry more iconic than the one between the Dodgers and Giants. While there’s every chance that these teams end up on opposite sides of the division at the end of 2020, both teams get to begin the season with a clean slate. Most days, it shouldn’t take much convincing to see the Giants play the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. On opening day, there’s even more incentive, as you’ll be all but guaranteed to see ace Clayton Kershaw take the mound for Los Angeles. Dodgers fans will also get their first look at Mookie Betts, who was acquired in a trade with the Red Sox late in the offseason. If that’s not enough, the Dodgers also have reigning National League MVP Cody Bellinger, adding to the star power that’s set to take the field in this game.
Angels at Astros
For the Astros, the road to redemption begins here. Players and fans alike all over the baseball world are furious at the Astros after learning about their sign-stealing scandal. Luckily for the Astros, they’ll get to play opening day at home, although it’ll be interesting to see if the home fans give the team a tepid reception or exuberant applause in defiance of league-wide criticism. Even if you put all of that aside, this is a fascinating matchup with the Angels featuring the game’s best player in Mike Trout and newcomer Anthony Rendon, who’s fresh off leading the Nationals to the World Series last year. With the upgrades they made over the winter, the Angels will be eager to prove to the Astros that they’re ready to challenge them for supremacy in the AL West despite Houston winning three straight division crowns.