It's finally here ladies and gents, after slogging through the mess of football, hockey and the seemingly never ending basketball season, baseball is back.2,430 games, 7 months of the greatest game of all time. Opening day should be a national holiday, everyone gets off from work, and just celebrates one of the greatest days we have as Americans. Granted it's totally shitty weather, at least here in New York, and the games are all stunted, but MLB tried. I feel like there should be games on all day, but I'll take the 6 games we've got. As I'm clearly partial to the Yankees, lets start off with them-
Yankees vs. Tigers- It's Sabbathia vs. Verlander. The Tigers beefed up with Victor Martinez over the offseason, and a lot of people are predicting them to take the AL Central, they're a solid team and it should be an excellent game, it's always a good day when the Big Man is on the mound, and Verlander has Cy Young stuff. The Yankees have a better offense, but it'll be interesting to see the confident, re-worked lineup of the Tigers, I'm saying the Yankees win this one.
Braves vs. Nationals- It's Derek Lowe vs. Livan Hernandez. A lot of people think Derek Lowe is losing his stuff, but he was clutch for the Braves last year. Hernandez has a career 4.39 ERA and isn't exactly lights-out, but with Strasburg hurt the Nat's don't really have anyone else to start on opening day. The Braves are a perennial powerhouse, and have a great team this year. The Nationals are a hungry team, and with the addition of Jayson Werth they're looking to be a new team, not the cellar-dwellers they have been. Plus Werth has to prove that 10 trillion dollar contract was "Werth" it (get it! get it?!) or if his homeless guy beard has lost its magic.I've got the Braves here, the Nat's are on their way up, but are a long way from being a contending team.
Brewers vs. Reds- Yovani Gallardo and Edinson Volquez. The Reds tasted real success for the first time in a while last season, on a lineup led by the only guy more boring than Mark Teixiera, Joey Votto. He's literally dull as dirt but but he crushes the ball. The Brewers revamped over the offseason as well, grabbing Zack Grienke, who pumps himself full of Zoloft before every start, and Shaun Marcum, a solid starter who spent time with the Blue Jays, and they've got Ryan Braun in that lineup, one of the best players in baseball today. I still think it's going to be the Reds here.
Angels vs. Royals-Jered Weaver and Luke Hochevar. The Royals are just not good. I mean really not good. They have a ton of young guys coming up who might change that, but expect them to remain garbage this year. Hochevar is a new guy who has a ton of potential, so expect good things from him at least this season. Weaver is a classic, and even though the Angels didn't do too much this offseason, expect them to be pretty potent offensively. Again, the Royals don't have much going for them, so just ignore them. Definitely a win for the Angels today.
Padres vs. Cardinals- Stauffer vs. Carpenter. I've never even heard of this Stauffer guy, but the Padres are an up and coming team this season, with a ton of potential. Losing Adrian Gonzalez is a big blow for the Padres but they're hungry. The Cardinals are going through some shit this season, with Wainwright out for the season and all these Pujols contract troubles, but expect good things from Pujols. He's playing for money he deserves anyways, but he is going to EXPLODE this season, as good as he is, expect him to even better. It's not gonna be the Cardinals best season ever, but I'm saying they win this game.
Giants vs. Dodgers- Lincecum against Kershaw. This is an awesome pitching matchup. Lincecum is gonna be burning joints in the clubhouse before game time, eating 3 tons of In 'n' Out Burger, and then come out and pitch nastily. Kershaw is fucking lights out, so this game is going to come down to pitching. The Giants are aiming for a repeat with their gaggle of misfits. The Dodgers aren't a huge power, but they do have some solid pitching, and are gunning for control of the NL West. Expect the Giants to win today, still riding high (literally) after last season.
Enjoy your opening day everyone, and feel free to give me shit for these predictions.