MLB Opening Day: What to watch out for

Yankee Stadium
Yankee Stadium will be hosting MLB action on Opening Day 2021. Photo from North Jersey.com.

Opening Day of the 2021 MLB season is almost here – let’s take a quick look at what to expect…

MLB Opening Day 2021 Preview

After months of waiting, the first games of the regular MLB season are looming. Lots of teams are looking to start off strong 2021 campaign. In this article, I’ll detail the most interesting or exciting stories to look out for on day one.

Familiar faces in new places

One of the most exciting things about Opening Day each year is seeing superstars make their debut with their brand new teams.

There’s no shortage of debuts coming, and it all starts with the first game of the season. George Springer and Marcus Semien are debuting for the Toronto Blue Jays, with Springer likely to be the first batter of the season against Gerrit Cole and the New York Yankees.

Springer and Semien signing deals with Toronto might come as a surprise to some, but with their young talent starting to emerge, it seems as if the Blue Jays will be a team with a lot of intrigue this season, and could possibly make the jump to contention as soon as this year.

The biggest trade pieces of the offseason, Nolan Arenado and Francisco Lindor, are also set to make their debuts for their respective teams. Arenado, who spent the last 8 seasons with the Colorado Rockies, looks to lead the Cardinals to his first division title of his career, after having two wild card appearances with the Rockies but only winning one playoff game in that time.

Lindor, acquired from Cleveland, is the biggest of many additions by the Mets this offseason. Under new owner Steve Cohen, he looks to lead one of the NL favorites to a World Series.


Battle of Aces

One of the best things about Opening Day 2021 is each team sending out their best pitcher, leading to some incredible pitching matchups.

There will be plenty of great pitchers on the bump day one this year, including reigning AL Cy Young winner Shane Bieber, Clayton Kershaw, Lucas Giolito, Gerrit Cole, and Jack Flaherty.

But no other pitching matchup has more excitement behind it than the pitching matchup for the New York Mets--Washington Nationals game, with Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer duelling against each other.

Both guys are likely to be hall of famers, and still have electric stuff. deGrom is coming off a 3rd place Cy Young finish after winning the award the two years prior, and has been looking incredible in Spring Training. Scherzer is looking to bounce back after having and injury riddled 2020. Even with the elite talents such as Juan Soto, Francisco Lindor, and Pete Alonso set to be in the lineups, it’s likely this will be a low scoring duel.

The Padres

There is no team that has more excitement attached to them this year than the San Diego Padres.

Their opening day matchup is against the Arizona Diamondbacks as one of the afternoon games. After making the playoffs for the first time since 2006 last season, the Padres look to build off that success this year as they’re one of the favorites in Vegas to win the World Series.

They arguably had the best offseason of any team, after acquiring 2018 Cy Young Winner Blake Snell, Cy Young runner up Yu Darvish, and former Pirates ace Joe Musgrove.

All of these acquisitions already go along with their exciting core of Manny Machado, Trent Grisham, and of course, Fernando Tatis Jr. Tatis is the most exciting player in the league, and just signed a 14 year/340 million dollar contract extension, so he’s looking to prove he’s worth the money and the hype.

Unfortunately for the Padres, they share a division with the reigning World Champs and one of the greatest rosters in recent history, the Los Angeles Dodgers. They’re set to face off 19 times during the regular season, and each game is destined to be electric.

There’s a lot to look forward to this year, especially since last season was so short. It’s going to be exciting to see a full 7 month season with fans in the stands, an all star weekend, and a more exciting trade deadline. Hopefully for October baseball, there will be full stadiums and electric crowds. But for now, let’s be thankful that we finally a season starting in April and be ready for all the action yet to come.

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