With the first day of games in the books, we can officially look forward to tonight’s matchups.
Atlanta Braves @ Miami Marlins, 7:10 pm
The Braves, seen as a team without much hope, had a bright Opening Day, traveling to Miami and beating them 2-1. Ace Julio Teheran had a solid game, scattering eight hits and a run over six innings, and new right fielder Nick Markakis had both of the Braves RBI’s. Tomorrow, they’ll have Alex Wood on the bump against Mat Latos. Wood won 11 games for the Braves last year, posting a solid 2.78 ERA, while Latos went 5-5 with a 3.25 in 16 starts for the Reds. It’s a relatively evenly matched pitching game. We’ll see if Wood can continue where Teheran left off.
Baltimore Orioles @ Tampa Bay Rays, 7:10 pm
In the first game, the O’s were relatively dominant, taking a lead early and carrying away, beating host Tampa Bay, 6-2. Alfredo De Aza, Steve Pearce, and Ryan Flaherty homered, and Chris Tillman was excellent, allowing just four hits and a run in six and two-thirds innings. In the middle game of the series, they’ll have 16-game winner Wei-Yin Chen on the mound against 27-year-old Nathan Karns, who went 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA last season in two starts. Also, look for speedster Everth Cabrera to start at shortstop tomorrow instead of Ryan Flaherty.
St. Louis Cardinals @ Chicago Cubs, 8:05 pm
After a very disappointing Opening Day, the Cubs hope to rebound in the second game. Ace Jon Lester struggled mightily, superstar youngster Jorge Soler was held at bay by Adam Wainwright, and the Cubs were shut out. They’ll have 2014 surprise Jake Arrieta on the hill. After a relatively terrible start to his career in Baltimore, he was traded to Chicago, and in his first full year as a Cub, was excellent, with ten wins, five losses, and a 2.53 ERA. He’ll take the mound as the Cubs number two starter, and he rivals Lance Lynn, who has gone 48-27 since 2012. It certainly has the looks of a pitchers duel.
Colorado Rockies @ Milwaukee Brewers, 8:10 pm
In one of the big surprises of Opening Day, a battle of two offenses looked like a battle of one. The Rockies and Brewers faced off in a pitching matchup that the Brewers appeared to have a clear advantage in (Kyle Lohse vs. Kyle Kendrick), but Lohse was rocked, allowing eight runs on ten hits, failing to get out of the fourth, while Kendrick scattered seven hits in as many innings, and the Rox rolled to a 10-0 win in Milwaukee. To make matters worse, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was hurt in the game and will be evaluated tomorrow. In tomorrow’s game, they’ll have veteran Matt Garza on the hill against youngster Jordan Lyles. On the pitching thirsty Rox, they’ll need Lyles to break out this year. After a rocky (no pun intended) start to his career, Lyles put up better numbers (7-4, 4.21) last year in Colorado than he did in his first three years in Houston. Garza won eight games, lost as many, and posted a 3.64 ERA over 163 1/3 innings of work.
San Francisco Giants @ Arizona Diamondbacks, 9:40 pm
In a game that got interesting late, the Giants beat the Diamondbacks on Opening Day. Madison Bumgarner scattered six hits and a run over seven innings, while the Giants top three of Nori Aoki, Joe Panik, and Angel Pagan combined for seven hits and a pair of RBI. The Giants pen, however, struggled. In the eighth, Javier Lopez, Jean Machi, and Sergio Romo combined to get two guys out, allow three hits, three runs, and walk two, allowing the Diamondbacks to cut the lead from a comfortable four runs to one. This was all until Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla shut the door. For the D’Backs, ace Josh Collmenter was beat around, as he allowed ten hits, five runs, and failed to get out of the fifth. A three-run double by Jake Lamb did the damage in the eighth. Tomorrow, the D’Backs will start acquisition Rubby de La Rosa, the owner of an 8-15 record and 4.34 mark. The Giants are facing some injury troubles in their rotation, and tomorrow will go with Ryan Vogelsong. An All Star in 2012, Vogelsong was 8-13 with a 4.00 last year and was brought back for depth purposes, and seems valuable at a time like now when both Matt Cain and Jake Peavy are injured.
Texas Rangers @ Oakland Athletics, 10:10 pm
In the Opening Day matchup, Sonny Gray dominated the listless Rangers. He took a no-hitter into the seventh, allowing only a single to Ryan Rua, finishing with one hit allowed, one walk, three strikeouts, and no runs over eight innings in an 8-0 victory. New A’s Ben Zobrist and Billy Butler, led the way as Zobrist was 2-for-4 with a homer, and Butler had a double, walk, and RBI. Jesse Hahn, traded to Oakland from San Diego in a move that sent catcher Derek Norris to the Friars, makes his A’s debut after posting a 3.06 ERA in five spring training outings. Veteran Colby Lewis is on the bump for the Rangers, as he looks to pick the Rangers up after a tough 8-0 defeat. Lewis had a rough season last year, with 14 losses and a 5.18 mark.
Los Angeles Angels @ Seattle Mariners, 10:10 pm
In today’s 4-1 win over the Angels, the Mariners got a little of the usual – an excellent outing from Felix Hernandez. In seven innings, Hernandez allowed just two hits, one run, and struck out ten – and mind you, the only run he allowed was a solo home run to Mike Trout. New Mariners outfielder Seth Smith had three hits and seven total bases. It was definitely a good start for a Mariners team with very high hopes for this season. Tomorrow, they’ll have James Paxton on the hill against Angels lefty CJ Wilson, a 13-game winner in 2014. Paxton seems like a breakout candidate. In just 73 innings last year, he went 6-4 with a 3.04 mark. His progress is essential to the Mariners 2015 fate.
San Diego Padres @ Los Angeles Dodgers, 10:10 pm
On a Dodgers Opening Day, most years, you can expect lefty Clayton Kershaw to stifle the opponent and lead the Dodgers to an easy victory. Not this year, though. In six innings, Kershaw allowed three runs, and it took a late Jimmy Rollins three-run bomb for the Dodgers to emerge victorious against their NL West competition. Tonight, they’ll have veteran Zack Greinke on the hill against Tyson Ross. These Padres/Dodgers matchups figure to be among the most entertaining of the year, judging by the way they played on Opening Day.