The start of the MLB 2022 season has finally arrived!
Starting with seven games on Thursday’s opening day and continuing with the rest of MLB in action on Friday, it’s time to welcome a new year in diamonds. To celebrate the return of baseball, we asked our experts to think of what they were most excited to watch—and predict a gritty opening day.
Once the games start, be sure to update this page early and often to get our live updates and takeaways from every game on Opening Day Thursday and Friday.
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Thursday opening day schedule
All times are oriental
2:20 p.m.: Brewers (Burns) in Cubs (Hendricks)
4:10 pm: Guardians (Pepper) in Royals (Grink)
4:15 p.m.: pirates (Propacker) in Cardinals (Wainwright)
7:05 p.m. on ESPN+: Mets (TBC) in the Nationals (Corbin)
8:00 p.m. on ESPN2: Reds (Mahli) in Braves (fried)
9:38 p.m.: Astros (Valdez(in the angels)ohtani)
9:40 pm: Padres (dervish(in Diamondbacks)Baumgarner)
Friday Openers: Red Sox-Yankees, White Sox-Tigers, A’s-Phillies, Orioles-Rays, Dodgers-Rockies, Mariners-Twins, Marlins-Giants, Rangers-Blue Jays
Opening Day Predictions And What We Can’t Wait To See
What are you most excited to see on opening day?
Bradford Doolittle: I’m in Minneapolis for the Twins-Mariners series which has been postponed daily due to some inhospitable spring weather. The upside is that I get two opening days and can watch the debut of Bobby Witt Jr.. In Kansas City on some sort of screen on Thursday before seeing Seattle Julio Rodriguez directly on Friday. We didn’t always see the most exciting prospect on opening day (Witt is number two and Rodriguez is number three on Kelly McDaniel’s Top 100 Potential Clients list), so that’s pretty cool. The race for the MLS Player of the Year award has begun.
Jesse Rogers: The debut of the rookie Cubs team Seiya Suzuki. He is a multi-tool player who has the power in all areas and a rocket with an arm. As noted in the recent CPA battle, most rookies don’t make a lot of money—but Suzuki signed a five-year, $85 million contract this offseason, so all eyes will be on him throughout the baseball world. He has a chance to be the next big star in a team suddenly devoid of them. Thursday is his first chance to show fans across the city of Chicago what they’re getting.
David Schoenefeld: The Padres might be the coolest team to watch in April. There is a lot of pressure on a team that now runs one of the highest payrolls in baseball and is coming off a losing season. They collapsed on the sprawl, and while the rotation is sound again, the Padres will have to play two months without Fernando Tates Jr.. So on opening day, I want to see how yo darwish Takes care after moving 1-8 (6.16 ERA) in the second half. I want to see how new manager Bob Melvin sets up a bullpen late in the game. I want to see if Ha Seung Kim He can not only fill in, but hit like he did in Korea after struggling in his first debut season. I want to see any Mane Machado Shows. The Padres start with 14 games against the Diamondbacks, Giants, Rangers and Pirates – a golden opportunity to get off to a hot start and put the disappointment of 2021 behind them.
John Lee: I’m with David on this. The Padres are at a great inflection point in AJ Preller’s tenure with Tatis injured and the level of financial investment at the heart of this team. According to multiple sources, Padres’ club chemistry has suffered under Jayce Tingler, so adding Melvin will completely shake up the team’s locker room dynamics. I’m interested to know which Darvish appears on opening day and how previous winner Cy Young Blake Snell Knight is in his second season in San Diego after struggling to set similar numbers for his tenure at Tampa Bay. Especially after trading for Eric Hosmer After faltering and injuring Tates, the team will need its high-paid players to play better in 2022.
Buster Olney: I’m in Atlanta, and I’d be thrilled to see the new First Officer’s Reception Matt Olson – and I expect it to be loud and permanent. If anyone will replace Freddy Freeman Initially, Olson was the ideal candidate due to his local roots, age and authority. If the magical scenario for the Braves from last year’s World Championships still plays out, Olson will have a pivotal success — and Atlanta fans will go wild. What a story it will be
Cole Harvey: I’m so excited to join Buster in my hometown of Atlanta, where I’ll be sitting front row to crown a generation in the making. As a lifelong supporter of everything ATL, 404, Chick-fil-A, and Waffle House, the 10-year-old inside me still couldn’t believe that one of the pro teams from his hometown was about to get another banner-raising night. The 1995 and 2021 Braves championships and the MLS title for Atlanta United in 2018 are all we have! After 28-3 memes and jokes, the hate-packed city deserves more than it deserves to celebrate winning the World Championships last October again. The Atlanteans deserved it.
Alden Gonzalez: I will be at Angle Stadium on Thursday, and because of that I will be the luckiest of all. Shuhei Ohtani He’ll be on the hill and be in the squad, starting what promises to be another captivating season as a two-way player. The conversation about Angel Camp this spring revolved around whether Otani could really be better This year, given how he’s developed as a pitcher and how he’s become comfortable with the duo role as the season has progressed. It seems impossible – until you realize how special this guy is.
Tim Keon: got mets Max Scherzer to work with Jacob Degromthey open opening day is… Taylor Miguel. next to pirates JT Probacker, Megill is the most open day start on opening day. Even Auckland has Frankie Montas, although there is a possibility that it will be traded ahead of Friday’s first show in Philadelphia. It might not mean much – Scherzer should be back soon, maybe even for a second game – but it sure sounds like an omen.
It’s time to call your shot: What’s your prediction for the lonely opening day sure Checks?
Doolittle: Albert Pujols Going to Homer in St. Louis. Even if it turns out that he’s the only Homer to hit all season, there’s no way this could not happen. There are plenty of young Cardinals enthusiasts in St. Louis who only heard of Pujols from their parents. It’s great to have them try it out this year as he transitions out of a Hall of Fame career.
Rogers: Corbin Burns He will hit the Cubs once – and Suzuki will be the only hitter to reach him. Chicago has a little left-handed pop, while right-handed opponents accumulated a minuscule hit number of .179 in 2021. With a player hitting right-handed at first base and right-handed fielding—two positions often assigned to left-power hits—- it will be The Cubs are at a disadvantage against the top right all season. Trying to hit Burns on Thursday, in 40-degree weather, will make things even more difficult.
Schoenefeld: Machado got off to a slow start in 2021, but with Tatis out, the Padres need him to hit the ground running. Diamondbacks writer didn’t hit Madison Baumgarner That’s well over his career (.212/.257/.515), even though three of his seven hits are home runs. I say he went twice from Madboom while Padres wins the opening match.
Olney: He’s not doing a show on opening day, but I’m going to name that this will be the last year of the Hall of Famer in the future Jacob Degrom with the Mets. Steve Cohen has shown he’s willing and willing to invest in any way he feels can help the Mets, but there are a lot of variables involved in DeGrom’s return — questions about his health now, his health progressing, and most importantly, what he wants. We’ll look back at his confirmation that he pulled out of his contract despite his recent injury as the first real indication he’s heading elsewhere.
Gonzalez: Both Rodriguez and Witt Jr. will be hitting home runs in their first league appearances. The two head out what looks like this year’s AL Rookie field is incredibly deep, along with Spencer Torkelson. They will eventually be joined by Adley Rutschman and Riley Greene. Not included in this list: Franco’s walk, who passed his junior eligibility last year but will play in his first full season in 2022. He may be the biggest star of them all. The young talent in the sport is amazing right now – and I only counted one league.
kyun: We’ll all remember it Mike Trout Not only is he there, he remains the best player in the sport. The eyes of the game will be on Shohei Otani to start the Angels’ opening match against the Astros, but by the end of the fourth or fifth inning, it will be trout night.
Mine: Shuhei Ohtani He will come out the gates strong on opening day, explaining that the past year has not been a mirage and that it is possible to play at a high level across multiple seasons – and opening up the idea that teams can develop more than two-way players, not necessarily at an outlandish level, but to maximize the value of each place in the list.
Harvey: okay then Austin RileyThe Grapefruit League offering wasn’t the strongest (.214, 6 vs. 28), but I counted it heavily on a big opening night. This will happen in what will be his first match at Trust Park since the World Championships. In the last postseason home, he hit .419 (13 versus 31) with five additional base strokes. He’ll capitalize on that hit success once again in front of another raucous and frantic crowd from Atlanta, giving fans some late-night magic.