Opening Day in MLB is always the single most sure sign that spring has fully sprung. Ballparks across America will be filled to capacity in the coming days.
At last, Major League Baseball returns for the 2017 season.
Over the next seven months, excitement and drama that we can’t even imagine today will take place.
While we cannot foresee the details, we can take a stab at a few predictions.
Some things are fairly certain based on the 2017 MLB season schedule. For instance, we know that the first game is scheduled to begin at 1:10pm EDT on Sunday afternoon.
The New York Yankees take the field against the host Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Since ‘The Trop’ is a domed stadium, chances of weather interruptions are almost non-existent.
Chris Archer of Tampa Bay is scheduled to throw the season’s first official pitch. Digging in at the plate as the Yanks’ leadoff hitter will be left fielder Brett Gardner.
Later that same day, two more games are scheduled to take place. The San Francisco Giants send ace lefty Madison Bumgarner to the hill. He will face the NL West rival Arizona Diamondbacks and their ace righty Zack Greinke. That game is scheduled to start at 4:10pm EDT at Chase Field in Phoenix.
The day’s action is scheduled to wrap with an 8:35pm EDT classic. The defending world champion Chicago Cubs visit their arch-rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals.
BEYOND THE FIRST DAY
Those three games will be followed by a dozen more scheduled to take place on Monday. Thus the full 2017 MLB regular season will be underway.
But where will it all end? Which players and teams will excel this season? Who will shine as the biggest, brightest individual stars of 2017? Which teams will overcome adversity and reach the postseason of October?
With prognosticators across the game making their predictions, it’s time for me to take my turn. Here go my picks for the final standings in each division. I will also make my postseason predictions. And you will also see my choices to take home the major awards from this coming MLB season.