The 2022 MLB season is upon us, and the schedule is filled with juicy season openers over the first two days.
Opening day action begins Thursday afternoon with the Brewers-Cubs, featuring defending NL Cy Young Corbin Burnes on the mound for Milwaukee. Royals phenom Bobby Witt Jr. will make his MLB debut against the newly minted Guardians in MLB.TV’s free game of the day later in the afternoon, as the night’s slate features the defending champion of the World Series Braves against the Reds (on ESPN2), as well as Angels two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani on the mound (and at home plate) against the Astros.
Eight more season-opening matchups await Friday, with the Red Sox and Yankees kicking off after their opener was postponed on Thursday. In other action, an Apple TV+ doubleheader will combine Max Scherzer’s debut with the Mets against his former team, the Nationals, with another Angels-Astros tilt from Anaheim.
So get ready for two full days of baseball with this guide to the season opening 15 games on Thursday and Friday, listed in order of start time (all times ET). Every game is available live on MLB.TV (local and national restrictions apply).
SP showdown: Corbin Burnes (MIL) v Kyle Hendricks (CHC) – The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner takes the mound for the Brewers on his first opening day start after leading the Majors with a 2.43 ERA in 2021.
See this new face: Seiya Suzuki will make his MLB debut for Chicago after the 27-year-old outfielder hit 38 home runs for Hiroshima Carp in Japan in 2021.
Note to know: Cubs catcher Willson Contreras will make his sixth consecutive opening day start from behind the plate, tying Jody Davis for the most in franchise history since Gabby Hartnett made it seven straight from 1930 to 1936.
SP showdown: Shane Bieber (CLE) vs. Zack Greinke (KC) – Two former Cy Young winners square off in Greinke’s return to Kansas City, where the 38-year-old won the award in 2009 and started on the day of the opening 2010.
See this new face: Bobby Witt Jr. earned a spot on the Opening Day roster, paving the way for baseball’s No. 1 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, to make his highly anticipated MLB debut.
Note to know: After trading Jordan Luplow to Arizona, the Guardians will launch a different center back on Opening Day for the 10th consecutive season.
SP showdown: JT Brubaker (PIT) vs. Adam Wainwright (STL) — At 40 and potentially in his final season, Wainwright will enter his sixth opener and seventh opener at home for the Cardinals, passing Bob Gibson.
See this new face: What’s old is new again – Albert Pujols returns to the Cardinals for the first time since 2011 and will be in the Busch Stadium roster as a DH for his 22nd straight start on Opening Day.
Note to know: Brubaker will be the seventh different pitcher in the past seven years to be given the opening day nod for the Pirates.
SP showdown: Tylor Megill (NYM) vs. Patrick Corbin (WSH) – Thanks to injuries to Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer in late spring, new Mets manager Buck Showalter had to go to Plan C for Opening Day.
See this new face: Free agent addition Starling Marte is expected to fill right field for the Mets. The speedster led the Majors with 47 stolen bases in 2021 while hitting .310.
Note to know: The Mets rank first all-time in winning percentage (.650) in the season opener, including wins in 39 of the last 52 openers. (This match was originally scheduled for 4:05 p.m. but was pushed back to accommodate bad weather in the forecast.)
SP showdown: Tyler Mahle (CIN) vs. Max Fried (ATL) – The World Series champions begin their title defense behind Fried, who makes his second straight start on opening day after winning the deciding match at the Fall Classic.
See this new face: Matt Olson will replace Freddie Freeman at first base in Atlanta, the 28-year-old left-handed slugger coming off a 39 homer season for the A’s.
Note to know: For the 14th straight year, Joey Votto will start at first base for Cincinnati, breaking a tie with Dave Concepcion for second place on the all-time franchise list for consecutive Opening Day starts, behind only Pete Rose ( 16).
SP showdown: Framber Valdez (HOU) vs. Shohei Ohtani (LAA) – The reigning AL MVP is set to start Opening Day as a first-time pitcher…and of course Ohtani will also be in the formation of the Angels as a hitter.
See this new face: With the departure of Carlos Correa for the Twins, the Astros’ top prospect, Jeremy Peña, is ready to take over as the team’s new starting shortstop.
Note to know: The Astros have won nine consecutive games on Opening Day – the longest active streak in MLB.
SP showdown: Yu Darvish (SD) vs. Madison Bumgarner (ARI) — Darvish will become the first Padres pitcher to start back-to-back opening days since Edinson Vólquez did in 2010-11.
See this new face: Luke Voit, who led the Majors with 22 homers in a shortened 2020 campaign, is expected to become San Diego’s designated hitter after a trade from the Yankees in March.
Note to know: Bumgarner’s eighth start on Opening Day will put him behind Justin Verlander (12) and Clayton Kershaw (nine) among active pitchers.
SP showdown: Nathan Eovaldi (BOS) vs. Gerrit Cole (NYY) – It’s a Wild Card Game AL 2021 rematch, when Eovaldi edged out Cole, and both pitchers are also making their third straight opener for their clubs.
See this new face: Trevor Story, who hit 24 home runs and 20 stolen bases for the Rockies in 2021, will be welcome in the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry as Boston’s newest second baseman. Josh Donaldson, three-time All-Star and 2015 AL MVP, will try to bring even more punch to a powerful Yankees roster.
Note to know: The Red Sox have won their last two Opening Day games against the Yankees (in 2010 and 2013), while scoring a total of 17 points.
SP showdown: Lucas Giolito (CWS) vs. Eduardo Rodriguez (DET) – Giolito will make his third straight start on Opening Day, the most since Mark Buehrle amassed four in a row from 2008-2011.
See this new face: After six years in Boston, Rodriguez will serve as a veteran presence at the top of Detroit’s young starting rotation.
Note to know: Coming into this season, Miguel Cabrera is behind only Albert Pujols (21) for the longest active streak of Opening Day starts (18), the last 14 being in Detroit.
SP showdown: Frankie Montas (OAK) vs. Aaron Nola (PHI) – Nola will make his fifth straight start on Opening Day, the most for a Phillie since Steve Carlton made 10 in a row from 1977-1986.
See this new face: Powerhouse outfielders Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos are set to make their debuts at Citizens Bank Park as the Phillies.
Note to know: It’s only the fourth series the A’s – who called Philly home from 1901 to 1954 – have played on the road against the Phillies since the start of Interleague Play. The last dates back to 2017.
SP showdown: Josh Means (BAL) vs. Shane McClanahan (TB) – Means will enter his second straight opening day after leading the Orioles to victory in the role in 2021 with seven shutout innings against the Red Sox.
See this new face: Josh Lowe, the Rays’ No. 2-ranked prospect, per MLB Pipeline, is expected to be a regular contributor for Tampa Bay after the team’s trade from Austin Meadows to the Tigers.
Note to know: Rays center back Kevin Kiermaier’s eighth career start on Opening Day would tie him with Carl Crawford in franchise history, behind Evan Longoria (nine).
SP showdown: Walker Buehler (LAD) vs. Kyle Freeland (COL) – After putting up similar numbers to Cy Young last year, Buehler will make his first Opening Day start for Los Angeles.
See this new face: After a surprise free agent signing, Kris Bryant will make his debut as a stalwart of the Colorado roster, while Freddie Freeman takes his first regular-season cuts as a Dodger.
Note to know: After losing Corey Seager in free agency in Texas, Los Angeles is set to make Trea Turner its first opening day shortstop other than Seager since Jimmy Rollins in 2015.
SP showdown: Robbie Ray (SEA) vs. Joe Ryan (MIN) – Ryan will become the third pitcher since 1961 to start Opening Day in his first six career games and the first rookie to start the Twins’ Opening Day since Tom Hall in ’69.
See this new face: Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray will top Seattle’s starting rotation as the team seeks to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2001. He will face the new shortstop of the Twins Carlos Correa, after the team added the 2022 free agent headliner class on a three-year contract worth $105.2 million.
Note to know: MLB Pipeline’s No. 3 prospect, outfielder Julio Rodríguez, will join Ken Griffey Jr. and Omar Vizquel (both 1989) as the only Mariners to make their Opening Day debut at age 21 or younger.
SP showdown: Sandy Alcantara (MIA) vs. Logan Webb (SF) – After becoming San Francisco’s ace last year, Webb will make his first career start as the youngest member of the Giants’ veteran rotation.
See this new face: Miami added two powerhouse outfielders in Jorge Soler and Avisaíl García midway through their roster this offseason.
Note to know: Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford and first baseman Brandon Belt will both make their 11th opening day for San Francisco.
SP showdown: Jon Gray (TEX) vs. José Berríos (TOR) – Gray and Berríos are both on their third opening day and the first for their respective teams.
See this new face: Texas’ new star-studded double-play combo of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien will make his Rangers debut.
Note to know: The Rangers have had a different starting pitcher on Opening Day for 13 consecutive seasons, a date dating back to Kevin Millwood in 2009.