Congratulations, you succeeded. The baseball off-season is over and we’re heading full steam into Opening Day on Thursday.
In just a few hours, pitchers across 30 MLB teams will be hitting the mound, with newfound optimism and renewed hope that this will be their year*.
There have been a lot of changes – we’ll discuss them all here – and there’s probably more excitement among fans than ever before.
here, Daily Mail.com It’ll take you through everything you need to know before Opening Day, including where to watch, what all the big games are, who’s pitching for each team, and some of the best bets…
DailyMail.com will take you through everything you need to know before opening day
First of all, the matches and where to watch…
Atlanta Braves @ Washington Nationals – 1:05 p.m. EST (Bally SE, MASN, MLB Network)
San Francisco Giants @ New York Yankees – 1:05 p.m. EST (NBCS Bay Area, yes, MLBN)
Baltimore Orioles @ Boston Red Sox – 2:10 PM EST (MASN2, NESN)
Milwaukee Brewers @ Chicago Cubs – 2:20 p.m. EST (Bally Wisconsin, MARQ)
Detroit Tigers @ Tampa Bay Rays – 3:10 PM EST (Bally Detroit, Bali Sun, MLBTV)
Philadelphia Phillies @ Texas Rangers – 4:05 p.m. EST (Bally New Orleans, Bally Oklahoma, Bally Southeast, Bally Southwest Extra, ESPN+)
Pittsburgh Pirates @ Cincinnati Reds – 4:10 PM EST (ATTSN Pittsburgh, Bally Ohio)
Colorado Rockies @ San Diego Padres – 4:10pm EST (ATTSN Rocky Mountains, Bally San Diego)
Toronto Blue Jays @ St Louis Cardinals – 4:10 p.m. EST (Sportsnet, Bally Mid West)
Minnesota Twins @ Kansas City Royals – 4:10 p.m. EST (Bally Kansas City, Bally North)
New York Mets @ Miami Marlins – 4:10pm EST (SNY, MLB Network, Bally Florida)
Chicago White Sox @ Houston Astros – 7:08 PM EST (ESPN, TSN4, TVA Sports)
Los Angeles Angels @ Oakland Athletics – 10:07 p.m. EST (Bali West, NBCSCA, MLBN)
Arizona Diamondbacks @ Los Angeles Dodgers – 10:10 p.m. EST (Bally Arizona, SNLA)
Cleveland Guardians @ Seattle Mariners – 10:10 p.m. EST (Bally Great Lakes, Root Sports, MLB Network)
The New York Yankees will open the 2023 season against the San Francisco Giants in the Bronx
Who is promoting?
Max Fried vs. Patrick Corbin: Atlanta Braves @ Washington Nationals – 1:05 PM ET
Logan Webb vs. Gerrit Cole: San Francisco Giants at New York Yankees – 1:05 p.m. EST
Kyle Gibson vs. Corey Kluber: Baltimore Orioles @ Boston Red Sox – 2:10 PM EST
Corbin Burns vs. Marcus Strowman: Milwaukee Brewers @ Chicago Cubs – 2:20 PM EST
Eduardo Rodriguez x Shane McClanahan: Detroit Tigers @ Tampa Bay Rays – 3:10 PM EST
Aaron Nola vs. Jacob DeGrumPhiladelphia Phillies @ Texas Rangers – 4:05 PM EST
Mitch Keller vs. Hunter Green: Pittsburgh Pirates @ Cincinnati Reds – 4:10 PM EST
German Marquis vs. Blake Snell: Colorado Rockies @ San Diego Padres – 4:10 p.m
Alec Manoah vs. Miles Mikulas: Toronto Blue Jays @ St Louis Cardinals – 4:10 PM EST
Pablo Lopez vs Zack GrenkMinnesota Twins @ Kansas City Royals – 4:10pm EST
Max Scherzer vs. Sandy Alcantara: New York Mets @ Miami Marlins – 4:10 PM EST
Dylan Sis vs. Framper Valdez: Chicago White Sox @ Houston Astros – 7:08 PM EST
Shuhei Ohtani vs. Kyle Mueller: Los Angeles Angels @ Oakland Athletics – 10:07 PM EST
Zack Gallen vs. Julio Lloris: Arizona Diamondbacks @ Los Angeles Dodgers – 10:10 PM EST
Shane Pepper vs. Louis Castillo: Cleveland Guardians @ Seattle Mariners – 10:10 PM EST
Max Scherzer is set to face Sandy Alcantara in a pitching match in the Mets’ first game
Games to watch out for
Rhino in LA Angels Shohei Ohtani
After leading Japan to the WBC crown from the hill against fellow LA Angels Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani is hoping to repeat his form – this time on the same team as Trout.
Considered an early favorite to steal the American League MVP title from Yankees star Aaron Judge, the Angels pitcher/designated hitter is somewhat of a unicorn.
All eyes will be on the evil court of the right flank as they begin their second consecutive Opening Day attempt to take on As.
Houston, did we take off again?
The Astros have been the dominant force in the American League since completing a controversial rebuild midway through 2010, most recently blasting the Yankees on a clean sweep of the ALCS.
This year it’s more of the same, though, losing first-place finisher Justin Verlander in free agency to the Mets.
All eyes will be on the reigning champions as they look to start their defense of the World Series against the Chicago White Sox.
New LA Angels Unicorn Team Victory Over WBC With Japan, Shohei Ohtani Is Early Favorite MVP
Can Aaron Judge keep pounding in the Bronx?
AL MVP Aaron Judge had a memorable 2022, breaking Rodger Maris’ record for home runs with 62 in the regular season.
The Yankees star has been rewarded with a new nine-year, $360 million deal to stay in the Bronx and lead the one franchise he really wanted to play for.
Judge and the Bronx Bombers will have an interesting opening day matchup as they take on the San Francisco Giants – the same team that came close to being robbed in free agency over the offseason.
The six-foot-seven star is hoping to prove a point against his former fans, but can he get Aaron Boone’s team off to a perfect start as they look to go one step further this season?
The Mets’ big money moves will pay off
New York Mets owner Steve Cohen doled out the cash for the winner, adding the likes of Justin Verlander, Brandon Nimmo and Kodai Senga.
However, they lost Edwin Diaz indefinitely after the star relief player suffered a bizarre knee injury in the WBC. Undeniably, the Mets’ chances of bringing home the title for the first time since 1986 have been diminished by Diaz’s long-term absence, but the Mets still have plenty of superstars on their roster.
It will be interesting to see if the profits from the Mets’ sizable investment and Cohen’s carefully constructed team can come together to offer the franchise a proper shot at the World Series.
Aaron Judge will be looking to repeat his historic 2022 season that saw him break the HR record
What are the changes in the rule?
Well, there was a lot… Here’s a quick rundown of what exactly changed at the start of the 2023 season.
Stadium hour: Pitch Clock aims to speed up the pace of play by reducing the amount of time lost between courts. Players will have 30 seconds to resume play between batters. Between pitches, pitchers have 15 seconds with no one running and 20 seconds if there is a baserunner. The thrower must start his hand before the clock is up. After the pitch, the clock starts again when the pitcher has recovered the ball, the catcher and batter are in the circle around home plate, and play is ready to resume.
Ejector disassembly limits: Pitchers may only pop off the rubber—either to call a timeout or to attempt to throw the ball—twice per plate appearance. After the pitcher uses the disengagement, he can still attempt the flop, but it is better to be successful. If the base runner returns safely, a handicap is assessed and the runner advances. If the runner advances while the plate is popping, the disengagement limit is reset. Mounds visits, injury timeouts, and timeouts for the offensive team are not a disengagement.
The stadium timer has been added to improve speed and reduce dead time in games this coming season
Involuntary Shift Limits: Pitch shifting—the placement of three or more players on one side of second base, usually with one outfield position—has been a common trend over the past decade, and is believed by many to have contributed to declining batting rates. The new rule states that all four outfielders must have both feet inside the outfield boundary and two outs must be on each side of second base when turning over the pitch.
Bigger bases: New larger bases have been introduced to improve player safety and to modestly encourage more stolen base attempts. The bases are now 18 inches square, up from 15 inches square. Home plate is now 3 inches closer to first and third bases, while the cornerbacks are now 4 1/2 inches closer to second base.
Best bets from around the league
The Red Sox’ Orioles would be highest in points in the opener: +650 at Kings
The Twins would be the highest scoring team on Opening Day: +1300 in Kings
Aaron Judge repeat as MLB’s home run leader: +550 favored at betMGM
Shuhei Ohtani wins tournament MVP: 200+ favorite in SI Sportsbook