The NFL season has long been over and the NBA and NHL are almost ready to enter the playoffs, but MLB Opening Day is right around the corner. The countdown has begun for the 2015 season, which is set to begin at the start of April, with every team playing their first game in a 26-hour period.
The St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs are scheduled to play the first game of the upcoming season. While the rest of the league will start their year on Monday, April 6, the National League Central rivals are set to face off on Sunday, April 5.
Last year, the season’s first MLB game was played in Australia. The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks on March 22 and March 23. After starting the 2014 season in the fourth week of March, the 2015 season will begin two weeks later.
Chicago has been one of the worst teams in baseball over the last five years, failing to post a winning record and finishing in fifth place each season. Last year’s 73 wins were the most the Cubs have recorded since 2010, and they are expected to be much improved in 2015. After signing starting pitcher Jon Lester to a lengthy contract, Chicago is one of the favorites to win the NL pennant.
It seems that the Cardinals are always one of the favorites in the NL. St. Louis has reached the NLCS nine times since 2000, including in each of the last four seasons. They didn’t make any major signings in free agency, but they did acquire outfielder Jason Heyward and reliever Jordan Walden in a trade with the Atlanta Braves.
The other 28 teams will play their first games the following day. The Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers will start the day’s action at 1 p.m. ET. Games will be played throughout the day, concluding with the Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers vs. Oakland Athletics at 10 p.m. ET.
Max Scherzer will get the opening day start for the Washington Nationals, having signed the biggest contract in the offseason. Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez will make their debuts with the Boston Red Sox, having signed the largest contracts of any position players this winter.
Below is the complete schedule for MLB Opening Day 2015, as well as ticket information for each game.
Sunday, April 5
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs, 8 p.m. ET (Tickets)
Monday, April 6
Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees, 1:05 p.m. ET (Tickets)
Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers, 1:08 p.m. ET (Tickets)
Colorado Rockies vs. Milwaukee Brewers, 2:10 p.m. ET (Tickets)
Boston Red Sox vs. Philadelphia Phillies, 3:05 p.m. ET (Tickets)
Baltimore Orioles vs. Tampa Bay Rays, 3:10 p.m. ET (Tickets)
New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals, 4:05 p.m. ET (Tickets)
Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals, 4:10 p.m. ET (Tickets)
Los Angeles Angels vs. Seattle Mariners, 4:10 p.m. ET (Tickets)
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds, 4:10 p.m. ET (Tickets)
San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, 4:10 p.m. ET (Tickets)
Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins, 4:10 p.m. ET (Tickets)
Cleveland Indians vs. Houston Astros, 7 p.m. ET (Tickets)
San Francisco Giants vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, 10 p.m. ET (Tickets)
Texas Rangers vs. Oakland Athletics, 10:05 p.m. ET (Tickets)