MLB Opening Day: Ranking the 3 Best Games to Watch over Opening Day Weekend

Baily DeeterSenior Writer IIIApril 2, 2012

MLB Opening Day: Ranking the 3 Best Games to Watch over Opening Day Weekend

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    Major League Baseball's Opening Day is just around the corner, after we waited from November through March for the sport to return.

    But now, the most painful times for a baseball fan are over, as the 30 teams return to their quest for a World Series title.

    Last year, we saw Texas win their second straight American League crown, only to lose a heartbreaking World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals. However, Cardinal slugger Albert Pujols is gone, bolting to Los Angeles this winter to play for the Angels.

    Prince Fielder signed with the Tigers, and many minor signings and trades have been made. Now, the questions of what impact players will have on a certain are going to be answered, as the season gets kicked off around the country.

    Here are the three best games from Wednesday to Sunday.

3. San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks, Friday, April 6, 7:00 PM ET

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    Hey, Giants fans. Remember this?

    These were the days of early November 2010, when the San Francisco Giants celebrated their first World Series championship since moving to San Francisco.

    Last year, San Francisco was expected to make the playoffs with ease, but the Diamondbacks made it instead.

    Arizona was very close to topping Milwaukee and advancing to the NLCS last year, and the D-Backs return a very similar team. Oakland ace Trevor Cahill is now a member of the Diamondbacks.

    However, Cahill isn't the ace in Arizona. Ian Kennedy, who dominated last year, will square off against Tim Lincecum. The pitching match-up is great, and Buster Posey returns to action for the first time since May 25. 

    The hitting is good. The pitching is great. The rivalry is heating up. There's no reason to turn away from this game, because the likelihood of these teams fighting for the NL West title is high.

2. Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers, Thursday, April 5, 1:00 PM ET

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    Justin Verlander was a true ace in 2011, winning the Cy Young and powering the Tigers to the ALCS.

    The Red Sox have an ace in Jon Lester, but they failed to make the playoffs last year. Boston's epic collapse sent Tampa Bay to the playoffs and Boston home, but the Red Sox look to make up for that with a good 2012 campaign.

    That all starts here.

    Verlander squares off against Lester in the opener for two talented squads. Prince Fielder makes his debut as a Tiger, and he starts off with a huge challenge. Boston has lots of offense, and they have a lot to make up for.

1. St Louis Cardinals at Florida Marlins, Wednesday, April 5, 7:00 PM ET

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    Here you go. The best game of Opening Day weekend, although it's on Wednesday.

    Ozzie Guillen has a new ballpark to complain in, and it'll be unveiled Wednesday night against the defending champs.

    Jose Reyes, Mike Stanton, Heath Bell, Josh Johnson, and the rest of the Marlins will open their season and their ballpark looking to start off on the right foot.

    It may be one game, but for a team with many new players and very high expectations, the game means a lot. Although the Cardinals lost Albert Pujols, they return the same team otherwise, with Carlos Beltran on the team as well.

    For the Marlins, it's trying to start anew, and for the Cardinals, it's trying to continue last year's success. The season starts with a lot at stake, and both squads know that.

    Can the Cardinals succeed without Albert Pujols? Can the Marlins succeed with a new team and a new ballpark? We find out Wednesday.