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MLB Opening Day Schedule 2018: Times, Live Stream and Predictions for All Games

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2018

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale in action during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Thursday, June 15, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)
Derik Hamilton/Associated Press

The long, cold winter is over, and Opening Day in the MLB is finally upon us.

March 29 represents the earliest start ever to an MLB season, and it's also the first time since 1968 that every team will be in action on the same day to begin the campaign.

So what's on tap for Thursday?

Ahead is a full breakdown of the schedule, as well as a look at the day's best pitching battle and the most intriguing team matchup.

    

MLB Opening Day Schedule

Start (ET)MatchupPrediction
12:40img Jon Lester vs. img Jose Urenaimg 8-1
1:10img Ivan Nova vs. img Jordan Zimmermannimg 6-4
1:10img Carlos Martinez vs. img Noah Syndergaardimg 2-0
3:05img Jake Odorizzi vs. img Dylan Bundyimg 5-4
3:35img Justin Verlander vs. img Cole Hamelsimg 8-3
3:37img Luis Severino vs. img J.A. Happ
img 11-3
4:00img Chris Sale vs. img Chris Archerimg 2-1
4:05img Garrett Richards vs. img Kendall Gravemanimg 6-5
4:10img Chase Anderson vs. img Clayton Richardimg 3-2
4:10img Aaron Nola vs. img Julio Teheranimg 7-2
4:10img Max Scherzer vs. img Homer Bailey
img 6-1
4:15img James Shields vs. img Danny Duffyimg 7-5
7:08img Ty Blach vs. img Clayton Kershawimg 9-1
10:10img Corey Kluber vs. img Felix Hernandezimg 5-2
10:10img Jon Gray vs. img Patrick Corbinimg 7-5

     

Best Pitching Matchup: Chris Sale vs. Chris Archer

Chris Archer
Chris ArcherJohn Raoux/Associated Press

Boston Red Sox's Chris Sale (No. 4) and Tampa Bay Rays' Chris Archer (No. 20) both checked in among the top-30 starting pitchers in baseball when we put together our preseason rankings on March 22, and they'll square off at Tropicana Field to open their 2018 season.

The two have gone head-to-head just once in their careers, back on August 4, 2015. Archer came out on top in that game, tossing seven innings of two-run ball. Sale was hit hard, allowing six hits and seven earned runs over 5.1 innings.

That said, it was Sale who came out on top when the Rays and Red Sox matched up last season:

  • Archer vs. BOS: 3 GS, 1-1, 5.87 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, 18 K, 15.1 IP
  • Sale vs. TB: 6 GS, 4-1, 2.66 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 66 K, 40.2 IP

This will be the fourth straight Opening Day start for Archer in Tampa Bay, while Sale will be making his first Opening Day start with the Red Sox and the fourth of his career.

        

Most Intriguing Matchup: St. Louis Cardinals vs. New York Mets

Carlos Martinez
Carlos MartinezJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

The Cardinals and Mets both disappointed in 2017.

An 83-79 record resulted in a third-place finish in the NL Central for the Cardinals, who missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2008.

Meanwhile, injuries ravaged the Mets roster, and they slipped to fourth in the NL East standings with a 70-92 record.

Significant additions were made as each club looks to right the ship:

  • Cardinals: OF Marcell Ozuna, SP Miles Mikolas, RP Luke Gregerson, RP Dominic Leone, RP Bud Norris
  • Mets: 3B Todd Frazier, RF Jay Bruce, RP Anthony Swarzak, SP Jaime Garcia, 1B Adrian Gonzalez

Both teams will be looking to get off to a hot start, and a pitching matchup between Carlos Martinez and Noah Syndergaard should make it a battle right out of the gates.

It's a long season and a lot can happen, but don't be surprised if these two teams are battling it out in the NL Wild Card Game once the postseason rolls around.

       

All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference, unless otherwise noted.

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