MLB Opening Day 2019: TV Schedule , Live Stream and Predictions for All GamesMarch 28, 2019
Major League Baseball is back from its winter hibernation—for all 30 teams this time.
While the Oakland A's and Seattle Mariners technically kicked off the 2019 campaign in Japan last week, Thursday's 15-game slate is the full Opening Day.
As per usual, it's overloaded with brilliant pitching matchups. So, after laying out the national broadcast schedule and making a score prediction for all 15 tilts, we'll spotlight the three pitching duels you won't want to miss.
MLB Opening Day 2019 Schedule and Predictions
National TV Games
Orioles at Yankees, 1 p.m. | TV: ESPN | Streaming: Watch ESPN
Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 4 p.m. | TV: ESPN | Streaming: Watch ESPN
Red Sox at Mariners, 7 p.m. | TV: ESPN | Streaming: Watch ESPN
All times ET; predicted winners in bold.
Rest of Schedule
Mets at Nationals, 1:05 p.m.
Cardinals at Brewers, 2:10 p.m.
Braves at Phillies, 3:05 p.m.
Tigers at Blue Jays, 3:37 p.m.
Astros at Rays, 4 p.m.
Cubs at Rangers, 4:05 p.m.
Angels at A's, 4:07 p.m.
Giants at Padres, 4:10 p.m.
Indians at Twins, 4:10 p.m.
Rockies at Marlins, 4:10 p.m.
Pirates at Reds, 4:10 p.m.
White Sox at Royals, 4:15 p.m.
Top Pitching Matchups
Jacob deGrom (NYM) vs. Max Scherzer (WSH)
Scherzer's two-year grip on the NL Cy Young award finally loosened last season. The Nationals ace had to settle instead for a silver-medal finish, one spot behind his Thursday counterpart, deGrom.
New York's top hurler earned 207 voting points—the highest mark in either league—after dealing a microscopic 1.70 ERA and striking out 269 batters in 217 innings pitched. His effort netted him more than hardware, too. Earlier this week, the 30-year-old inked a five-year, $137.5 million extension with the Mets.
"I look forward to being here for a long time—hopefully a lifelong Met," deGrom said at his Wednesday press conference.
While these designations are always subject to change, there's every reason to believe fans tuning in to this contest will be watching the top two arms in the National League. After all, Scherzer's first non-award-winning effort was still a gem, too. He posted an 18-7 record with a 2.53 ERA and a career-high (and MLB-best) 300 punchouts.
Justin Verlander (HOU) vs. Blake Snell (TB)
Not to be outdone, the AL also sees its Cy Young and runner-up toeing the same rubber Thursday.
Snell edged out Verlander by a 169-154 voting margin, which reflects the dominance of each. Snell was a 21-game winner with a 1.89 ERA and 11 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. Verlander, who went 16-9 with a 2.52 ERA, bettered Snell in strikeouts (290-221) and WHIP (0.902-0.974).
Verlander, of course, is a household name with a wealth of elite pitching experience on his resume. He's been a Rookie of the Year (2006), a Cy Young (2011) and an MVP (2011), and last season was the fifth in which he's paced his league in strikeouts.
Snell, who's 10 years Verlander's junior, potentially positioned himself to follow a similar path. Snell obviously has a long way to go in terms of track record, but if his improved command holds true, his filthy stuff could keep him a fixture in the Cy Young voting. In 2018, he easily posted career marks in hits (5.6) and walks (3.2) per nine innings pitched.
Corey Kluber (CLE) vs. Jose Berrios (MIN)
While fans in Minnesota won't be witnessing a 2018 Cy Young winner, they'll have to "settle" for a two-time honoree in Kluber, who trailed only Snell and Verlander in last year's voting.
Kluber is coming off a 20-win campaign in which he threw an AL-leading 215 innings, while posting a 2.89 ERA, a 0.991 WHIP and 222 strikeouts. For added context on how incredible the 32-year-old has been, that strikeout total was actually his lowest since 2013.
While Kluber's name has bounced around in trade rumors as recently as this month, he'll still call Cleveland home and serve as the Indians' Opening Day starter for the fifth consecutive season.
Kluber might be the marquee name here, but don't overlook Berrios. The 24-year-old is still in the early portion of his career, but he made good strides in 2018, his first season as an All-Star. Among his 2018 personal-best marks were 192.1 innings pitched, a 3.84 ERA and 9.5 strikeouts against 2.9 walks per nine innings pitched.
Statistics used courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.