MLB Opening Day 2022 – What to Watch, Live Updates & Quick Prototypes as Baseball Returns

The start of the MLB 2022 season has finally arrived!

Starting with seven games on Thursday’s opening day and continuing with the rest of MLB in action on Friday, it’s time to welcome a new year in diamonds. To celebrate the return of baseball, we asked our experts to think of what they were most excited to watch—and predict a gritty opening day.

Once the games start, be sure to update this page early and often to get our live updates and takeaways from every game on Opening Day Thursday and Friday.

Season preview: Strength rows | predictions | The moves that rocked the off-season
ESPN+: Basan Predictions | How was the opening day saved | 2022 تغييرات changes
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Thursday opening day schedule

All times are oriental

2:20 p.m.: Brewers (Burns) at CAPS (Hendrix)
4:10 pm: Guardians (Bieber) at Royals (Greinke)
4:15 p.m.: Pirates (Brubecker) at Cardinals (Wainwright)
7:05 p.m. on ESPN+: Mets (TBD) at Nationals (Corbin)
8:00 p.m. on ESPN2: Reds (Mahle) at Braves (Fried)
9:38 p.m.: Astros (Valdez) at Angels (Ohtani)
9:40 p.m.: Padres (Darvish) at the Diamondbacks (Bumgarner)

Friday Openers: Red Sox-Yankees, White Sox-Tigers, A’s-Phillies, Orioles-Rays, Dodgers-Rockies, Mariners-Twins, Marlins-Giants, Rangers-Blue Jays

Opening Day Predictions And What We Can’t Wait To See

What are you most excited to see on opening day?

Bradford Doolittle: I’m in Minneapolis for the Twins-Mariners series which has been postponed daily due to some inhospitable spring weather. The upside is that I’ll have two opening days and can watch the Kansas City debut of Bobby Witt Jr. on some sort of screen on Thursday before watching Julio Rodriguez from Seattle on Friday. We didn’t always see the most exciting prospect on opening day (Witt is number two and Rodriguez is number three on Kelly McDaniel’s Top 100 Potential Clients list), so that’s pretty cool. The race for the MLS Player of the Year award has begun.

Jesse Rogers: The debut of the newbie lady Seiya Suzuki from the Cubs. He is a multi-tool player who has the power in all areas and a rocket with an arm. As noted in the recent CPA battle, most rookies don’t make a lot of money—but Suzuki signed a five-year, $85 million contract this offseason, so all eyes will be on him throughout the baseball world. He has a chance to be the next big star in a team suddenly devoid of them. Thursday is his first chance to show fans across the city of Chicago what they’re getting.

David Schoenefeld: The Padres might be the coolest team to watch in April. There is a lot of pressure on a team that now runs one of the highest payrolls in baseball and is coming off a losing season. They collapsed on the stretch, and while the rotation is healthy again, Padres will have to play two months without Fernando Tates Jr. So on opening day, I want to see what Yo Darvish looks like after going 1-8 (6.16 PM) in the second half. I want to see how new manager Bob Melvin sets up a bullpen late in the game. I want to see if Ha-Seong Kim can not only fill in Tatis’ solution but have as successful as he did in Korea after struggling in his first debut season. I want to see which mani Machado appears. The Padres start with 14 games against the Diamondbacks, Giants, Rangers and Pirates – a golden opportunity to get off to a hot start and put the disappointment of 2021 behind them.

John Lee: I’m with David on this. The Padres are at a great inflection point in AJ Preller’s tenure with Tatis injured and the level of financial investment at the heart of this team. According to multiple sources, Padres’ club chemistry has suffered under Jayce Tingler, so adding Melvin will completely shake up the team’s locker room dynamics. I’m interested to see which of the Darvish will appear on opening day and how former Cy Young winner Blake Snell excels in his second season in San Diego after struggling to set similar numbers for his tenure in Tampa Bay. Especially after the failure of Eric Hosmer’s deal and the injury of Tates, the team will need high-paid players to play better in 2022.

Buster Olney: I’m in Atlanta, and would be intrigued to see the reception for new First Base Officer Matt Olson – and I expect it to be boisterous and perpetual. If anyone is going to replace Freddy Freeman initially, Olson is the perfect candidate given his domestic roots, age, and strength. If the magical scenario for the Braves from last year’s World Championships still plays out, Olson will have a pivotal success — and Atlanta fans will go wild. What a story it will be

Cole Harvey: I’m so excited to join Buster in my hometown of Atlanta, where I’ll be sitting front row to crown a generation in the making. As a lifelong supporter of everything ATL, 404, Chick-fil-A, and Waffle House, the 10-year-old inside me still couldn’t believe that one of the pro teams from his hometown was about to get another banner-raising night. The 1995 and 2021 Braves championships and the MLS title for Atlanta United in 2018 are all we have! After 28-3 memes and jokes, the hate-packed city deserves more than it deserves to celebrate winning the World Championships last October again. The Atlanteans deserved it.

Alden Gonzalez: I will be at Angle Stadium on Thursday, and because of that I will be the luckiest of all. Shohei Ohtani will be up the mound and will be in the squad, starting what promises to be another captivating season as a two-way player. The conversation about Angel Camp this spring revolved around whether Otani could really be better This year, given how he’s developed as a pitcher and how he’s become comfortable with the duo role as the season has progressed. It seems impossible – until you realize how special this guy is.

Tim Keon: The Mets got Max Scherzer with Jacob deGrom, and their opening day start was… Tylor Megill. Next to JT Brubaker of Pirates, Megill is the most open-day off-day starter. Even Oakland has Frankie Montas, although there is a chance to trade before Friday’s first pitch in Philadelphia. It might not mean much – Scherzer should be back soon, maybe even for a second game – but it sure sounds like an omen.

It’s time to call your shot: What’s your prediction for the lonely opening day sure Checks?

Doolittle: Albert Pujols is going to Homer in St. Louis. Even if it turns out that he’s the only Homer to hit all season, there’s no way this could not happen. There are plenty of young Cardinals enthusiasts in St. Louis who only heard of Pujols from their parents. It’s great to have them try it out this year as he transitions out of a Hall of Fame career.

Rogers: Corbin Burns will hit the Cubs once – and Suzuki will be the only hitter to hit it. Chicago has a little left-handed pop, while right-handed opponents accumulated a minuscule hit number of .179 in 2021. With a player hitting right-handed at first base and right-handed fielding—two positions often assigned to left-power hits—- it will be The Cubs are at a disadvantage against the top right all season. Trying to hit Burns on Thursday, in 40-degree weather, will make things even more difficult.

Schoenefeld: Machado got off to a slow start in 2021, but with Tatis out, the Padres need him to hit the ground running. Diamondbacks Madison Bumgarner’s start hasn’t hit well during his career (.212/.257/.515), even though three of his seven hits have been at home. I say he went twice from Madboom while Padres wins the opening match.

Olney: He’s not doing a show on opening day, but I’m going to name that this will be the last year that future Hall of Famer Jacob deGrom will be with the Mets. Steve Cohen has shown he’s willing and willing to invest in any way he feels can help the Mets, but there are a lot of variables involved in DeGrom’s return — questions about his health now, his health progressing, and most importantly, what he wants. We’ll look back at his confirmation that he pulled out of his contract despite his recent injury as the first real indication he’s heading elsewhere.

Gonzalez: Both Rodriguez and Witt Jr. will be hitting home runs in their first league appearances. The two head out what looks like this year’s AL Rookie field is incredibly deep, along with Spencer Torkelson. They will eventually be joined by Adley Rutschman and Riley Greene. Not on this list: Wander Franco, who passed his junior eligibility last year but will play in his first full season in 2022. He may be the biggest star of them all. The young talent in the sport is amazing right now – and I only counted one league.

kyun: We will all mention that Mike Trout is not only there, but remains the best player in the sport. The eyes of the game will be on Shohei Otani to start the Angels’ opening match against the Astros, but by the end of the fourth or fifth inning, it will be trout night.

Mine: Shohei Ohtani will come out of the gates strong on opening day, explaining that the past year hasn’t been a mirage and that it’s possible to play at a high level across multiple seasons – and opening up the idea that teams can potentially develop more players in two directions, not necessarily at Ohtani’s level, but to maximize the value of Every place on the list.

Harvey: Well, Austin Riley’s presentation of the grapefruit association wasn’t the strongest (.214, 6 vs. 28), but I’m dealing pretty hard with it on a big opening night. This will happen in what will be his first match at Trust Park since the World Championships. In the last postseason home, he hit .419 (13 versus 31) with five additional base strokes. He’ll capitalize on that hit success once again in front of another raucous and frantic crowd from Atlanta, giving fans some late-night magic.