When is opening day for baseball 2023 ? All 30 teams will play in 15 games on Thursday, March 30, with two matchups kicking off the fun in the early afternoon: the Giants-Yankees and Braves-Nationals. The former is one of three interleague contests on Thursday, in addition to the nine divisional matchups that will take place. The reigning champion Astros, featuring new member Jose Abreu, open their season against the White Sox, the 2020 MVP’s former team, on ESPN.
Thirty of the best pitchers across the majors will take the mound, including eight Cy Young Award winners, 21 All-Stars and five pitchers who will be debuting for new clubs.
What are the most important things to know from the offseason going into the 162-game marathon that is the 2023 season? What are the most exciting matchups on Thursday? What are some storylines to watch?
We have you covered on everything you need to be prepared for this year’s Opening Day, from season previews and analysis to Thursday’s schedule.
What new MLB rules are in place for 2023?
In an effort to accelerate the pace of games, increase offense and add a layer of safety, MLB has instituted three new rules. They were used throughout spring training and will be in effect during postseason play, too. The result during spring play was a reduction of average game times by 25 minutes compared to 2022, according to MLB Network.
Pitch clock: A timer will be used to move games along and cut down on wasted time. There will be 30 seconds between batters, then pitchers must begin their motion 15 seconds after receiving the ball with the bases empty, 20 seconds with runners on base. They will be charged with a ball if the clock expires. Also, with runners on base pitchers will be limited to two pick-off or rubber step-offs per plate appearance. The clock resets each time.
Batters need to be in the box and ready for the pitch with 8 seconds left the clock, or else be charged with a strike. Batters are allowed to step out once per appearance.
End of the overshift: No more team meetings on one side of the playing field. Teams must have at least four players on the infield, and at least two defenders on each side of second base. The thinking is this will increase batting average on balls in play.
Bases are bigger: First, second and third base are now 18 inches on each side, up from 15. The idea is the larger bases might cut down on collisions between fielders and runners, especially at first.
MLB Opening Day 2023 Schedule for All 30 Teams’ First Game of the Season
The Major League Baseball hiatus is finally over: spring training kicked off at the end of February, and 2023 Opening Day is here on March 30.
Fans are in for a treat this year, with all 30 MLB teams (15 games) on the schedule for Opening Day. This will be the first time since 1968 that every team is playing its first game of the season on the same day.
This is part of a larger initiative for a more balanced baseball schedule; this season, every major league team will play each other (MLB’s first balanced schedule since 2000). There will be fewer games against division opponents, with teams playing a series against each team in the opposing league instead.
Opening Day 2023 kicks off with a bang as the Giants travel to face Aaron Judge and the Yankees in the early window. The defending World Series champs Astors are set to host the White Sox in prime time on ESPN. Additional streaming information has not yet been released.
Expectations for MLB 2023
Adjustments to the schedules are not the only regular season changes fans should be aware of. After testing in the minor leagues and discussion among a joint committee, athletes this year should expect larger bases, defensive shift limits, a pitch timer rule and more. However, players are not happy with the new rules.
“Players live the game – day in and day out. On-field rules and regulations impact their preparation, performance and, ultimately, the integrity of the game itself,” according to an MLBPA statement. “Player leaders from across the league were engaged in on-field rules negotiations through the Competition Committee, and they provided specific and actionable feedback on the changes proposed by the Commissioner’s Office.
“Major League Baseball was unwilling to meaningfully address the areas of concern that Players raised, and as a result, Players on the Competition Committee voted unanimously against the implementation of the rules covering defensive shifts and the use of a pitch timer.”
Former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling, who is part of the OutKick podcast lineup with his “The Curt Schilling Baseball Show,” gave his thoughts on the pitch clock during an appearance on “Fox & Friends.”
All pitchers work at different paces, with some that are ready to go after making a pitch, while others are more methodical. Because of that, MLB wants a status quo when it comes to time between pitches, which is why the pitch clock of 15 seconds in between pitches with no runners on base and 20 seconds when there are.
“If you put Ricky Henderson on first base, and you tell him ‘OK, the pitcher can’t throw over now.’ Now what?” he said. “It’s going to be a dramatic change. It might take a little bit to catch on, but you’re going to see a sizable change in the way the game is played.”
AL vs NL: What is the difference?
The MLB is split into two divisions, the American League (AL) and National League (NL). There are an even 15 teams that belong to each division. To break that down a step further, each league is further divided into three divisions, East, Central and West.
The teams that make up the AL East are the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays. The Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Guardians, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins are all part of AL Central. AL West includes the Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers.
The Atlanta Braves, Miami Marlins, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals all are in the NL East. The Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals are all part of NL Central. Lastly, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants are in the NL West.
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