Wainwright, Arrieta duel in St. Louis; Cueto debuts vs. Arizona
By Chad Thornburg
The 2017 season is underway for 28 MLB clubs. Only the White Sox and Tigers have yet to join in the festivities, as their Opening Day matchup in Chicago was rained out after a 1 hour and 14 minute delay. The American League Central foes will return to the field Tuesday afternoon with Jose Quintana and Justin Verlander toeing the rubber.
Opening Day at Guaranteed Rate Field is just one of nine matchups available to MLB.TV subscribers today. Among the other highlights is a duel in St. Louis between Jake Arrieta and Adam Wainwright and Johnny Cueto's season debut for the Giants.
MLB.TV Premium is available for $112.99 yearly or $24.99 monthly, with nearly two dozen features for subscribers to access and interact with live out-of-market Major League Baseball games at 60 frames per second on any of the more than 400 supported devices. MLB.TV Single Team subscriptions are also available at $87.49 yearly.
Here's what to watch for throughout the day (all times in ET):
Opening Day, take two: DET@CWS, 2:10 p.m.
With Chris Sale traded to Boston this winter, the door opened for Quintana to make his first Opening Day start for the White Sox. The left-hander, who has been the subject of frequent trade rumors, has been a steady presence in the White Sox rotation for five seasons and is coming off his first All-Star campaign in which he posted a 13-12 record and a 3.20 ERA.
The Tigers will counter with a pitcher who is no stranger to Opening Day assignments in Verlander, starting his ninth opener in the past 10 seasons. The 12-year veteran enjoyed a resurgent season in 2016, going 16-9 with a 3.04 ERA and 254 strikeouts while finishing second in AL Cy Young Award voting.
"I think I'm ahead of where I was at this time last year," Verlander said. "So I'm optimistic, but I think you can't ever just say, 'OK, I'm where I need to be.' That's never really the case. It's time to turn the page on spring and be ready to go."
Veteran hurlers star in NL Central clash: CHC@STL, 8:15 p.m.
The Cardinals got the better of the defending champions on Opening Night at Busch Stadium and will look to repeat their success. The second game in this series features a pitching matchup of two veteran righties, Wainwright and Arrieta. Arrieta enjoyed considerable success against the Cardinals in 2016, going 3-1 with a 2.38 ERA, but Wainwright struggled in this National League Central rivalry, allowing 13 earned runs on 19 hits and nine walks over 14 2/3 innings for a 7.98 ERA.
This opening series reunites Dexter Fowler with his former Cubs teammates. The outfielder signed a five-year deal with the Cardinals this winter and is hoping for a repeat of Chicago's October success in St. Louis.
"Hopefully, I'll be on top. Again," Fowler said. "Winning a championship is contagious, and you want to do it again."
Sabathia, Odorizzi look to carry 2016 momentum into '17: NYY@TB, 7:10 p.m.
The Yankees and Rays kicked off the 2017 season Sunday with the year's first contest, a 7-3 Tampa Bay victory at Tropicana Field. The series continues with a pair of hurlers -- the Rays' Jake Odorizzi and the Yankees' CC Sabathia -- who each ended last year on a high note. Odorizzi went 7-1 with a 2.71 ERA in the second half and finished as the only Rays starter with a winning record (10-6), while Sabathia posted a 3.91 ERA in 2016, his lowest since 2012.
Although Masahiro Tanaka struggled in the opener -- allowing a career-high seven earned runs in just 2 2/3 innings -- Sabathia is optimistic about New York's rotation this year.
"I think we're going to surprise some people," he said. "We've got the talent in the room. It's just us putting it together, staying healthy and going out to make all our starts."
Cueto debuts in the desert: SF@ARI, 9:40 p.m.
The D-backs provided a thrilling start to their season, mounting a ninth-inning comeback for a 6-5 walk-off win over the Giants at Chase Field. Both clubs begin the year with a steady dose of divisional contests -- including seven games against each other in 11 days -- making April a pivotal stretch for obtaining an early edge in the NL West.
Tuesday's bout features the debut of Cueto, who was dominant in the early going last season, winning 13 of his first 14 decisions with a 2.47 ERA in that span. His opponent, D-backs southpaw Patrick Corbin, endured a vastly different beginning to the 2016 season -- compiling a 5.58 ERA through his first 24 starts, prompting a demotion to the bullpen -- and will be seeking to continue a strong showing from spring.
Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.