Peek at the Week: Good to be home

Peek at the Week: Good to be home

Proving once again that baseball is the most unpredictable game, the first week of the season season was full of unexpected developments.

The Tigers entered play Monday as the only winless team in baseball (0-6). Baltimore won four of five to claim the top spot in the American League East, while the defending World Series champion Red Sox found themselves in the AL East cellar.

Kansas City (4-2) moved to the top of the AL Central. St. Louis won five in a row. A pair of 2007 playoff teams, Philadelphia and Colorado, started off 2-4 and 1-5, respectively.

Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto flirted with perfection in his Major League debut, Kosuke Fukudome of the Cubs quickly gained star status in Chicago, and Arizona's Justin Upton (.400, 17 total bases, Major League-leading three home runs) was another player who burst out of the starting gate.

After that kind of a start, what can we expect in week two?

Maybe another wild week.

With 10 home openers, rivalry series like Yankees vs. Red Sox and Phillies vs. Mets plus notable matchups like Tigers vs. Red Sox, Angels vs. Mariners, Rockies vs. Diamondbacks and Brewers vs. Mets, the second week of the season sets up to provide another round of surprises.

By the end of the day Tuesday, weather permitting, every team should have played its 2008 season opener.

Five teams -- Pittsburgh (vs. the Cubs at PNC Park), Houston (vs. the Cardinals at Minute Maid Park), Arizona (vs. the Dodgers at Chase Field), San Francisco (vs. the Padres at AT&T Park) and the Chicago White Sox (vs. the Twins at U.S. Cellular Field) -- will open on Monday.

On Tuesday, five more -- Boston (vs. the Tigers at Fenway Park), Texas (vs. the Orioles at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington), Kansas City (vs. the Yankees at Kauffman Stadium), Tampa Bay (vs. the Mariners at Tropicana Field) and the New York Mets (vs. the Phillies at Shea Stadium) -- will follow.

The openers are in addition to several other notable series scheduled for the second week.

Here's the lineup:

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, Monday-Wednesday: The Dodgers come to Chase Field for the Diamondbacks' home opener. Esteban Loaiza is matched against Arizona right-hander Dan Haren on Monday. The Dodgers will send hard-throwing Chad Billingsley to the hill for Tuesday's game opposite Arizona lefty Doug Davis, who will be making his final start before undergoing surgery on April 10 to remove a cancerous thyroid. Hiroki Kuroda of the Dodgers, who was impressive in his Major League debut last week, will pitch the series finale against Micah Owings.

Indians at Angels, Monday-Wednesday: The Tribe continues its West Coast road trip with three games against the Angels. Fausto Carmona will start the opener for Cleveland against Joe Saunders. Jake Westbrook and Ervin Santana are the probables for Tuesday's game and Paul Byrd is slated to pitch Wednesday's game against Dustin Moseley.

Cubs at Pirates, Monday-Thursday: It's a new season and several new faces in Pittsburgh, including new manager John Russell, who will be introduced to the PNC Park crowd when the Pirates open the home portion of their schedule with a three-game set against the Cubs. Chicago's Ted Lilly will face Pittsburgh's Tom Gorzelanny on Monday. After an off-day Tuesday, Ryan Dempster and Zach Duke square off on Wednesday with Rich Hill and Matt Morris scheduled to pitch on Thursday.

Phillies at Mets, Tuesday-Thursday: The final home opener at Shea Stadium should be a good one. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Philadelphia visit Shea Stadium to take on David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes and the Mets in the first of several battles between the two National League East powers. Philadelphia's Jamie Moyer is matched against New York lefty Oliver Perez on Tuesday, followed by Kyle Kendrick against Mike Pelfrey on Wednesday. The Mets will send John Maine to the mound for Thursday's game against Adam Eaton.

Tigers at Red Sox, Tuesday-Thursday: Who would have predicted these two teams would both be in last place when these two teams met for the 2008 Fenway Park opener? Forget the week one records, this one is a likely playoff preview even if it is only April. The pitching matchups are outstanding -- Kenny Rogers vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka on Tuesday, Jeremy Bonderman vs. Jon Lester on Wednesday and Nate Robertson against Tim Wakefield on Thursday.

Yankees at Royals, Tuesday-Thursday: The surprising Royals, after a successful week on the road that included a sweep of the Tigers at Comerica Park, have their home opener against the Yankees. Two talented youngsters, Phil Hughes of the Yankees and Brian Bannister of the Royals, will start on Tuesday. Ian Kennedy of the Yankees and Zack Greinke of the Royals are scheduled to pitch on Wednesday with Andy Pettitte and John Bale set for Thursday.

Reds at Brewers, Tuesday-Thursday: Cueto gets his second start of the season on Tuesday when the Reds open a three-game series against Jeff Suppan and the Brewers at Miller Park. Cincinnati's Josh Fogg and Milwaukee's Dave Bush will start game two with Aaron Harang and Carlos Villanueva scheduled to go in game three.

Yankees at Red Sox, Friday-Sunday: The first battle of the season in the perennial AL East Division war between New York and Boston. This three-game weekend series at Fenway includes a Sunday night national telecast.

Angels at Mariners, Friday-Sunday: Two teams expected to fight it out for supremacy in the AL West meet at Safeco Field for a three-game series.

Brewers at Mets, Friday-Sunday: The Brewers, off to a good start and looking to continue their winning ways on the road, make their final regular season trip to Shea Stadium.

Rockies at Diamondbacks, Friday-Sunday: The Diamondbacks swept the defending National League champions in Denver last weekend. This time the two NL West rivals meet in Phoenix for three.

Milestone of the week: With two starts this week (Monday at Colorado and Saturday at Washington) Atlanta lefty Tom Glavine has a chance to pass Hall of Famer Bob Feller on the all-time strikeouts list. Glavine, with 2,573 career strikeouts, needs nine to pass Rapid Robert for 25th place on the all-time leader board.

Factoid of the week: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Pittsburgh's Xavier Nady is just the sixth player in Major League history to hit a pair of Opening Day home runs twice in his career. The others were Eddie Mathews, Joe Torre, Raul Mondesi, Juan Gonzalez and Adam Dunn.

Jim Molony is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.