MLB Opening Day 2024: Live updates, lineups, game highlights

Welcome to MLB Opening Day!

All 30 teams were scheduled to be in action Thursday before rain postponed the scheduled Milwaukee Brewers-New York Mets and Atlanta Braves-Philadelphia Phillies openers to Friday.

The Los Angeles Angels and Baltimore Orioles got things started with Corbin Burnes delivering a dominant debut for Baltimore. Soon after, things really heated up with eight games played at — highlighted by a thrilling New York Yankees win over the Houston Astros in a showdown in Texas.

The Texas Rangers raised the first World Series banner in franchise history before taking on the Chicago Cubs in manager Craig Counsell’s team debut (7:35 p.m. ET on ESPN). And, if that wasn’t enough, there are a trio of late-night games on the West Coast, including Luis Castillo and the Seattle Mariners against the Boston Red Sox at 10:10 p.m. ET.

What are we looking for as the season gets started? Our reporters give their pregame takes from the ballpark, plus we’ll post lineups as they are announced and live updates throughout the day, including takeaways from each game as it concludes.

The knock on Juan Soto in recent years — the only blemish on a generational player — has been his defense in the outfield. The numbers supported what eyes indicated: It’s been ugly.

He has insisted he’s better than that, and that he’s worked at it. On Thursday, he showed that off in a huge spot, throwing out Mauricio Dubón, the game-tying run, at home plate from right field in the ninth inning. Soto pounded his chest. He let out a scream. The play was reviewed and stood. Moments later, Clay Holmes secured the game’s final out in the Yankees’ 5-4 comeback win.

The Giants re-tooled their .roster as much as any team in the offseason, adding Blake Snell, Matt Chapman, Jorge Soler, Jordan Hicks and Tom Murphy, plus highly touted center fielder Jung Hoo Lee from Korea. Their linchpin, however, remains ace starter Logan Webb, who has a 3.07 ERA over the past three seasons and led the majors with 216 innings last season.

Unfortunately, his 2024 begins with some of the same issues as last season: A lack of support. In 2023, despite a 3.25 ERA that ranked fourth in the NL — plus that workload — Webb finished just 11-13 due to some shaky offensive support (he had 18 games where he allowed two runs or fewer and won just nine of them). On Thursday, the lack of support came from the bullpen. He left after six innings with a 3-2 lead, but the Padres scored four runs in the seventh inning off the Giants bullpen, with Jake Cronenworth delivering a key two-run double off Ryan Walker. Nice comeback for San Diego, tough loss for the Giants. — David Schoenfield

The word from Blue Jays camp out of spring training painted the picture of a rejuvenated Vladimir Guerrero Jr.: He’s lost some weight, he’s been more joyful, he’s more confident and he put together consistently good at-bats, hitting .463 in Grapefruit League play. The hope is he can find his MVP-level stroke of 2021 after two good-not-great seasons in 2022 and 2023. His first hit of 2024: A mammoth 450-foot blast over the batter’s eye in center field at Tampa off a cutter from Zach Eflin, matching his longest home run of 2023. That will be a nice confidence boost for the young slugger, who reached the majors in 2019 but is still just 25 years old.

The Jays are trying Guerrero in the second spot in the batting order, essentially flipping spots with Bo Bichette. Indeed, you can argue that Bichette has passed Guerrero as the face of the Blue Jays (he’s certainly been more valuable via WAR the past two seasons). You can’t argue with this: The Toronto offense isn’t as deep as it was even a couple years after finishing eighth in runs in the AL last season. They need both of their young starts to deliver. – David SchoenfieldWe saw Royce Lewis’ star-crossed career on full display on Thursday: The No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft, Lewis twice tore his ACL as a minor leaguer, missing all of 2021 and most of 2022 as a result. He nonetheless remained a top prospect and reached the majors for his first extended stay in 2023 – only to play just 58 games due to an oblique strain and hamstring. But when he did play, he looked like a star — hitting over .300 with power, including four grand slams in less than a month.

He began 2024 with a home run in his first at-bat, ripping a 423-foot blast to left field and then singled in his second at-bat. However, when Carlos Correa then doubled, Lewis limped into third base and was replaced by a pinch-runner (and don’t blame cold weather as it was 65 degrees in Kansas City). The Twins’ lineup needs Lewis raking in the three-hole. Let’s hope it’s not serious. – David Schoenfield

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