Cleveland Guardians outfielder Myles Straw called New York Yankees fans the "worst on the planet" after rubbish was thrown at him and his team-mates on Saturday. 

The tension began after rookie Steven Kwan crashed into the outfield wall trying to save Isiah Kiner-Falefa's hit, and Straw confronted hecklers who appeared to applaud what could have been an injury. 

The Yankees ultimately walked off to win 5-4 at Yankee Stadium, but unsavoury scenes saw home fans in the right-field throwing missiles at the Guardians outfielders, which led to players from both teams reacting. 

"I'm not talking. I'll let the fans talk for me. Classless... Worst fan base on the planet," Straw said immediately after the game. 

He later elaborated: "It got to me a little bit. I said what I said. If I were to do it again, I probably would've said the same thing. 

"That's my guy. At that point, just cheer. Be happy your team tied the game up. Be a normal baseball fan and just enjoy what's going on." 

Straw climbed the outfield fence to remonstrate with the fans shortly before the end of the contest but could not remember exactly what he had said in the heat of the moment. 

"I don't remember, I was just hot at the point," he added. "Just basically telling them, 'Be quiet. Shut up. There's no business, what you're saying to this guy right now.'" 

Cleveland's Oscar Mercado also reacted to the Yankees fans, saying afterwards: "You can celebrate your team walking it off all you want, but don't throw s*** on the field. Sorry for cussing, but that's how people can get hurt. I should have probably walked away." 

Miguel Cabrera achieved his 3,000th career hit as the Detroit Tigers defeated the Colorado Rockies 13-0 in the opener of a day-night double-header on Saturday.

After getting intentionally walked in the eighth inning against the New York Yankees on Thursday, Cabrera did not have to wait long, claiming his milestone hit in only the first inning, driving up right-center field off Antonio Senzatela.

The 39-year-old was embraced by Rockies shortstop and former Tigers teammate, Jose Iglesias, before going on get a second hit from four at-bats.

Adding the proverbial cherry on top to a Hall-of-Fame career, Cabrera became only the seventh player in the history of the major leagues with at least 500 home runs and 3,000 hits over their career.

The Rockies claimed the second game of the double-header at Comerica Park, though, winning 3-2.

Yankees win marred by fan controversy

New York Yankees fans pelted Cleveland Guardians outfielders with bottles, cans and other missiles, as their team rallied in the ninth inning for a 5-4 win.

After Gleyber Torres followed Isiah Kiner-Falefa up and scored a walk-off RBI hit with two outs in the ninth inning, Yankees players in Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton had to calm the crowd down instead of celebrating the win.

It all came after rookie Steven Kwan crashed into the outfield wall trying to save Kiner-Falefa's hit, and Guardians center-fielder Myles Straw confronted hecklers who appeared to applaud what could have been an injury.

Giants march on Washington

The San Francisco Giants claimed their third win in four games and moved to within a game of the Los Angeles Dodgers atop the National League West, defeating the Washington Nationals 5-2.

Wilmer Flores and Joc Pederson each had two hits for the Giants, while Alex Wood allowed two runs and four hits in 77 pitches over five innings.

Nationals starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez was pulled in the fifth inning, giving up six hits and four runs. Sam Clay gave up the fifth run and lasted only 13 pitches before he was also called to the bench.

New York Yankees star Aaron Judge hit two home runs to guide his side to a 4-1 win against the Cleveland Guardians at Yankee Stadium on Friday.

Judge, 29, has been vocal about his decision to test free agency ahead of next season after he and the Yankees failed to come to an agreement on a contract extension before Opening Day.

Demonstrating his value, he stepped up with two outs and one runner on base in the third inning, and crushed a fastball back over Guardians pitcher Eli Morgan's head to center-field.

His very next at-bat, Judge did it again, blasting a high fastball into the right-field bleachers for a solo shot, giving the Yankees a 4-1 lead.

The New York pitching staff did an excellent job of defending the lead throughout, as Jameson Taillon started and pitched five strong frames for five strikeouts, and one run from seven hits with no walks. He was relieved by Michael King for the sixth inning, and he was even better, striking out eight of the 10 batters he faced, conceding just one hit.

Aroldis Chapman finished things off with a save, hitting 101mp/h with the last pitch of the night for a strikeout.

Wander whacks a pair

The jewel of the Tampa Bay Rays and one of the best prospects in all of baseball, Wander Franco, hit a pair of home runs in a 4-3 home loss against the Boston Red Sox.

Franco, 21, was named the number one prospect in the majors prior to his debut, and he has done nothing to change anyone's mind as he is sporting a batting average of .393.

He hit a solo home run in the first inning, and another in the fifth inning, but the Red Sox scored twice in the opening frame and never allowed the Rays to tie things up.

Mookie mashes for the Dodgers

Mookie Betts joined the list of stars to hit two home runs on Friday in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 6-1 win against the San Diego Padres.

In a clash between two of the best teams in the league, Julio Urias put in a terrific starting pitching performance, allowing just one run and five baserunners in five innings.

The Dodgers did not take the lead until the fifth inning, when Mookie Betts bombed a 420-foot solo shot to lead off the inning and tie the game at 1-1, before Max Muncy also sent a towering fly ball over the fence just three batters later.

Muncy drove in another two runs in the seventh, before Betts put the finishing touches on in the ninth inning with his second homer.

Miguel Cabrera will have to wait for another day to reach 3,000 career hits, as the Detroit Tigers beat the New York Yankees 3-0 on Thursday.

Cabrera was intentionally walked in the eighth inning and it was received with a loud chorus of boos at Comerica Park, forcing the 39-year-old and Detroit fans to wait, with the future Hall-of-Famer on 2,999 career hits.

Detroit led 1-0 and had runners on second and third when Yankees manager Aaron Boone motioned for reliever Lucas Luetge to walk Cabrera. Austin Meadows then scored with a two-run double to put the Tigers 3-0 up and secure the win.

Michael Pineda conceded just three hits in 60 pitches over five innings in his home debut for the Tigers, with Gregory Soto claiming the last four outs for his third save of the season.

Jordan Montgomery conceded three hits and one run in 86 pitches through six innings.

Guardians sweep White Sox

The Cleveland Guardians claimed early bragging rights in the AL Central, completing a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox with a 6-3 victory.

Only making his return this week from a fractured leg sustained last June, Josh Naylor had two hits and two RBIs, scoring an RBI single in the fifth and a double in the seventh.

Franmil Reyes hit his first home run of the season at an ideal time for the Guardians, scoring a two-run shot off Dylan Cease with two out in the third inning.

Carrasco carries Mets over Giants

A day after Carlos Rodon dominated from the mound, Carlos Carrasco answered back for the New York Mets as they defeated the San Francisco Giants 6-2.

The 35-year-old Venezuelan pitched into the eighth inning, giving up only four hits and claiming seven strikeouts in 91 pitches.

Francisco Lindor had three hits from five at-bats including a solo home run, as the Mets notched up three wins from this four-game series with the Giants.

Max Fried starred with eight strikeouts across seven innings as the Atlanta Braves won 3-1 over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

Braves left-hander Fried went perfect across the first five innings, before allowing two hits, while Freddie Freeman was quelled against his former side.

The Dodgers' only run of the game, scored by Chris Taylor, came in the eighth inning once Fried had been relieved, with Kenley Jansen closing it out in the ninth.

Travis d'Arnaud hit a solo home run at the top of the second inning, before Orlando Arcia's RBI double in the fourth and Austin Riley's single on a line drive for Ozzie Albies to score in the fifth.

 

Franco's maiden 2022 blast... at last

Wander Franco blasted his first home run of 2022 in a three-hit game as the Tampa Bay Rays won 6-5 over the Chicago Cubs.

Franco had missed Monday's game to rest his right quad but returned in style with a two-run homer on a 2-0 pitch in the third inning.

The young Rays star has now had seven multi-hit performances across 11 games this Major League season. Franco is a joint leader in the majors for hits, with 19.

"He's unique, special, talented, and we're seeing it in every part of his game," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

 

Vintage Scherzer and Perez

Reliever Clarke Schmidt stepped up for the New York Yankees after Gerrit Cole's early struggles by tossing down six strikeouts in their 4-2 win over the Detroit Tigers. Cole had walked four batters, included with base loaded.

Max Scherzer was at his vintage best with 10 strikeouts in the New York Mets' 3-1 win over the San Francisco Giants, which backed up their earlier 5-4 victory on a double-header.

Salvador Perez put aside blurry vision to slug two home runs as the Kansas City Royals won 4-3 over the Minnesota Twins.

After seven consecutive road games to start their season, the New York Mets put on a show for their home crowd at Citi Field in a 10-3 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Making his second start of the season, Chris Bassitt was lights out again for the Mets, pitching six full innings for six strikeouts while only giving up one run and four total baserunners.

After Pete Alonso drove in the first two runs through two sacrifice-fly balls, Robinson Cano delivered the first big shot of the day with a solo home run in the third inning, before Francisco Lindor bombed a two-run jack in the fifth frame.

Starling Marte would get in on the action in the eighth inning, connecting on a 391-foot three-run homer, before Lindor added his second long ball of the day in the very next at-bat.

 

 

 

Orioles walk-off with a walk

The New York Yankees went down 2-1 in extra innings against the Baltimore Orioles as the winning run was gifted home plate with a walk.

Giancarlo Stanton was the lone bright spot for the Yankees on the offensive side of the ball, getting three hits from five at-bats and driving in New York's only run.

The two starting pitchers – Jordan Montgomery for the Yankees and Jordan Lyles for the Orioles – combined for 10 innings of work for only one earned run.

Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium turned into the Vladimir Guerrero Jr show in the Toronto Blue Jays' 6-4 win against the New York Yankees.

Guerrero started the game off with a bang, opening the scoring with a home run in the first inning off Yankees ace Gerrit Cole. 

It would be his first of three home runs on the night, slogging his second in the third inning, before his longest ball came in the eighth inning, traveling 443 feet.

Guerrero finished four-for-four with four RBIs, while star teammates Bo Bichette, George Springer and Matt Chapman all collected hits of their own.

After only being able to record one out in his first start, Blue Jays ace Jose Berrios found some form, striking out five batters in five innings while giving up three earned runs on six hits.

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge shouldered no blame in the loss, going two-for-four with a home run.

 

Ramirez pays for himself

After signing a five-year, $124million extension in the pre-season, Jose Ramirez continued showing he is worth every penny, as he helped the Cleveland Guardians beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-3.

Ramirez had a home run, a double, a single and was hit by a pitch to get on-base in four of his five at-bats, while starting pitcher Triston McKenzie pitched four scoreless innings, striking out six and giving away no walks.

Meanwhile, rookie sensation Steven Kwan was walked with bases loaded to get the Guardians off the mark.

Torkelson's first tank

Top overall pick from the 2020 MLB Draft, Spencer Torkelson, hit his first career home run as his Detroit Tigers lost to the Boston Red Sox 9-7.

The game was in control of the Red Sox from the fourth inning when they piled on six runs with extra-base hits from Jackie Bradley Jr, Enrique Hernandez and Rafael Devers.

Torkelson's big moment came in the seventh inning with two outs, turning around a fastball to pull it over the left-field fence, going two-for-four in the game.

Juan Soto made history with his 100th career home run in the Washington Nationals' 16-4 loss to world champions, the Atlanta Braves, on Tuesday.

Soto, 23, became the youngest player in franchise history to reach 100 career home runs with a moon shot at the top of the sixth inning.

The homer, which travelled 451 feet according to Statcast to right-center field, was the fourth longest of his career.

"It just comes to me. I never tried to hit a homer, or anything like that," Soto told reporters. "I’m one of the guys who just tries to hit singles every day. So for me to become consistent hitting homers, it’s just impressive and it tells how good I’ve been working on my body and everything."

Soto is the seventh active player to blast 100 homers at age 23 or younger, having first homered as a 19-year-old in 2018.

The Braves ultimately got the win after 10 runs in three innings to open up a 10-1 lead after four innings, but Soto finished with two hits, one run, one walk and one RBI.

Ozzie Albies, who finished with three hits, two runs and three RBIs, blasted his first homer of the 2022 season in the fourth inning.

With his one hit and two walks in the Cleveland Guardians' 10-7 away win against the Kansas City Royals, rookie Steven Kwan broke a record that dates back to the early days of baseball.

He became the first player since at least 1901 to reach base 15 times in his first four career games, after also setting the record for most times on-base in his first three games with 12.

While personal accomplishments are always nice, Kwan's record-breaking moment came at the biggest stage in the game as his side led 6-5 in the top of the eighth inning, with two outs and the bases loaded.

Up stepped Kwan with a chance to ice the game, and he did so, sending his hit deep into the right corner of the outfield for a bases-clearing triple to put his side up 9-5 with only six more outs needed to end the game.

It was a less impressive outing for Royals AL Rookie of the Year favorite Bobby Witt Jr, who went hitless in his four at-bats, but scored a run when he walked in the ninth inning and was brought around by an Andrew Benintendi consolation home run.

By the end of Monday's game, Kwan is yet to swing and miss at a pitch in his Major League career, after not striking out at all in Spring Training.

 

Mets meltdown

It was a classic New York Mets meltdown in their 5-4 loss against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Mets played a near-flawless first seven frames, leading 4-0 going into the eighth inning after Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, Mark Canha and Eduardo Escobar batted in runs.

But everything fell apart in the eighth inning as the Phillies collected five hits – including a home run from J.T. Realmuto – to score five runs in the inning and set the table for Brad Hand to close the show with a save.

 

Yankees get shutout 

In a highly-anticipated matchup between World Series contenders and divisional foes, the Toronto Blue Jays shutout the New York Yankees 3-0 to win the opening game of their four-game series.

Blue Jays starting pitcher Alek Manoah was at the top of his game, pitching six innings and giving up just one hit and four walks to go with seven strikeouts.

All three runs were batted in by leadoff hitter George Springer, who hit a two-run home run in the third inning and a RBI double in the seventh.

A Bobby Dalbec solo home run propelled the Boston Red Sox to a 4-3 win over the New York Yankees on Sunday, avoiding a season-opening sweep against their fierce rivals.

Boston blew multi-run leads in the opening two games of the series and did so again on Sunday. This time, the Red Sox rallied back, with Dalbec homering off Yankees reliever Clarke Schmidt for his first of the season.

New York's Anthony Rizzo tied the game at three with a two-run single, scoring Yankees newcomers Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Jose Trevino.

Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton continued good starts to the season overall, with the former hitting and walking twice, while the latter getting three hits.

The Red Sox ended an eight-game regular-season losing streak against the Yankees, not including their win in last season's American League wild card game. The two do not face each other again until July.

Ramos starts off strong for the Giants

Heliot Ramos had two hits and scored a run in his major league debut as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Miami Marlins 3-2.

Ramos, the 19th pick in the 2017 draft, was called up from Triple-A ball before the game and was greeted with a standing ovation as he walked up to the plate.

He promptly singled and scored on a Mauricio Dubon RBI double, who scored the decisive run in the third inning after a throwing error by Miami pitcher Trevor Rogers.

Bregman and Urquidy lift Astros over the Angels

The Houston Astros continued their strong start to the MLB season, securing a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.

Alex Bregman and Jose Urquidy led the way for the Astros, with Bregman putting them ahead via a two-run single in the fifth, while Urquidy notched up four hits over five innings.

Reigning American League MVP Shohei Ohtani broke his one-for-14 start to the season, smashing a double that sent Tyler Wade to third base.

Sunday's results

Philadelphia Phillies 1-4 Oakland Athletics
Tampa Bay Rays 8-0 Baltimore Orioles
Detroit Tigers 1-10 Chicago White Sox
Atlanta Braves 3-6 Cincinnati Reds
Washington Nationals 4-2 New York Mets
Toronto Blue Jays 6-12 Texas Rangers
Kansas City Royals 3-17 Cleveland Guardians
Minnesota Twins 10-4 Seattle Mariners
Saint Louis Cardinals 4-9 Pittsburgh Pirates
Chicago Cubs 4-5 Milwaukee Brewers
Colorado Rockies 9-4 Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants 3-2 Miami Marlins
Los Angeles Angels 1-4 Houston Astros
Arizona Diamondbacks 5-10 San Diego Padres
New York Yankees 3-4 Boston Red Sox

Guardians at Royals

The Cleveland Guardians will be looking to gain momentum after their rout of Kansas City on Sunday, where rookie Steven Kwan managed five hits.

Giancarlo Stanton continued his remarkable home-run hitting form against the Boston Red Sox as the New York Yankees won 4-2 on Saturday.

Yankees slugger Stanton homered for the sixth consecutive game against the Red Sox, hitting the go-ahead two-run homer to left center field in the sixth inning.

Boston had gone ahead in the second inning from Alex Verdugo's two-run homer, before Anthony Rizzo equalled the feat in the fourth inning to level the game up.

The victory means the Yankees have begun the new season with a 2-0 start, ahead of the third and final game of their series against the Red Sox on Sunday.

"I can’t say it’s the rivalry or anything," Stanton said about his record against the Red Sox. "I’m doing my homework and getting the ball over the plate."

 

Dodgers offense shut down

The Los Angeles Dodgers struggled on offense as they slumped to a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies, who were sparked by an eighth-inning Connor Joe homer.

Rockies closer Daniel Bard shut down the Dodgers in the ninth inning to round out the win, striking out Justin Turner, Edwin Rios and Cody Bellinger.

Austin Barnes had two hits and an RBI for the Dodgers, while Mookie Betts had an eighth-inning RBI single to tie the game up, before Joe's go-ahead blast.

 

Alonso hits career-first grand slam

Pete Alonso clubbed a fifth-inning grand slam to lead the New York Mets past the Washington Nationals 5-0. That marked 27-year-old's first career grand slam and comes after Alonso had been left with a bloodied lip after being struck by a Mason Thompson fastball earlier in the series.

The benches cleared in the Chicago Cubs' 9-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers after tempers flared between the division rivals when right-hander Keegan Thompson hit Andrew McCutchen in the hip with a fastball.

Dylan Cease stepped in for the Chicago White Sox with eight strikeouts across five innings in their 5-2 win over the Detroit Tigers. Cease remarkably boasts a 9-0 record against the Tigers in 10 starts.

 

Saturday's results

Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 Baltimore Orioles
Chicago White Sox 5-2 Detroit Tigers
Seattle Mariners 4-3 Minnesota Twins
St Louis Cardinals 6-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
Chicago Cubs 9-0 Milwaukee Brewers
Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 Texas Rangers
Philadelphia Phillies 4-2 Oakland Athletics
Miami Marlins 2-1 San Francisco Giants
New York Yankees 4-2 Boston Red Sox
Kansas City Royals 1-0 Cleveland Guardians
New York Mets 5-0 Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves 2-1 Cincinnati Reds
Colorado Rockies 3-2 Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego Padres 5-2 Arizona Diamondbacks
Los Angeles Angels 2-0 Houston Astros

 

Astros at Angels

The Los Angeles Angels take on the Houston Astros in the final game of their thrilling four-game series, with Shohei Ohtani potentially back on the mound after being rested for the past two games.

Aaron Judge said the New York Yankees are one of 30 teams he will talk to when he becomes a free agent at the end of the season.

Judge made the confession in an explosive post-game interview after the Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox 6-5 in extra innings on Friday.

He had two hits from five at-bats in the win, including a double, but the 2017 AL Rookie of the Year may not remain with the team following this season after failing to agree on an extension prior to Opening Day.

While there is no rule to say Judge and the Yankees have to cease contract talks during the season, Judge himself imposed the cut-off date of Opening Day, saying he does not want the distraction during the season.

As well as his long-term extension, Judge and the Yankees are also at odds about his salary for his season, and due to MLB's rules – which stipulate players during their 'service years' receive a salary offer which can be negotiated through third-party arbitration – it may be an issue that is resolved in the courtroom.

Speaking with post-game media, Judge did not hold back about his disappointment with the way things have been handled.

"I'm just disappointed, because I have been vocal about wanting to be a Yankee for life," he said.

"I want to bring a championship back to New York. I want to do it for the fans here – this is home for me – and I'm not getting that done right now."

He later added: "At the end of the year, I'm a free agent – I will talk to 30 teams, and the Yankees will be one of those 30 teams. 

"It's always nice to try to wrap something up sooner, the better. But we weren't able to get it done and it's on to baseball."

In an eyebrow-raising move, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman disclosed his club's contract offer to Judge when talking to reporters earlier in the day, saying the star was offered a seven-year, $213million deal.

When questioned about it, Judge was not interested in discussing specifics.

"I don't like talking numbers," he said. "I like to keep that private – something I kind of felt like was private between my team and the Yankees.

"I'm a ballplayer. [Cashman] has a job to do, and I can't control that… it didn't take me by surprise; there's nothing to get upset about. 

"It's business. It's a side of the sport that I love to play. In business, anything can happen, so you got to roll with it."

Touching on potential arbitration for this season, Judge said he does not want to get into a situation where both parties are presenting arguments to discredit the other.

"We're prepared for both [situations]," he said. 

"Nobody likes going in that courtroom. I don't really think it's good for both sides, because they say some stuff that I wouldn't want to hear, and we say some stuff they don't want to hear. 

"I think if we can avoid it at all cost, that'd be great. But myself and our team, we're ready for either way to go."

Baseball's best rivalry delivered once again on Friday as the New York Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox 6-5 in extra innings at Yankee Stadium.

In the first game of the season for both sides, sparks flew in the opening inning as Rafael Devers hit a two-run bomb over the fence, before J.D. Martinez made it 3-0 for the Red Sox with a RBI double.

The Yankees wasted little time striking back as Anthony Rizzo launched a 414-foot two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning, and three innings later a Giancarlo Stanton solo shot tied proceedings at 3-3.

After the Red Sox manufactured a run in the sixth inning to take the lead, the Yankees tied things up once again with another solo home run, this time from D.J. LeMahieu in the eighth frame to take things to extra innings.

Boston scored first in the 10th inning through a Xander Bogaerts RBI single, only for Gleyber Torres to extend the game a further inning with a sacrifice fly, setting the table for Yankee debutant Josh Donaldson.

In his first game for New York, Donaldson delivered the game-winning walk-off base hit to bring Isiah Kiner-Falefa around to score in the bottom of the 11th inning.

AL Cy Young favorite Gerrit Cole was disappointing for the Yankees, getting pulled after four innings and 68 pitches after allowing three earned runs from four hits and a walk, while Michael King was credited with the win for pitching both extra frames.

Dodgers make winning start

The most expensive team in baseball, and World Series favorites, the Los Angeles Dodgers received strong contributions from their big names in a 5-3 away win against the Colorado Rockies.

Mookie Betts and Trae Turner collected RBI knocks, while new signing Freddie Freeman had one hit, one walk and scored a run from his four at-bats.

Dodgers ace Walker Buehler pitched a solid outing, giving up two runs from four hits and two walks, while racking up five strikeouts in five innings.

 

Blue Jays mount massive comeback

In the top of the fourth inning, the Toronto Blue Jays trailed the Texas Rangers 7-0, before the home side caught fire and stormed back to win 10-8.

Blue Jays starter and ace pitcher Jose Berrios was only able to record one out before getting pulled as the Rangers scored four runs off him, before the bullpen took over, only giving up one run in the last five innings.

Vladimir Guerrero had a pair of RBI base hits, Bo Bichette also had a multi-hit game and the duo of Teoscar Hernandez and Danny Jansen both blasted long home runs.

Angels off to slow start

Boasting arguably the best two players in the league – Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout – the Los Angeles Angels are off to a disappointing start after getting blown out by the Houston Astros 13-6.

The Astros used an eight-run seventh inning to blow the game open as Jeremy Pena and Kyle Tucker both hit home runs in the frame, while Jose Altuve, Aledmys Diaz and Alex Bregman all finished the game with multiple RBIs.

For the Angels, Ohtani registered a hit and scored a run, while Trout was withdrawn for a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning.

 

Friday's results

New York Yankees 6-5 Boston Red Sox

Detroit Tigers 5-4 Chicago White Sox

Philadelphia Phillies 9-5 Oakland Athletics

Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 Baltimore Orioles

Colorado Rockies 3-5 Los Angeles Dodgers

Minnesota Twins 1-2 Seattle Mariners 

San Francisco Giants 6-5 Miami Marlins

Washington Nationals 3-7 New York Mets

Toronto Blue Jays 10-8 Texas Rangers

Atlanta Braves 7-6 Cincinnati Reds

Los Angeles Angels 6-13 Houston Astros

Arizona Diamondbacks 0-3 San Diego Padres

 

Red Sox at Yankees

Boston versus New York remains the biggest rivalry in the sport, and the Red Sox will look to even the ledger in the second of the three-game series.

After a chaotic offseason, which included a lockout and pushing back Opening Day, baseball is almost back.

With a new collective bargaining agreement in place, two new playoff spots up for grabs and plenty of big-name player movement, it is shaping up to be an enthralling MLB season.

The defending champion Atlanta Braves may have improved, despite losing star Freddie Freeman to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Yankees' position as the best team in New York could soon be under threat. 

With so many storylines, the most logical place to begin is right at the very top.

 

Can the Braves go back-to-back?

As is often the case, the World Series race is wide open, but Atlanta is at least in the mix as far as the pre-season odds go.

Some would consider the Braves' run last season a fluke – they won 88 games in the regular season, while the 91-win Toronto Blue Jays and 90-win Seattle Mariners missed out on playoff berths entirely.

However, they were missing superstar Ronald Acuna Jr for a large chunk of the year, and made meaningful additions at the trade deadline including Eddie Rosario, Jorge Soler and Joc Pederson, and their playoff surge indicated that the record was not an accurate reflection of their talent.

While they lost franchise legend Freeman to the Dodgers, the Braves are arguably getting an upgrade at first base in the form of Matt Olson, who is four years younger and was a two-time Gold Glove winner with the Oakland Athletics before being traded for a four-player package of young Braves prospects.

Max Fried and Charlie Morton comprise a stout top of the rotation while Mike Soroka is out injured, and they have some strong bullpen arms including Tyler Matzek and Collin McHugh.

The Braves are a team without a clear weakness and will be full of confidence, so expect them to be fighting it out at the top of the NL East against the second-most expensive team in baseball, the New York Mets, as they bid to become the first team to win consecutive World Series since the Yankees in 1999 and 2000.

 

Are the Mets the best team in New York?

Since 2001, the New York Mets have only finished with a better record than the Yankees twice, in 2015 and 2016.

During that span, the Mets have never had a more expensive payroll than their local rivals – until this year.

The Mets are projected to come into Opening Day trailing only the Dodgers with the second-highest payroll in the league at $251million, while the Yankees are third at $239m.

It represents more than just deep pockets for second-year owner Steve Cohen, it shows that the Mets are no longer the 'little brother', and are willing to spend what it takes to be taken seriously against the most decorated franchise in major league history.

Buck Showalter will be the man tasked with turning the money into wins in his first year in the role, the former three-time AL Manager of the Year known for maximising talent on a limited budget with the Baltimore Orioles from 2010 to 2018, a stint that included a playoff series win over the Yankees.

Ultimately, what the Mets' season will hinge on is the health of their starting pitchers, with Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer (who turns 38 this season) comprising the best one-two punch in baseball after Marcus Stroman left as a free agent to join the Chicago Cubs. DeGrom has already been sidelined for four weeks with a shoulder injury.

The rotation also includes 2021 All-Star Taijuan Walker, who tailed off late last season, but showed impressive ability when fresh.

Francisco Lindor remains the young jewel of the franchise – now two seasons into a 10-year, $341m contract extension – and along with power-hitting Pete Alonso and rangy center-fielder Starling Marte, there is plenty of quality stepping into the batters' box.

The Yankees will have one of the highest-ceiling batting line-ups when they roll out sluggers Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Joey Gallo, but they also play in the league's toughest division in the AL East, and could be candidates for regression after losing pitcher Corey Kluber and trading away bats Gio Urshela and Luke Voit.

 

 

Did the best team in baseball not make the playoffs in 2021?

It may be hard to believe, but given the meat grinder that is the AL East, the Toronto Blue Jays are bookmakers' second-favourite to win the World Series despite not making the playoffs this past season.

The Blue Jays were top three in runs scored in 2021 and should again be one of the most explosive teams in the league this time around.

Toronto will also be able to enjoy a homecoming season, returning to Rogers Centre after the Blue Jays were forced to play their 2021 home games in Buffalo due to pandemic restrictions.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr and Bo Bichette are franchise cornerstones, last year's big signing George Springer was enormous in an injury-shortened debut campaign, and they have the luxury of adding Matt Chapman this season, who has two Platinum Gloves to his name as one of the best defensive players in the league.

Pitching remains the question mark in Toronto, with AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray departing for Seattle in a serious blow to a rotation with plenty to prove.

Nobody should be surprised if the Blue Jays jump up from fourth in their division all the way to the top, and are one of the teams with real World Series aspirations this season.

 

Which top prospect will establish themselves as a star? 

There will be some elite prospects finding their way in the majors this season, but will any of them burst onto the scene as a star?

In 2017, Judge did more than just win Rookie of the Year, he led the AL in home runs and finished second in AL MVP voting.

While there is always a chance that an unheralded rookie emerges as the premier prospect, there is a relatively clear top-tier consisting of three players entering the season.

Kansas City Royals infielder Bobby Witt Jr, Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman and Seattle Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez.

Rutschman will hit for average from both sides of the plate while projecting as an elite defensive catcher, Witt is the five-tool stud who will make eye-popping plays with his glove at shortstop, and Rodriguez is the big, power-hitting corner outfielder.

At 24 years old, Rutschman is the senior of the class, while the other two are considerably younger at 21, but all three will have a chance to prove themselves early in the year as franchise-altering stars – and potentially become the biggest story of this season.

The New York Yankees will bring back Aaron Boone after re-signing the manager on a new three-year deal, despite another unsuccessful MLB season.

Boone has led the storied franchise to the postseason in all four seasons in charge at Yankee Stadium, although they have not reached the World Series during his tenure, creating doubt about his future.

The Yankees – who have not won the World Series since 2009 – bowed out of the 2021 postseason in the American League (AL) Wild Card Game to bitter rivals the Boston Red Sox after finishing third in the AL East with a 92-70 record.

But the Yankees are sticking with Boone in a deal that includes a club option for 2025, they announced on Tuesday.

"We have a person and manager in Aaron Boone who possesses the baseball acumen and widespread respect in our clubhouse to continue to guide us forward," Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement.

"As a team and as an organisation, we must grow, evolve and improve. We need to get better. Period.

"I know Aaron fully embraces our expectations of success, and I look forward to drawing on his intelligence, instincts and leadership in pursuit of our next World Series championship."

Under Boone, the 27-time World Series champions have twice lost the AL Division Series (ALDS) in 2018 and 2020 and once the AL Championship Series (ALCS) in 2019, along with this season's Wild Card defeat.

Boone has compiled a 328-218 managerial record with the Yankees. The 48-year-old is only the second manager in MLB history to reach the playoffs in each of his first four managerial seasons.

"I think I can help lead us to the top. That's why I'm here. That's why I came back," Boone said. "Ultimately, though, the proof will be in the pudding."

The last Yankees manager allowed a fifth season in charge without having won the World Series was Miller Huggins in 1922.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said: "We want more and we expect more.

He added: "If he was entering the free-agent market, I believe he'd be the number one managerial candidate in baseball. There's a number of different vacancies, and we would be going to market looking for someone like him."

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