With all the chaos of the offseason now behind us and the opening matches of the 2022 MLB season due to be played in the coming weeks, attention has already turned to what these early skirmishes might signal for the rest of the season.
And while there is a real need to avoid over-analyzing what the opening matches of the 2022 MLB season will mean in the long run, for punters who are already opening up mlb lines for the rest of the season and getting their sportsbook wagers prepared, this is very much easier said than done!
With that said, let’s take a look at what some of the main takeaways for the MLB season opening games were and what they might signal for the rest of the season.
Season openers: how did they play out?
After what feels like an incredibly lengthy offseason, which was broken up by all the drama of the lockout that took hold towards the end of 2021, Thursday’s opening games were warmly welcomed by fans across the country.
And as is so often the case with the opening games of the season, the first matches played on Thursday provided a wide range of action. This included everything from the first major league hit for the much-hyped Bobby Witt Jr to a long-awaited return for Albert Pujols.
One notable result was the Astros defeating the Angels 3-1. This came when the Astros turned a double-play in the ninth inning, which helped them to secure an opening night victory. The Angels almost looked like they were going to secure a game-tying home run when Rendon hit an absolute corker of a shot in the seventh. However, after being deemed a foul, following a replay, the Angels’ hopes were quickly dashed. Framber Valdez put in a solid shift as pitcher for the Astros, which helped them to secure this first win of the season.
Another impressive performance was put in by the Arizona Diamondbacks against the San Diego Padres, secured them a 4-2 victory. The Padres were initially 2-0 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning however, the Diamondbacks slowly but surely crawled their way back to top position. Perhaps most memorably, Seth Beer struck an absolutely beautiful walk-off home run late in the game. This, in many respects, seemed pre-ordained, given that April 7 is National Beer Day!
The Mets put in a very impressive performance over the Nationals, eventually securing a 5-1 victory on the opening night of the season. Notably, Tylor Megill pitched five scoreless innings with nine strikeouts and three hits, which helped the Mets secure the win. This was particularly impressive, given that Megill is only in his second season.
A commanding performance was also put in by the Cardinals, who defeated the Pirates 9-0. Pujols, Molina, and Wainwright were all in the starting lineup against the Cardinals – for the first time since September 2010 – although things didn’t pan out in their favor this time. And for the many who were hotly anticipating Pujols’ return to St. Louis, this was certainly an underwhelming performance!
Other notable results include a 6-3 defeat by the Reds over the Braves, in what turned out to be a compelling game on opening night, as well as a 3-1 defeat by the Royals over the Guardians. This saw Zack Greinke pitch for the Kansas City Royals for the first time in 12 years. This turned out to be a master class in pitching, with Greinke showing why he is already being marked out for Hall of Fame status.
And finally, rounding off the last of the opening night action, the Chicago Cubs scraped their way to a 5-4 victory over the Brewers. Cubs batter Hoerner hit the first home run of the 2022 season against Corbin Burnes. This was all the more surprising, considering that Hoerner hadn’t hit a single long ball in two seasons.
What does the rest of the season hold?
Judging by the results discussed here, there was clearly a lot of action on the opening day of the 2022 MLB season.
In terms of what these early skirmishes hint at for the rest of the season, it is more than likely too early to tell. However, given the vast sums of money that were expended by teams in the offseason – with payrolls reaching record heights – coaches, team owners, and fans alike will be expecting big things from the 2022 season. Whether or not the end-of-season results will reflect this, however, remains to be seen.