MLB News & Moments You Should Know 3/29/2024

All the best news and moments from 2024's Opening Day.

Stay updated on everything baseball with our morning MLB News & Moments articles. We’ve got you covered to keep you in the know.


Today’s Headlines


It’s FINALLY Opening Day



BASEBALL!!! It’s finally back in full force, everyone. Yesterday was our first full slate of games after the appetizer that was the Seoul Series, with 26/30 teams taking the field stateside for the first time this season. Sorry to all the Brewers, Mets, Phillies, and Braves fans out there – just one more day. Hang in there.


Trout Homers, but Burnes Shines in O’s Debut


The first home run on this side of the Pacific Ocean went to none other than Mike Trout, who took a Corbin Burnes slider to the Orioles bullpen in the top of the first:

Unfortunately for the Angels, this would be the only run (and hit!) they would muster against Burnes, who fanned 11 in his debut for Baltimore. Burnes also didn’t walk any Angels and got through six innings of work with just 82 pitches as the Orioles cruised to an easy 11-3 win on Opening Day. The O’s have their ace, everyone. Be very afraid.


AL Central Aces Impress


The AL Central isn’t known as the strongest offensive division by any means, but at this point it’s no secret that these teams have some bona fide aces, and their talents were on full display on Thursday. Pablo López and Cole Ragans squared off in Kansas City, with both pitchers picking up right where they left off in 2023. López got the win after tossing seven innings of one-run ball, but Ragans also impressed, punching out nine Twins in six innings of work and earning a quality start of his own.

Meanwhile, on the South Side of Chicago, AL Cy Young candidate Tarik Skubal faced popular streaming pick Garrett Crochet at a windy Guaranteed Rate Field. Both pitchers managed to keep the ball in the yard and earned quality starts, but it was Skubal who came out on top in a 1-0 victory. Skubal looked every bit the part of an ascending ace and touched 99 mph in the first start of his campaign:

Finally, late Thursday night, Shane Bieber took care of business against the Athletics, fanning 11 batters in six innings of shutout ball. That’s 5/5 quality starts for the AL Central aces for those of you keeping score at home.


Dodgers Stars Stay Hot Against Cardinals


With their first win of the season already under their belts, the Dodgers enjoyed their home opener with Tyler Glasnow once again taking the mound against the visiting Cardinals. Glasnow spun a gem, only allowing three baserunners in six innings of work, but it was the bats that shined in the Dodgers’ home-opening victory. Mookie Betts continued his scorching hot start to the season, scoring three runs and socking his second home run of the season off Miles Mikolas in the third:

The fun didn’t stop there. After a Shohei Ohtani walk, Freddie Freeman decided to get in on the action and launched his first home run of the season just moments later. The top third of this lineup sure feels a little unfair, doesn’t it? The Dodgers never looked back and cruised to a 7-1 victory to earn their second win of the season. If there’s anything to nitpick, maybe Shohei needs to clean up his baserunning juuuust a bit:


Soto’s Arm Saves the Day


In one of the premiere matchups on Opening Day, the Yankees visited the Astros in Houston for Juan Soto’s debut as in pinstripes. The Astros got out to an early 4-0 lead behind a Chas McCormick bases-loaded knock and a Jake Meyers homer, but the Yankees clawed their way back and eventually took the lead in the 7th on a sac fly from Alex Verdugo. With the Astros threatening in the ninth inning, Kyle Tucker roped a single to right field that seemed to be enough to bring in the tying run. Soto strongly objected to this idea.

While it wasn’t in the way you’d expect, Soto was the hero in his first game as a Yankee, gunning down Mauricio Dubón at the plate to preserve a 5-4 lead. Soto did plenty of other Soto things in this game, tallying two walks and a single as the Yankees earned their first win of the season. This guy’s something special, isn’t he?


Diamondbacks Pour it on in the Third


The Arizona Diamondbacks have endured their fair share of scrutiny in the offseason, with many wondering if their World Series run was little more than a fluke. How did the team respond in their first game of the season? By scoring checks notes FOURTEEN RUNS in the third inning. Unsurprisingly, this set a franchise record for Arizona for runs in an inning, a feat capped off by Blaze Alexander’s first career hit. Seems like a pretty good way to start the season for the defending NL champs.


The Ultimate ‘Ball Don’t Lie’ Moment


It was an eventful first game of the title defense campaign for the Texas Rangers, who found themselves in a close game with the Chicago Cubs late. With the score knotted at 2-2, the Cubs took the lead on a controversial play where a pitch to Miles Mastrobuoni snuck past Jonah Heim, who believed the ball to be fouled off. However, the ball was treated as live, allowing the Cubs to take a late lead on what was ruled a wild pitch.

Heim was livid following the play, insisting that Mastrobuoni made contact, meaning the play should have been dead. Instant replay showed that the ball was indeed fouled off, but since this kind of play can’t be challenged, the call stood, leaving the Rangers facing a 1-run deficit in the ninth inning. Pinch-hitter and noted slugger Travis Jankowski led off the bottom of the inning and seemed to have strong opinions about the events that had just transpired.

And in the 10th inning? Guess who ended up being the Opening Day hero:

Take it away, Jeff Passan.


Best Moments From Yesterday


Rangers Raise their Banner


It was a special Opening Day in Arlington as Rangers fans not only got to celebrate their first win of the season and Wyatt Langford’s debut, but they also raised the banner for their first World Series title.


Cruz Retires as a Mariner


The Mariners signed Nelson Cruz to a one-day contract to allow the seven-time All-Star to retire as a Mariner. Cruz spent four seasons in Seattle from 2015-18, hitting 163 home runs and earning three All-Star selections during that span.


Tenacity Pays Off for Journeyman


Things you love to see.


Welcome to the Show, Blaze


An 11th-round pick in the 2018 draft, Blaze Alexander finally saw his hard work pay off as he was added to the Diamondbacks’ major league roster for Opening Day. I’ll never get sick of seeing videos like this.


First Hits for Rookie Stars


In addition to Alexander, both Wyatt Langford and Colt Keith earned their first of many big-league hits during their first taste of major-league action, though neither of those hits left the infield:


On-Pace Tweets are All the Way Back


The first week of the MLB season is full of traditions, overreactions, and ridiculous projections. Case in point:


Injuries and Other Moves


We had plenty of injured list transactions finally become official with rosters being set. Many of them, such as Astros ace Justin Verlander heading to the 15-day IL, were expected. For a full summary of transactions, check out the official MLB transactions page. Here’s a rundown of some noteworthy/recent moves:

⚾ Orioles RHP Kyle Bradish heads to the 15-day IL (not 60-day!) with a right UCL sprain.

⚾ Mariners RHP Bryan Woo heads to the 15-day IL with right medial elbow inflammation.

⚾ Reds SS Matt McLain was transferred to the 60-day IL after undergoing shoulder surgery.

⚾ Yankees RHP Gerrit Cole was placed on the 60-day IL with right elbow inflammation.

⚾ Twins 3B Royce Lewis appeared to suffer a leg injury against the Royals after hitting a home run and a single.

⚾ Cubs LHP Justin Steele went down with a hamstring injury after fielding a bunt. Manager Craig Counsell seems to think an IL stint is likely for the Cubs’ ace.


Articles You Should Read


Fans’ Guide to MiLB Opening Day — Sam Dykstra and Benjamin Hill, MLB.com

The meaningful traditions that make this day that much more special — Several authors, MLB.com

What to know about MLB’s rule changes for 2024 — Anthony Castrovince, mlb.com


Fantasy Baseball Coverage


Starting Pitcher Roundup

Hitter Performances

Reliever Ranks

Starting Pitcher Streamers

Christian Otteman

Christian Otteman is a hopelessly optimistic Cubs fan living in Milwaukee just looking to share his love of this beautiful game with others. He is especially a fan of the wild and weird things that only a game like baseball can produce. While he's not watching baseball, Christian is playing golf, hosting trivia, and working on his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Marquette University.

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