HomeTrending MLB NewsOpening Day winners and losers: Orioles shine, Giants disappoint

Opening Day winners and losers: Orioles shine, Giants disappoint

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LOSER

Tampa Bay Rays

Last season, the Rays didn’t lose until two weeks into the season. They also didn’t allow eight runs in a game until their 17th. It only took one lousy Opening Day performance for both to happen to Tampa Bay in 2024.

The Rays lost 8-2 to the Blue Jays, with the train coming off the rails for Tampa starting pitcher Zach Eflin his third time through Toronto’s lineup. He allowed six earned runs in 5.2 innings, while his counterpart, Jose Berrios, only allowed two runs in six innings. Tampa Bay batters recorded eight hits but otherwise showed poor plate discipline with 11 strikeouts and only two walks.

WINNER

Reds DH Nick Martini

The Reds are projected to finish third in the open NL Central and got off to a promising start by taking care of the Nationals, which are expected to be one of the NL’s worst teams. The unlikely heart of Cincinnati’s 8-2 romp was designated hitter Martini, who had one of the best Opening Days in franchise history after fighting for a roster spot just a week ago.

He hit two home runs and drove in five runs in four at-bats, becoming the first Reds player in 17 years to hit two dingers on Opening Day and third all-time. Adam Dunn did it twice (2005, 2007), and Frank McCormick was the first to accomplish the feat way back in 1941. 

LOSER

San Francisco Giants

The Giants spent a lot of money this offseason, making their start somewhat of a concern. In a 6-4 loss to the Padres, San Francisco’s relief pitching and defense was its downfall. 

Starting pitcher Logan Webb had a solid outing, allowing two runs in six innings, but Giants reliever Luke Johnson, who missed the entire 2023 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery but had a 1.98 earned run average in 2022 with the Braves, allowed three runs without recording an out. 

The Padres tied the game at three on a throwing error by catcher Patrick Bailey, which is particularly disheartening after San Francisco ranked last in errors (117) in 2023.

WINNER

Los Angeles Dodgers

Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman combined to go 5-for-8 at the plate and scored six of L.A.’s seven runs in a breezy 7-1 win over the Cardinals in their home opener. Starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow, acquired in a trade with the Rays during the offseason, allowed only two hits and one run in six innings. Thursday was business as usual for the Dodgers, who have the weight of enormous expectations following their monster offseason.

But they didn’t look bogged down against St. Louis. Instead, the Dodgers simply looked like the best team in baseball.

LOSER

Texas Rangers’ championship banner

Congratulations to the Rangers on the world’s most anticlimactic banner reveal.

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