LEADING OFF: Cubs start a season their fans hope to savor
A look at what's happening all around the majors today:
HIGH AND TIGHT
The last time Noah Syndergaard faced the Royals, he intentionally fired his first pitch above Alcides Escobar's head during Game 3 of the World Series. He opposes Chris Young and Kansas City in an American League ballpark, so retaliation can't be direct, if it comes at all, but expect replays of Syndergaard's message pitch on the broadcast as Escobar digs in during the bottom of the first.
David Price and Corey Kluber will try again in Cleveland, a day after the Red Sox-Indians opener was put on ice because of cold weather. The forecast is calling for temperatures in the low to mid 30s at the first pitch. The coldest start in the majors in recent years was 23 degrees at Colorado in April 2013.
FRESH OUT WEST
Three pitchers will debut with their new teams in the NL West. Johnny Cueto leads the Giants against the Brewers after signing a $130 million, six-year contract in the offseason; Shelby Miller, acquired by Arizona in a blockbuster deal with Atlanta, will pitch against Colorado; and Scott Kazmir makes his Dodgers debut against the Padres after signing a $48 million, three-year deal in January.
WE MEET AGAIN
Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel starts at Yankee Stadium against Masahiro Tanaka in a rematch of last year's AL wild-card game, won by the Astros. Houston and New York were rained out Monday - the skies are supposed be sunny at gametime, albeit with temperatures in the upper 30s.
STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN
Aaron Sanchez is getting another stab at a rotation spot, beginning with Toronto's game at Tampa Bay. The right-hander labored through the first 11 starts of his big league career last season, walking nearly as many batters as he struck out before going back to the bullpen. The Blue Jays led the majors in runs last season and brought back basically the same lineup, so they can be patient with the hard-throwing 23-year-old.