LEADING OFF: 3 games on opening day, capped by Cubs-Cards
A look at what's happening all around the majors today:
Chris Archer is set to throw the first pitch of the 2017 season when Tampa Bay hosts the Yankees at Tropicana Field. An All-Star in 2015, Archer wound up with 19 losses last year, tied with James Shields for most in the majors. Masahiro Tanaka pitches for New York - he's 6-0 with a 2.82 ERA in eight career starts vs. the Rays.
San Francisco lefty Madison Bumgarner faces Arizona ace Zack Greinke in Phoenix. It's familiar territory for the Giants - their spring training complex is only a few miles away. Greinke is hoping for a better start than last year's opener, when Colorado tagged him for seven runs in four innings.
The Chicago Cubs begin a season as World Series champions for the first time since 1909. Jon Lester starts for the Cubs when they take on Carlos Martinez and the St. Louis Cardinals in a night game at Busch Stadium. The Cubs will see a familiar face in the opposing dugout - Dexter Fowler, the center field and leadoff man who helped them win the World Series last year, signed with St. Louis in the offseason.
YES TO YADIER?
The Cardinals and All-Star catcher Yadier Molina are trying to work out a new contract, and there's a chance it could be done before the opener. Molina wants to have a new deal in place before the first pitch, or he plans to look into free agency after the season. A three-year contract could be worth $55 million or more to the 34-year-old Gold Glover.