As the first day of Spring approaches, so too does Opening Day and the beginning of the 2011 Major League Baseball season. Currently teams are shaking off the rust of the offseason and finalizing their lineups during spring training play as they set their sights on a successful 2011 campaign. Starting March 31st baseball fans across the nation will suddenly develop that annual “cough” causing many of them to play hooky from school and work so that they can take in the atmosphere and excitement of the unofficial national holiday known as Opening Day.
The first pitch of the 2011 season will be thrown at 1:05 PM (ET) as the Atlanta Braves travel to the nation’s capital to take on the hometown Washington Nationals. Meanwhile the Detroit Tigers will head to the Bronx and New Yankee Stadium to take on the New York Yankees. Afternoon affairs begin with the Milwaukee Brewers visiting the defending NL Central champion Cincinnati Reds at 2:10 pm (ET), the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim squaring off against the Kansas City Royals at 4:10 PM (ET), and the San Diego Padres facing the St. Louis Cardinals with a 4:15 PM (ET) first pitch. The day will be capped off by an 8:00 PM (ET) prime time rivalry match up between the defending champion San Francisco Giants looking to knock off the Los Angeles Dodgers on the road. All remaining teams kick off their season the following day, Friday April 1st.
Last year the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers shocked the baseball world by meeting in the World Series with the Giants claiming the title. As the 2011 season approaches, hopes ride high for all 30 MLB teams and their fans as the quest to play for the championship in October begins.