First pitch between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers on Opening Day of the 2018 season has officially been set for 4:08 p.m. PT. The March 29 start for a season is the earliest date in MLB history.
Additionally, all 30 clubs play on Opening Day for the first time since 1968. The Dodgers have previously begun a season in March in 1998, 2003, 2008, 2011 and 2014. This year’s game is one of two in the Opening Series that will be nationally televised by ESPN.
The Dodgers are 5-6 against the Giants in season openers since relocating to Los Angeles in 1958. However, they’re 5-3 when those games have been played at Dodger Stadium, with their last such meeting coming in 2013.
Having played to the final possible day of the 2017 season and the new Collective Bargaining Agreement calling for more off days during the year, the Dodgers are facing a truncated offseason.
In response to that, manager Dave Roberts said he intended to closely monitor and ease some of the team’s veterans through Spring Training. The Dodgers are coming off a season in which they set a Los Angeles franchise record with 104 wins.
Conversely, the Giants finished tied for the worst record in baseball at 64-98. After missing out on Shohei Ohtani and failing to convince Giancarlo Stanton to waive his no-trade clause, the Giants made a splash by acquiring Evan Longoria from the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Dodgers recently bolstered their bullpen by trading for Scott Alexander, and also acquired Matt Kemp in a salary dump that benefitted them and the Atlanta Braves.