The 2016 Major League Baseball season is set to begin for both the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals. Led by their power-hitting third baseman Manny Machado, Baltimore is hoping to improve on an 81-81 record from a year ago. For Washington, and reigning MVP Bryce Harper, the Nationals have their goals set on a playoff berth in 2016. Below are some additional details on Orioles Opening Day, Nationals Opening Day, and thoughts on the season ahead to get you ready for baseball in the DMV.
Baltimore Orioles 2016 Preview
Orioles Opening Day: Monday, April 4 vs. Minnesota Twins at 3:05 pm ET
Orioles Opening Day Lineup: Alejandro De Aza (LF), Manny Machado (3B), Adam Jones (CF), Steve Pearce (1B), Travis Snider (RF), Delmon Young (DH), Ryan Flaherty (SS), Jonathan Schoop (2B), Caleb Joseph (C) Chris Tillman (P)
Road Opener: Monday, April 11 vs. Boston Red Sox at 2:05 pm ET
Starting Pitchers: Chris Tillman, Yovani Gallardo, Miguel Gonzalez, Ubaldo Jimenez, Mike Wright
Orioles 2016 Season Preview via Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated:
“On the heels of a modest season that many feared would be the last in Baltimore for first baseman Chris Davis and catcher Matt Wieters, the Orioles managed to retain both this winter thanks to Davis signing a contract with a significant amount of deferred money and Wieters joining the first wave of players to accept a qualifying offer. Davis, who rebounded to 47 homers last year after restoring his therapeutic use exemption for an ADHD drug, should continue to lead a power parade that includes third baseman Manny Machado (35 homers), centerfielder Adam Jones (27 homers) and second baseman Jonathan Schoop (15 homers in 86 games) as well as newcomers Mark Trumbo (22 homers despite a partial-season exile in Seattle) and Pedro Alvarez (27 homers with Pittsburgh).”
Washington Nationals 2016 Preview
Nationals Opening Day: Thursday, April 7 vs. Miami Marlins at 4:05pm ET
Nationals Opening Day Lineup: Ben Revere (CF), Anthony Rendon (3B), Bryce Harper (RF), Ryan Zimmerman (1B), Daniel Murphy (2B), Jayson Werth (LF), Danny Espinosa (SS), Wilson Ramos (C), Max Scherzer (P)
Road Opener: Monday, April 4 vs. Atlanta Braves at 4:10pm ET
Starting Pitchers: Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Tanner Roark, Joe Ross
Nationals 2016 Season Preview via Jon Tayler of Sports Illustrated:
“So long as Bryce Harper wears a Nationals uniform, Washington will contend. That was proven last year, when a dysfunctional and inconsistent team stayed in the race for the National League East title almost solely thanks to Harper’s superhuman season. The 22-year-old outfielder put together the kind of historic year we’ve been waiting for since his 2012 debut: .330/.460/.649 in 654 plate appearances, with his on-base and slugging percentages leading the majors; an NL-high 42 home runs; 124 walks; a major league-best 195 OPS+; 9.9 Wins Above Replacement; and a unanimous first-place finish in the NL MVP voting. Mike Trout may still be the best player in the game, but Harper’s ascendance into superstardom has made it a true debate. For as good as Harper is, the team around him isn’t bad, either.”
Last season, Orioles Opening Day ended with a loss to the Toronto Blue Jays in Baltimore and the Nationals Opening Day ended with a loss to the New York Mets. This year, starting pitcher Chris Tillman is hoping to help the Orioles 2016 season begin with a victory. Meanwhile, Max Scherzer is scheduled to be on the mound for Washington and he will be looking to get the Nationals 2016 season started in the win column as well.
The Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. area is lucky to have both American and National League teams close by to cheer. Good luck to both teams on opening day and throughout the 2016 season! Here’s hoping that both teams make the return trip to October baseball!
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