The Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres will kick off their 2021 seasons at Petco Park on April 1. There’s a case in contrast heading into 2021 here. The D-Backs had a surprisingly good 2019 and then were one of the most disappointing teams in baseball in 2020. Meanwhile, the Padres again finished last in 2019 after making an offseason splash, but then in 2020 broke through with the second-best NL record.
This marks the second straight year these two clubs have met on opening day. Last time around, the Padres set the tone for 2020 with a 7-2 win in Petco. Will history repeat itself?
Padres: One step in turning a franchise around from bottom-feeder to World Series contender is successfully raising expectations. That has happened in San Diego. Only two teams had a better record than the Padres last year and those were the two teams that played in the World Series. The rotation was bolstered in the offseason, too. Darvish gets a shot at a first impression while superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. is playing for the first time with his megadeal. Just remember, win or lose, Padres fans: It’s only 1/162 of the season.
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Major League Baseball will begin the 2021 regular season on Thursday, April 1. The Opening Day slate will get underway just after 1 p.m. ET, with the Toronto Blue Jays taking on the New York Yankees in an American League East battle. Every team is scheduled to play on Thursday, and the action is likely to stretch past 1 a.m. on the east coast thanks to a late-night docket that includes contests between the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels and between the Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics.