By David Miller @DavidMillerRant on March 25, 2014
It goes without saying that every MLB team wants to win every game that they play. Why would they bother playing if they didn't want to win? If at all possible, MLB teams want to win more on Opening Day than any other day. For the most part if a team loses on the first official day of the season it doesn't matter. Some teams have more to lose with an loss on Opening Day 2014.
With all of the moves that they made during the offseason the Yankees are expected to compete for the title in the American League Easts, if not run away with it for part of the season. If they hit the ground on Opening Day and none of their free agent signings come through, it won't take long for worrying to start.
Last season the Nationals were supposed to be a World Series contender from Opening Day onward. When the season arrived however, they just weren't good enough. If they do the same thing this Opening Day with good pitching but zero offense, it will start to look like the same result should be expected.
Most expect the Tigers to be a leader in the American League Central from Opening Day onward. They do have contenders to deal with and have lost a big regular season bat in Prince Fielder. Also they lost Doug Fister and Omar Infante. Nothing should be handed to this team. If they find themselves failing badly on Opening Day 2014, fingers will quickly start pointing to their many changes.
If the Tigers do have trouble keeping the lead in the American League Central you can look for it to be because of this team right here. Even those who do not think the Royals will quite win their division still look for a much better offensive turnout. If their offense flops on Opening Day it will look bad on their season's beginning.
Even though two good teams in the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates, who are both still good, fought the Cardinals to the last few days in 2013, everyone expects them to destroy the division. They might well do that but a big loss on Opening Day would make them look mortal very quickly.
Quite a few things have to go right for the Dodgers this year for their turnout at the end of the season to be what most expect. It is somewhat unrealistic to think they or any MLB team can repeat the extraordinary run they had in the second half of 2013 though so they will have to grind it out. That grind looks good after Australia but the official Opening Day could be a letdown for their fans if they drop the ball.
Especially with the way things got started unofficially almost in Australia, the official Opening Day for the Dbacks is going to be that much more important. They need to show how good their offense and overall team can be on that day or they really might fall behind too early.
Of three free agents last offseason the Red Sox only re-signed one. Because there are new faces here and there, they need to be able to show early on that they will be able to repeat. They are going to have a tougher time of it anyway this year. A bad showing on Opening Day would not be a good thing.
A bad day on Opening Day might not be so terrible for the Angels as a whole but a few players specifically need to come out of the gate well. Albert Pujols claims to be fully healthy for the first time since before he left St. Louis and Josh Hamilton is hoping to have a bounce-back season. They need to be good this year for the Angels to win and that means starting out right on Opening Day. A flop of a debut for those guys looks bad on the team.
This should not be a big surprise to anyone. Last season the Mariners were not good at all. During the offseason they kind of tried to do a lot to change that and compete this season. The problem is that they might have done too little in the right places and spent too much on the wrong ones. If they burst out of the gate many will be pleased. If they get destroyed and look like they did in 2013, a lot of people will be worried for good reason.
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