LEADING OFF: Cubs play home opener against Pirates

A look at what’s happening all around baseball today:


Weather-permitting, the Chicago Cubs finally get to play their home opener when they take on the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field. The Cubs closed out a 5-4 trip with a 3-0 win at Milwaukee on Sunday. It was the franchise’s longest road trip to open the season since a 12-game jaunt in 1899. There is a chance for snow for the team’s return to Chicago, and first baseman Anthony Rizzo also is questionable. The slugger has been sidelined by back tightness.


The Boston Red Sox should know more about Xander Bogaerts after the shortstop injured his left ankle in the seventh inning of Sunday’s 8-7 victory over Tampa Bay. Bogaerts got hurt while sliding down into the Tampa Bay dugout. He is hitting .368 (14 of 38) this season with two homers and nine RBIs. Boston has won eight in a row heading into Tuesday’s series opener against the New York Yankees. Brock Holt could fill in if Bogaerts misses any time.


Reigning Cy Young Award winners Corey Kluber and Max Scherzer take the mound. Kluber goes for his first win of the year when the Cleveland Indians face the Detroit Tigers in the opener of a four-game series. Scherzer gets the ball for the Washington Nationals at home against the Atlanta Braves. Scherzer took the loss in his previous start against Atlanta when he yielded five runs, two earned, in five innings in a 7-1 setback on Wednesday.


New York Mets ace Noah Syndergaard looks to continue his dominance of the Miami Marlins in the opener of a three-game set. The 25-year-old Syndergaard is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA in five career starts against the Marlins. He is coming off a no-decision against Philadelphia on Wednesday when he gave up two runs and four hits in four innings in New York’s 4-2 win.


The Cincinnati Reds could turn to Cliff Pennington or Phil Gosselin at third after Eugenio Suarez broke his right thumb when he was hit by a pitch during Sunday’s 5-0 loss at Pittsburgh. Suarez signed a $66 million, seven-year contract in March. The 26-year-old has been one of the few bright spots in Cincinnati’s tough start. He hit a three-run home run to complete a comeback win over the Pirates on Saturday night.

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