How Much Does MLB Opening Week Really Matter?
Opening week in baseball can yield some interesting results. Some results may last while others won’t. It may not matter in the grand scheme of the MLB season, but it matters in other ways.
Currently the Minnesota Twins have the best record in the American League and the Diamondbacks lead the National League. Neither team was supposed to be a powerhouse this season. In fact, quite the opposite.
Will they be in the World Series? It’s possible, and more surprising things have happened, but the answer is likely no.
How much do the stats and records from Opening Week matter?
It’s hard to say, but the answer is not much. It means nothing, at least from the full season’s standpoint.
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First off, it’s a small sample size. It’s too small to know if, say, the Twins pitchers were lucky or the Diamondbacks hit more home runs than they’re supposed to be capable of.
More often than not, these things even out over the course of the regular season.
Take the 2014 Oakland Athletics, for example. They got off to such a hot start that everyone thought they were World Series-bound.
It wasn’t to be. They flatlined. It began in early July and plagued the team the rest of the season. They ended up barely securing a second Wild Card spot.
But that’s the thing. You can usually count on the majority of players’ statistics to even out to numbers that are within their individual range of ability.
You also can’t count on players to stay healthy or not tire out or not get injured. Going back to the 2014 Athletics example, Brandon Moss hit 21 home runs in the first half of the season. He then hit four in the second half (and two in the Wild Card Game).
That same season, Josh Donaldson, who hit 20 homers in the first half, hit just nine long balls in the second half.
My point is really that baseball is often completely unpredictable.
A.J. Pollock of the Arizona Diamondbacks surprised everyone when he returned in late August 2016 from the elbow injury that was supposed to end his season. Then on September 9, the 2015 All-Star suffered a groin strain that did end his season. He played in just 12 games.
In a baseball sense, in a “predicting the two World Series teams” sense, Opening Week doesn’t foreshadow the rest of the season.
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However, it does matter in another sense, a fan sense and that includes the players, managers, writers and even the brass. Professionals in the game are fans of the game, too.
Opening Week represents endless possibilities. If a fan’s team starts out hot, it’s ridiculously exciting no matter what the experts have predicted.
It’s a time to believe that that the new highly touted prospect is going to win Rookie of the Year. It’s just plain fun because with the start of a new season comes a fresh start.
There is truly nothing like your team’s home opener and it seems to be infectious among the fans and players alike.
The atmosphere at each and every ballpark is electric, palpable even!
Yet, in every practical and statistical sense, the first week of the season really doesn’t matter much. Right now teams still have over 150 games to play and so much can change over that long span of time.
What happened on Opening Day this season? Check out this video to find out!