⚾️ Happy Opening Day! Please enjoy our full 2019 MLB season preview below.
Before we get to baseball, a quick reminder that the men's Sweet 16 is also on tonight:
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
After an offseason spent waiting patiently for free agents to get signed and, in turn, debating whether baseball's economic system is broken (sure seems like it!), Opening Day is finally upon us.
The big picture: Here are the trends and storylines that could define the 2019 campaign:
P.S. Everybody loves predictions...
Can the Red Sox run it back? Photo: Harry How/Getty Images
1. New York Yankees (97-65)
2. Boston Red Sox (95-67)
3. Tampa Bay Rays (86-76)
4. Toronto Blue Jays (75-87)
5. Baltimore Orioles (60-102)
José Ramirez and the Indians didn't get better this offseason, but they're still the clear favorites. Photo: Norm Hall/Getty Images
1. Cleveland Indians (95-67)
2. Minnesota Twins (84-78)
3. Chicago White Sox (71-91)
4. Kansas City Royals (70-92)
5. Detroit Tigers (68-94)
Astros starter Gerrit Cole is a preseason Cy Young favorite. Photo: Bob Levey/Getty Images
1. Houston Astros (98-64)
2. Oakland Athletics (83-79)
3. Los Angeles Angels (80-82)
4. Seattle Mariners (79-83)
5. Texas Rangers (70-92)
Bryce Harper signed with the Phillies, not sure if you heard. Photo: Mark Brown/Getty Images
1. Washington Nationals (89-73)
2. New York Mets (85-77)
3. Philadelphia Phillies (84-78)
4. Atlanta Braves (84-78)
5. Miami Marlins (64-98)
Christian Yelich and the Brewers are legit contenders. Photo: Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images
Milwaukee Brewers (86-76)
2. St. Louis Cardinals (85-77)
3. Chicago Cubs (84-78)
4. Pittsburgh Pirates (79-83)
5. Cincinnati Reds (77-85)
Manny Machado and the youthful Padres should be fun. Photo: Ralph Freso/Getty Images
1. Los Angeles Dodgers (95-67)
2. Colorado Rockies (82-80)
3. Arizona Diamondbacks (79-83)
4. San Diego Padres (75-87)
5. San Francisco Giants (71-91)
Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Pro-tip: Download The Action Network app to become a master at all this stuff.
1. Will Diamondbacks-Dodgers go over or under 7 runs?
2. The defending champion Red Sox are big road favorites over the Mariners (-200). Will they start the season with a win?
3. Who will cover the spread between Purdue and Tennessee (-1)?
🎰 Play now: Make your picks (cutoff time: 4pm ET)
Yesterday's results: 31.1% said Lipscomb (+2.5) would cover the spread against NC State. They won 94-93 … 63.8% said Paul George would score over 30.5 points. He scored 31 … 55.9% said the Bruins (-1.5) would cover the spread against the Rangers. They won 6-3 … Winner(s) announced on Friday!
Kendall "Long-suffering Orioles fan" Baker