MLB Opening Day Games


Sebastian Madden, Contributor

On March 30, for the first time in 55 years, every team in the MLB played their opening games. This year, there are more interleague matchups and fewer divisional games in order to balance the Wild Card race. Opening interleague series include Blue Jays at Cardinals, Phillies at Rangers, and Giants at Yankees.

This year, many new rules have been introduced to the MLB. Players such as Corey Seager, whose hitting suffered because of the shift, are now free of that burden as the shift has now been banned. New rules also include a pitch clock and a pickoff limit. The pitch clock involves a 15-second timer for pitchers to throw the ball with no runners on and 20 seconds when there is a runner on base. If the pitcher does not begin their pitching motion once the time is up, it will be counted as an automatic ball. On the other hand, if the batter attempts to delay the pitcher by not stepping in the box for eight seconds, a strike will be called. This rule has shortened games by a vast margin as it changed the average game from a little over 3 hours to only 2 hours and 40 minutes. Also, pitchers are only allowed to pickoff twice per at-bat, but it is reset if a runner steals a base; the pitcher will then be penalized with a balk if the third pickoff does not result in an out. The final change made this year was an increase in the size of bases, with the bases now being 18 inches rather than the 15 inches they were prior to 2023. This allows for easier base stealing and fewer injuries as a result of stolen base attempts. Due to these changes, the 2023 season should be a safer, more fast-paced season than the seasons prior.