The day we’ve all been impatiently waiting for all winter long has finally arrived, opening day is upon us. After their first playoff appearance in 22 years and entering the year with a roster loaded with talent, the excitement surrounding the Jays is incredibly high.
That excitement that the fans feel is mimicked by the players themselves, and at the forefront of that is their opening day starting pitcher, 24-year-old Marcus Stroman. Oozing with ability, constantly showing his emotion, and treating every game like it’s his last, Stroman is the epitome of excitement in baseball.
Opposing him on opening day is the Rays own version of that in Chris Archer, who is becoming one of the faces of the MLB for his appearances both on and off the field. Both starters possess fastballs that can get into the mid-90’s and array of pitches that can downright dominate opponents. You can’t ask for a better pitching match up on opening day.
The Rays have always given the Jays trouble, as they posted losing records against them for six straight years between 2008 and 2013 before breaking that trend in 2014 (11-8); however, they fell back into the trend last year going 9-10, including 3-6 at Tropicana.
Six of those losses came in the first seven games, all of them coming in a sluggish April for the Jays. They went 8-4 the rest of the way, including 5 straight wins in the second half.
Next: Sizing up the Tampa Bay Rays