We’ve known for a while that the Dodgers will open the 2018 season against the Giants, but the start time was finally announced Wednesday. The Dodgers open the season on March 29th, and the game is set to be a national broadcast on ESPN. The game will begin at at 4 PM Pacific Time.
MLB announces that the Dodgers-Giants opening day game on ESPN is a 4 p.m. PT start time.
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) January 10, 2018
In years past, an early season Dodgers-Giants match-up could be seen as a preview for the division race. That’s not expected to be the case in 2018, as the Giants look to be outside of the playoff picture. With the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Rockies all better on paper than the Giants, it’s hard to see them contending. Prior to 2017, the Giants were a perennial threat to make the postseason and make some noise when they got there. Having won 3 championships since 2010, they were seen as the biggest threat to the Dodgers coming into the 2017 season.
Everything changed during the 2017 season, which saw San Francisco finish the season with a 64-98 record. They finished last in the NL West, 40 games behind the Dodgers and tied with Detroit for the worst record in baseball. Meanwhile the Dodgers finished the regular season 104-58 and ended up making it to the World Series. The two could not have been more opposite in 2017. The question is, will it be the same story in 2018?
The addition of Evan Longoria does give Giants’ fans hope. However, with an aging roster and injury-prone players, they’ll need much more to compete in the NL West. The Dodgers are still clear favorites in the division, but Colorado and Arizona provide other real threats. Even the Padres appear to be on the upswing with a roster loaded with young talent. San Francisco faces a real possibility of repeating at the bottom of the division.
Whether they’ll contend or not, the Giants do have a knack for playing the Dodgers tough. There’s no love lost in the rivalry, and both teams kick it up a notch when they face off. We’ll have to wait and see what 2018 has in store, but for now the two teams seem to be moving in opposite directions.