Baseball is back — with the Los Angeles Angels starting their 2022 regular season Thursday evening in Anaheim and the L.A. Dodgers beginning their season Friday in Colorado.
The Angels will host their American League West division rival Houston Astros, with L.A. sending reigning AL Most Valuable Player Shohei Ohtani to the mound against Framber Valdez. The duel marks the first time the two teams have ever met on Opening Day.
The opening pitch is scheduled for 6:38 p.m. at a sold-out Angel Stadium, with parking gates opening at 2 p.m. and stadium gates at 4:30 p.m.
Immediately following full team introductions, all players and personnel on the baselines will be asked to tip their caps to the fans to thank them for their support. The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Tim Salmon and Garrett Anderson, members of the Angels’ 2002 World Series championship team.
New food and drink options include Strike Zone Chicken and Brewery X.
The game will be broadcast on Bally Sports West.
Angels slugger Mike Trout is returning to the lineup after a calf injury limited him to 36 games last year.
The Angels had baseball’s best record in spring training, 11-6, for a .647 winning percentage. They are trying to reach the postseason for the first time since 2014.
The opener comes one week later than originally planned because of Major League Baseball’s lockout of its players, which ended March 11 when a new five-year labor agreement with the Major League Baseball Players Association was ratified by the players’ union and MLB.
On Friday, the Dodgers will open their season at Coors Field in Denver for the second straight year.
The first pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. L.A. time, and the game will be televised on SportsNet LA.