If you're like me, you've been watching the forecast for Thursday intently. You may have noticed that it's ever-changing depending on the time and the source. Rain. No rain. Snow. No snow. Sharknado. No sharknado.
At last glance, the app on my phone said that on the day of the White Sox home opener, Chicago will be cold and cloudy with a robust wind, but right now there's no precipitation in sight. I'm sure we'll cycle a few more times before the day arrives, so until then I'll just have to sit anxiously and check compulsively. Regardless, this will be my sixth consecutive home opener, and the sixth consecutive home opener with crappy weather.
Fortunately for all of us, the April blues mean nothing in Toronto, where the dirt is real but the grass is fake. After we got just two games in the first four days of the season—and we're surely at risk for more postponements to come—the Rogers Centre's retractable roof means that the next three days of baseball will go on uninterrupted, rain or shine. (As it happens, it's going to rain in Toronto Tuesday and Wednesday.)
Let's get ready to ramp up the baseball and get some real day-to-day momentum going before the elements come back into play. I'm prepared to be cold at the G-Rate on Thursday, but cold and wet is where I draw the line.
The Actual Game
Reynaldo Lopez will make his 2018 debut and try to settle down the red-hot Justin Smoak, who drove in 6 of the Jays' 7 runs yesterday, including a go-ahead grand slam in the 8th. The nine-year veteran went from failed uber-prospect to actual good player in 2017, and he just won AL Player of the Week honors, mostly because he played twice as many games as Matt Davidson. Other than Smoak, Josh Donaldson is the only other major threat, but there aren't any real holes in the lineup either.
The opposing pitcher will be Jaime Garcia. The Twins acquired Garcia for the stretch run, went 1-6 over their next seven games, promptly dumped him off to the Yankees, won the second Wild Card anyway, and lost the play-in game to the Yankees. (It was a weird year.) Now Garcia finds himself in Toronto on a one-year deal, looking to prove something in his age-31 season. He's left-handed, which bodes well for the right-handed mashers in the middle of the Sox order, and none of his pitches are overpowering, though he does have a good changeup.