Shohei Ohtani casts a shadow over MLB’s 2024 Opening Day

Photo of Shohei Ohtani casts a shadow over BLM 2024 opening day.

As fans savored a taste of MLB action, the 2024 season officially begins on Thursday with Opening Day. The Seoul Series, which showcased the Los Angeles Dodgers with it incredible star Shohei Ohtani and San Diego Padres, marked the start of the new calendar with a two-game series in South Korea. However, the remainder of MLB teams commence their campaigns this week. Here’s everything you need to know as we approach Opening Day.

Here’s how to tune in

On Thursday, March 28, the Opening Day lineup sees 26 teams hitting the field, with two additional games rescheduled for Friday due to rain delays. Kicking off the day’s action at 3:05 PM ET at Camden Yards in Maryland are the Baltimore Orioles and the Los Angeles Angels.

Prior to the team’s first home game of the season, the Orioles will pay tribute to the victims and the courageous first responders who sprang into action after Wednesday’s Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse. All games are accessible live via MLB.TV and local broadcasters.

Shohei Ohtani’s presence looms large over the Dodgers’ start to the season. Despite a promising offseason filled with talks of a potential World Series bid, recent weeks have been overshadowed by a gambling scandal involving Ohtani and his longtime interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara.

Allegations surfaced during the Dodgers’ time in South Korea, with ESPN and the Los Angeles Times reporting accusations from Ohtani’s legal team against Mizuhara for significant financial misconduct and ties to a bookmaker under federal investigation. Mizuhara was dismissed from his role while the team was in Seoul.

Despite signing a lucrative contract with the Dodgers, Shohei Ohtani vehemently denied any involvement in sports betting or connections with a bookie. He placed the blame squarely on his former interpreter, whom he accused of embezzling funds from his account.

With this scandal hanging over him, Ohtani’s performance in the Seoul Series saw him achieve a 3-for-10 record with two RBIs and a stolen base. He is scheduled to make his home debut against the St. Louis Cardinals at 6:10 p.m. ET amidst this turbulent situation.

Even with the recent attention on the scandal and its potential consequences for Ohtani, the Dodgers still boast what could be considered the most formidable lineup in MLB. Ohtani, Yamamoto, Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Tyler Glasnow, and Walker Buehler are all ranked among ESPN’s top 100 players.

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