It's Opening Day in Detroit (and yes, in that city, it deserves upper-case). It's opening night in Miami (no upper-case there).
It's the first weekend of the baseball season (but please also watch the Masters on CBS).
And here's the season's first edition of 3 to watch:
1. All over, there are great matchups of opening day starters. Colleague Scott Miller is excited about Josh Beckett and Zack Greinke, Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium. That's a good one, but I'm going with Chris Carpenter vs. Yovani Gallardo, Cardinals at Brewers, Saturday afternoon (3:10 EDT) at Miller Park . Why? Simple. Of all the games I saw last year, the best-pitched game was Carpenter vs. Gallardo, on Memorial Day at Miller Park. Gallardo carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Carpenter carried a perfect game into the seventh. It was scoreless into the 10th, when Bill Hall won it with a two-out single off Kyle McClellan.
2. The Mets began the season with Alex Cora in the leadoff spot, and Mike Jacobs in the cleanup spot. So yes, you could say that they miss Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran. Reyes hasn't played a game that counts since last May 20, but he's scheduled to return this weekend, and that makes Nationals at Mets, Saturday afternoon (1:10 EDT) at Citi Field worth watching. In fact, if Reyes proves to be anything like the guy who led the National League in triples three times in four years, he'll actually make the Mets worth watching. And that's quite a task.
3. Stephen Strasburg pitches Sunday for Double-A Harrisburg (at Altoona, Pa.). Aroldis Chapman pitches Sunday for Triple-A Louisville (in Toledo, Ohio). And Mike Leake, who got nowhere near the money and nowhere near the hype, debuts in Cubs at Reds, Sunday afternoon (1:10 EDT) at Great American Ballpark . Leake, who won the Reds' fifth-starter job in spring training, will be the first college pitcher to jump to the big leagues without stopping in the minors since Darren Dreifort in 1993. Like Strasburg, he grew up in the San Diego area (though they never faced each other in high school). He went on to Arizona State. He was the eighth pick overall (seven picks behind Strasburg), and signed for $2.27 million ($12.83 million behind Strasburg). Now he makes it to the big leagues, ahead of Strasburg.