ARLINGTON, TEXAS — It won't be the grand opening the Texas Rangers wanted but the Rockies have made it to Globe Life Field and that signals a return to meaningful baseball.
"Even though you're not going to have that sold-out crowd, that raucous atmosphere on Friday night, which stinks because it's a cool feature of Opening Day, I think these guys are charged up and ready to go," Rangers broadcaster Jared Sandler said.
In some ways it's almost a perfect start to the 60-game season: Two teams, coming off disappointing campaigns, looking to hit their strides again in 2020.
"I'd say legitimacy 24-25 teams if they get hot at the right time can make the playoffs," Sandler said. "That creates some excitement for teams like the Rangers and Rockies who aren't considered favorites to make the playoffs."
The Rockies bring one of the league's toughest lineups to Arlington. Led by perennial All-Stars Nolan Arenado, local product Trevor Story, Charlie Blackmon, and David Dahl.
"When the season starts we have to prove it, we're having good quality at-bats and hopefully we can do that through the whole year," Arenado said.
Pitching will certainly be Colorado's "make or break", while for the Rangers it's a serious strength. They'll send Lance Lynn, Mike Minor, and Corey Kluber to the mound this opening weekend to face-off against the Rockies German Marquez, Jon Gray, and Kyle Freeland.
"It's going to be something fun to watch because like we talked about, the horses for the Rangers, the rotation, the horses for the Rockies, the lineup," Sandler said.
Three huge games, at a brand new park, to open the most unlikely of seasons.
"Excited to get to this point," Sandler said. "Hopefully these races can create extra excitement for fans looking for something to get into."
The Colorado Rockies defeated the Texas Rangers 5-1 and 7-3 in their two exhibition games on Tuesday and Wednesday night, now it counts for real beginning Friday night. First pitch from Arlington, TX is set for 6:05 p.m.