The KC Royals, a team agonizingly prone in recent years to disappointing its fans with unsuccessful and ill-advised offseason acquisitions, surprised everyone this winter. Finally giving a frustrated fanbase a season to look forward to instead of another campaign to dread, the Royals have put together an energizing string of potentially fortune-changing roster additions.
The club probably won't win the World Series, but they'll almost certainly put on a better on-field show than they did in 2023.
When, though, and where, do these new-look Royals begin what may be their best campaign in years?
The KC Royals play their first game of the new season in late March
The Dodgers and Padres officially open the major league season with contests March 21-22 in Seoul, South Korea. The rest of the big league clubs, including Kansas City, get their seasons underway the following week; the Royals, after hosting Minnesota in both teams' season opener last year, welcome that same American League Central Division rival to Kauffman Stadium to launch their regular season March 28.
The Twins edged KC 2-0 in last year's opener, then went on to win the AL Central title before losing to Houston in the AL Division Series. Although it's too early to know just who second-year KC manager Matt Quatraro and returning Minnesota skipper Rocco Baldelli will choose to start this season's first game, don't be surprised to see Cole Ragans, he of the startlingly good half-season with the Royals last year, get the nod from Quatraro, and Baldelli to pick Pablo López to go for the Twins.
What Quatraro's first-game batting order will be is unknown, but here's a possible lineup.
Where will the Royals' season get underway?
Just as they did last year, the Royals will open the new season at Kauffman Stadium. First pitch is set for 3:10 p.m. CDT.
As is customary, Kansas City and Minnesota are set to take the day after Opening Day off. The two clubs return to action for afternoon games March 30 and 31.
Kansas City's regular season is scheduled to conclude with a Sept. 29 road game in Atlanta.