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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, March 31st (All times Eastern)

Kansas City Royals (0-0) at Detroit Tigers (0-0), 1:08 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Kansas City - James Shields (0-0, 0.00) Detroit - Justin Verlander (0-0, 0.00)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Just days after signing Miguel Cabrera to one of the richest contracts in baseball history, the Detroit Tigers will lift the lid on the 2014 season with the first of three games against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park.

With two years and $44 million remaining on his current contract, Cabrera agreed to an eight-year extension that runs through the 2023 season. It also includes vesting options for 2024 and 2025.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but multiple reports have indicated the total package over the next 10 years will be worth close to $300 million.

The eight-time All-Star, who was a Triple Crown winner in 2012, won his second straight American League MVP award last season, as he captured a third consecutive batting title after hitting a career-high .348, while finishing second in the AL with 44 homers and 137 RBI.

Detroit opens the season with a new face on the bench, as Brad Ausmus took the reins this offseason from Jim Leyland, who retired after leading the Tiger to their third straight ALCS appearance.

While Cabrera paces the offense, which will have a different look following the offseason trade of Prince Fielder, Justin Verlander is still the ace of this Tigers team, despite a shaky 2013 season by his standards.

Verlander, who will be making his seventh straight Opening Day start, was just 13-12 last season with a 3.46 ERA. That included a 1-3 mark in six starts versus the Royals.

"That's the great thing about Opening Day -- you don't know what's going to happen," said Verlander, who is 16-5 lifetime against Kansas City. "I go back and look at us in '06, and nobody imagined us being where we were. That's the joy of Opening Day. We don't know. Nobody knows. This could be the first game of a (race) that comes down to the last game of the season. You never know."

Kansas City, meanwhile, might be the Tigers' biggest obstacle in winning a fourth straight AL Central title. The Royals may have missed the playoffs for the 28th straight season in 2013, but finished the year with the AL's best record in the second half of the season (43-27).

Now with young burgeoning stars such as Billy Butler, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon, along with new faces Norichika Aoki and Omar Infante a lot of people believe the Royals could return to the postseason for the first time since 1985.

"We're definitely a better team this year, so it's good to start out against them," Butler said. "It won't be the last time we see them, but we're starting it real early. We know what they're going to be bringing, just like they know what we are, so it should be fun. We're prepared for them, just like they are for us, so we'll see what happens."

Getting the call for Kansas City on Monday will be right-handed veteran James Shields, who will be taking the ball on Opening Day for the sixth time overall. In 34 starts last year for the Royals, Shields went 13-9 with a 3.15 ERA, striking out 196 and walking just 68 in 228 2/3 innings.

The Tigers, who lost the season series to the Royals last year, 10-9, have won three of the last four Opening Day matchups against them, the most recent being an 8-4 victory in 2010.

03/31 10:25:22 ET

  • CBB: North Carolina vs. Ohio State

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: UCLA vs Kentucky

    Tomorrow at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego at San Francisco

    Tomorrow at 8:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Cleveland

    Monday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • WBB: Duke vs. UMass Lowell

    Tonight at 6:30 on 620am

  • NFL: Philadelphia at Washington

    Tomorrow at 4:25 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
Final
CHI 103
NYK 97
Final
HOU 90
NOP 99
Final
SAC 107
MIL 108
Final
GSW 114
OKC 109
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
UTA
 
7:30pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
CHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
POR
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
 
Final
RICE 72
STTHOMASTX 61
 
Final
UVA 70
CLST 54
Final
LIU 69
FIU 58
 
Final
STET 67
GSOUT 76
 
Final
QUIN 80
LEH 65
 
Final
SFLA 69
SHU 89
Final
RICH 65
SALA 54
Final
CAN 60
USB 59
 
Final
DEL 62
TEMPL 82
Final
WCU 56
WRST 69
 
Final
VERM 56
YALE 57
 
Final
SDKST 75
IDST 72
 
Final
RIDE 62
MRGST 48
 
Final
LATU 79
NICST 54
 
Final
CHAR 75
APP 65
Final
MISS 71
CCAR 68
 
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
Final
BRAD 80
EUREK 38
 
Final
PEAY 76
OAKC 52
 
Final
JST 66
SMISS 46
 
Final
SD 55
MNTST 53
 
Final
UAB 70
LSU 79
Final
EVAN 81
OHIO 69
 
Final
CSFU 72
CSDH 50
 
Final
ORST 90
DEP 59
Final
PAC 69
NEV 65
Final
USF 77
PORST 40
 
Final
IDAHO 86
WALLA 39
 
Final
UTST 57
CALST 56
 
1:30pm Today
YOUNG
WILB
 
2:00pm Today
TULA
JST
 
6:00pm Tonight
RAD
SIENA
 
7:00pm Tonight
MERC
COOK
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUCK
CASEWEST
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIB
CPNC
 
7:00pm Tonight
SCAR
CLEM
 
7:00pm Tonight
CMICH
CONC
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIAMI
EKENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
GWEBB
HIWASSEE
 
7:00pm Tonight
ODU
MDES
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
NIAG
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NCAT
 
7:00pm Tonight
FAM
UNF
 
7:00pm Tonight
NORST
NARZ
 
7:00pm Tonight
DART
NILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
MORE
NKENTUCKY
 
7:00pm Tonight
UCSB
SDCHR
 
7:00pm Tonight
STJ
GAELS
 
7:00pm Tonight
ALA
STILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
HAMP
TENST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
TENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
WMARY
WSHMD
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLGC
FUR
 
7:30pm Tonight
CALST
SDKST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MTST
CHAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDAK
DICKINSON
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAMON
LSUALEX
 
8:00pm Tonight
PRIN
LIP
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAM
MLGN
 
8:00pm Tonight
MINN
SEAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
LOYC
SUTAH
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
WINT
 
8:05pm Tonight
SILL
NO
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
ALAAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
TTU
ARKPB
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
COLST
 
9:00pm Tonight
CREI
TXPA
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
EWASH
 
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
IDST
 
11:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ARZ
 
11:59pm Tonight
CHAM
HAW
 
Final
PIT 1
COL 0
Final
PHI 1
FLA 2
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
CLB 4
WAS 5
Final
MON 1
ANA 2
Final
SJS 4
EDM 3
Final
LOS 6
STL 4
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
TAM
 
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
ANA
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
NYI
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
BOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
DAL
 
Final
JAC 21
TEN 13