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Dylan Bundy vs. Lucas Giolito is a solid way to start 2021

Angels vs. White Sox, 7:05 p.m.

Anaheim Exteriors And Landmarks - 2020 Photo by RBL/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

There’s a lot to be excited about on Thursday, and that’s no April fooling. We have a full baseball season ahead of us, and there will be fans at Angel Stadium for the first time since 2019.

When the Angels host the White Sox on Thursday night (7:05 p.m PT on the newly renamed Bally Sports West, formerly Fox Sports West), it will be the first time the Halos have opened a season at home since way back in 2016. Joe Maddon managed in that game, too, only he was leading the Cubs on that day.

The Angels are a break-even 30-30 all-time on opening day, including 18-16 at home. They haven’t won an opening day game anywhere since 2013.

Angels general manager Perry Minasian certainly put his stamp on this team, with half of the 26-man opening day roster players who weren’t with the team last season. The biggest change is in the bullpen, with seven newcomers, looking to improve after a season the club led the majors in blown saves.

Dylan Bundy was a new guy to the Angels last year, and had the best season of his career. In his first season with the Halos, the right-hander was ninth in the American League in ERA (3.29), fourth in FIP (2.95) and xERA (3.06).

Bundy faces off against Lucas Giolito, who was also excellent in 2020, including throwing no-hitter in August. Giolito is one of three former high school teammates at Harvard-Westlake High School in Los Angeles County — along with Max Fried of the Braves and Jack Flaherty of the Cardinals — who are starting on opening day this year.

Giolito and Bundy stacked up quite well against each other last year, making this a potentially great first-game matchup.

Opening day pitching matchup

Pitcher ERA xERA ERA- FIP FIP- K% BB% fWAR
Pitcher ERA xERA ERA- FIP FIP- K% BB% fWAR
Bundy 3.29 3.06 75 2.95 65 27.0% 6.4% 2.0
Giolito 3.48 3.04 80 3.19 71 33.7% 9.7% 2.0
Source: FanGraphs

Opening day info

Teams: Angels vs. White Sox

Location: Angel Stadium

Time: 7:05 p.m. PT

TV: Bally Sports West