Cincinnati Reds Opening Day: What fans need to know

The Reds and Tigers stand during pregame ceremonies on Opening Day on Friday, July 24, 2020, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

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The Reds and Tigers stand during pregame ceremonies on Opening Day on Friday, July 24, 2020, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Reds, Cardinals meet in opener for first time in seven years

The Major League Baseball season starts Thursday with all 30 teams scheduled to play their first games on the same day for the first time since 1968.

Here’s what fans need to know about Opening Day in Cincinnati:

The matchup: The Cincinnati Reds play the St. Louis Cardinals at 4:10 p.m. at Great American Ball Park. The Reds and Cardinals tied for second place in the National League Central Division last season. They each were three games behind the Chicago Cubs. All four Central Division teams that reached the expanded 16-team playoffs lost in the first round. The Reds last played the Cardinals on Opening Day in 2014 and lost 1-0.

Who’s pitching: Luis Castillo will start for the Reds against Jack Flaherty, of the Cardinals. It will be Castillo’s second Opening Day start and first since 2019. In 12 starts last season, Castillo was 4-6 with a 3.21 ERA. He pitched his best in September, posting a 2.20 ERA in five starts.

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How to watch: The game will be televised by Bally Sports Ohio, formerly known as Fox Sports Ohio.

Ticket info: The game is sold out. The lowest-price resale tickets on StubHub.com are going for $81.

After having no fans at games in 2020 because of the pandemic, the Reds will be allowed to fill the stadium to 30 percent capacity. The stadium seats 42,319, so there could be a crowd of as many as 12,695 fans. Fans will be required to wear masks and will sit in socially-distanced pods of no more than six people.

Gates open to season-ticket holders at 2:10 p.m. and to everyone else at 2:40 p.m.

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Weather forecast: There will be a high of 40 degrees on Thursday in Cincinnati with a 2 percent chance of rain.

Parade info: There will be no traditional Findlay Market Parade for the second straight year.

“Until the Cincinnati Reds are permitted to fill the stadium to full capacity and there are no restrictions on group events,” organizers announced in December, “we feel we cannot put on the type of extravaganza you have come to expect on Opening Day.”

Before the game: Pregame ceremonies start at 3:30 p.m. Among the moments to watch are:

• The Reds will hold a moment of silence for Hall of Famer Joe Morgan and other Reds players, coaches and staff who have died since the last Opening Day. Morgan’s daughter Lisa Morgan and granddaughter Summer Morgan will serve as honorary captains.

• Ohio Senator Rob Portman, who announced in January he won’t seek re-election to a third term in the U.S. Senate in 2022, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch from the seats behind the Reds dugout to the field.

• Marlana VanHoose, of Denver, Ky. will sing the National Anthem.

• There will be a flyover by two F-16 Fighting Falcons of the 112th Fighter Squadron “Stingers” from the 180th Fighter Wing at Ohio Air National Guard Base in Toledo, Ohio.

• There will be a Unity Celebration featuring student-athletes from the Reds Youth Academy.

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