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Two UCLA baseball alumni set to make MLB Opening Day starts

Gerrit Cole and Lucas Giolito are penciled in as their team’s Opening Day starter this week

College World Series - Game One Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Two UCLA Bruins will be prominently featured when the Major League Baseball returns to action this week. Both Gerrit Cole and Lucas Giolito will be making Opening Day starts for their respective franchises, under very different circumstances.

The first action we’ll see this year from an actual MLB baseball, regulation game will come when Gerrit Cole faces off against Max Scherzer as the defending champion Washington Nationals host the New York Yankees.

Cole, of course, signed the richest pitcher deal and the fourth-largest contract overall in MLB history. Cole’s contract is for nine years with the Yankees and a total of $324,000,000. He’s set to make $36M for each of the next nine seasons with the team. Those numbers for 2020 vary, however, due to the coronavirus’ postponement and subsequent shortening of the 2020 season.

And, unfortunately due to COVID-19 as well, we had to wait a lot longer to see his debut with the Yankees this season but it does come against familiar foes. He went 1-1 against the Nationals in the World Series last year as a member of the Houston Astros.

The Yankees and Nationals meet Thursday night, July 23 at 7:00 p.m. ET in the MLB’s first game of the season. Cole, of course, was the first overall pick in the 2011 draft after three years with the Bruins.

Giolito is making his Opening Day start for the Chicago White Sox, under a much different contract, as he’s currently set to make $232,222 this year. He was the 16th overall pick of the 2012 draft and has a career record of 27-26 in four big-league years.

More on how to watch these two and their Opening Day starts later this week.

Bring on the sports!