Hear the Guardians Season Opener Thursday at 4:10 on WTAM & on iHeartRadio

CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Guardians open up the season Thursday afternoon in Kansas City taking on the Royals. WTAM’s coverage begins at 3 p.m. with the “Union Home Mortgage Guardians Gameday” show hosted by Mark “Munch” Bishop. Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus will bring you all the play-by-play action with the first pitch scheduled for 4:10 p.m.

The team is coming off a 2nd place finish in the American League Central Division with a win-loss record of 80-82. The strength of the Guardians is expected to be their starting pitching. Taking the mound for the season opener is Sean Bieber. On the heels of becoming the club's fifth different A.L. Cy Young Award winner in 2020, the 26-year-old Bieber finished the 2021 campaign going 7-4 with a 3.17 ERA in 16 starts despite missing more than half of the season. He was still fourth on the club in bWAR (2.6), second in strikeouts (134 SO and fifth in innings pitched (96.2IP) while making the sixth-most starts (16). He boasted the second-lowest opponent batting average among club starters (.229) and second-lowest starter ERA on the club (3.17).

Cleveland Guardians Photo Day

GOODYEAR, ARIZONA - MARCH 22: Shane Bieber #57 of the Cleveland Guardians poses during Photo Day at Goodyear Ballpark on March 22, 2022 in Goodyear, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)Photo: (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Guardians manager Terry Francona is back in the dugout after missing parts of the last two seasons due to various medical issues.  Francona has 21 years of Major League managerial experience, compiling an overall record of 1782-1516 (.540) for Philadelphia (1997-2000), Boston (2004-11) & Cleveland (2013-21). His nine-year tenure equals the longest in club history and has managed the second-most games in club history (1354; Lou Boudreau managed 9 seasons & 1377 games). Francona’s 753 wins are the most in the 121-year history of the franchise. He enters 2022 with the 3rd-most wins by any active Major League manager.

Listen to the Guardians game: HERE

Cleveland Indians v Detroit Tigers

DETROIT, MI - MAY 25: Manager Terry Francona #77 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates with catcher Austin Hedges #17 after a 4-1 win over the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on May 25, 2021, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)Photo: (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

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