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Week Ahead: Get ready to play ball
03/28/2008 10:31 AM ET
The Week Ahead is back for another season of quick-hitting tidbits to keep in mind as you prepare to set your rosters.

Here are a few factors to keep in mind as the regular season begins for the 30 Major League teams ...

Cold enough for you?

Some of last season's power outage was attributed to the early season colder than normal weather. Well, seems as though global warming missed the memo again this spring as it is still nippy in many areas (check local listings).

Here are the openers that will take place in potentially chilly climates:

Kansas City @ Detroit
Toronto @ New York (AL)
Arizona @ Cincinnati
Chicago (AL) @ Cleveland
Washington @ Philadelphia
Milwaukee @ Chicago (NL)

Everyone else plays where weather should not be a factor or in a dome. Tie goes to the cold-weather pitcher and warm-weather hitter.

At the plate

Look for Mariners hitters to get off to a good start as they face the woeful pitching staffs of the Rangers at Safeco and the Orioles in Camden Yards.

The Phillies' offense could come out smoking as they square off against the weak Nationals staff at Citizens Bank Park and catch the kiddie corps of the Reds' starting five at Great American Ball Park.

On the other hand, the Astros have a couple of tough matchups, facing the Padres in PETCO and the Cubs in Wrigley, which usually favors pitchers in April.

The Dodgers may start slow, squaring off against the Giants' Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum at home before traveling to the cavernous home digs of the Padres.

On the bump

The Dodgers pitchers will enjoy facing the Triple-A lineup of the Giants before taking on the injury-riddled offense of the Padres.

The questionable Yankees staff will be tested right away with a couple of divisional series, opening at home with the Blue Jays before the Rays visit over the weekend.

Keep an eye on

How many games the Red Sox play Coco Crisp.

How the Dodgers' outfield playing time is distributed.

Who plays first for the Reds.

Who plays second for the Rockies.

How Josh Beckett and John Smoltz look coming off the disabled list.

Three questions

Will A.J. Burnett throw his curveball?

Is Chad Billingsley hiding an injury or was he just working on a change all spring?

Will Hanley Ramirez be swinging for the fences?

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.