by Photo courtesy of San Diego Padres via Twitter

The San Diego Padres are scheduled to open the 2023 season Thursday evening against the Colorado Rockies, with the start of the game rescheduled in an attempt to avoid a rainout.

First pitch has been rescheduled for 6:40 p.m. It was originally scheduled for 1:10 p.m. There is a 45% chance of rain for the original start time but between a 12% to 20% at the rescheduled time, according to the Weather Channel.

There have been three rainouts at Petco Park, which opened in 2004, with the most recent occurring in 2017.

Rain is likely to hit San Diego on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service, which forecast a 70% chance of precipitation.

Left-hander Blake Snell will pitch for the Padres against Rockies right-hander German Marquez.

Pregame pageantry includes the unfurling of a United States-shaped flag, held by 75 season ticket members. The national anthem will be performed by saxophonist Jason Brown, who also performed the first national anthem in Petco Park history.

An MH-60S helicopter flyover will follow the national anthem. The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy, who will be inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame this season.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Charitee Swift-Day will perform "God Bless America" before the seventh-inning stretch.

The Padres are in the rare position of being favored to win the National League West. The website Fangraphs gives the Padres a 55.4% chance of winning the division and projects they will be 90-72 and finish three games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Padres last won the division in 2006.

The site gives the Padres an 11% chance of winning the World Series, the second choice behind the Atlanta Braves, which it gives a 14% chance.

The Padres finished 89-73 in 2022, second in the National League West, advancing to the postseason for the first time in a complete season since 2006. They defeated the favored New York Mets in a wild card series and the Dodgers in a National League Division Series, before losing to the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Championship Series.

Following the headline 2022 trade deadline acquisitions of Juan Soto and Josh Hader, the Padres made a series of aggressive offseason moves including long-term extensions for Manny Machado and Yu Darvish, and several free agent signings, most notably the 11-year, $280 deal for shortstop Xander Bogaerts.

Opening Day coverage will not be hindered by the recent bankruptcy filing by Diamond Sports Group, owner of the Bally Sports regional sports networks. Regular season coverage on Bally Sports San Diego is expected for 155 games, including Thursday's. Radio coverage is available on 97.3 FM and 860 AM in Spanish.

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