When it comes to scoring deals on Major League Baseball tickets, it might be easier than you think to hit a home run. You might even get a free gnome.
The season officially kicks off this weekend with the Chicago Cubs hosting the league's first opening day game on Sunday against the St. Louis Cardinals. Teams including the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Philadelphia Phillies and Seattle Mariners are slated to open their seasons at home on Monday.
Prices heading into the season can be deceptively expensive. Across the board, the average MLB ticket on the secondary market is currently $79.37, according to deal site ScoreBig.com. That includes those home opener games, which are 144 percent pricier than a typical regular season game, based on ScoreBig.com data.
Premium seats and hot rivalry match ups also push up prices. Fans hunting for bargains may find it's easy to shell out less than that average, with starting prices on the secondary market under $15 for plenty of games and teams.
"There's not going to be too many upward forces in the market," said Connor Gregoire, a spokesman for secondary market aggregator SeatGeek.com. Because the baseball season is a long one with plenty of games, there are usually plenty of seats available, even at the last minute.
Prices usually drop at the box office and the secondary market as game day approaches, he said. [The rare exceptions: late-season games with playoff implications and team announcements of player trades or retirements, which can both spur last-minute demand.]