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Eight Cy Young Award winners to pitch on Opening Day

Mar 18, 2023; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer (21) throws a pitch against the Houston Astros during the first inning at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Opening Day will feature eight former Cy Young Award winners, including three-time winner Max Scherzer of the New York Mets facing off against reigning National League winner Sandy Alcantara of the Miami Marlins.

As part of an effort to increase interest in the first game of a season that will include a pitch clock, teams announced their Opening Day starters Friday.

Among the other marquee March 30 matchups is two-time winner Jacob deGrom making his Texas Rangers debut against a former National League East rival, fellow righty Aaron Nola of the Philadelphia Phillies. Fresh off a World Series appearance, Nola will make his sixth consecutive Opening Day start, which is the longest current active streak.

Los Angeles Angels star righty Shohei Ohtani, who won the World Baseball Classic MVP award, will toe the slab against the Oakland Athletics’ Kyle Muller, who has the least experience of any Opening Day starter (49 innings over 11 starts).

With his New York Yankees among the World Series favorites entering the season, ace righty Gerrit Cole will oppose San Francisco Giants righty Logan Webb in the opener.

The defending champion Houston Astros will send lefty Framber Valdez to the hill against Chicago White Sox righty Dylan Cease, while 2020 American League Cy Young winner Shane Bieber will lead the Cleveland Guardians against righty Luis Castillo and the Seattle Mariners.

Righty Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers, who won the NL Cy Young in 2021, takes the hill against Chicago Cubs righty Marcus Stroman, who has started two previous openers.

San Diego Padres lefty Blake Snell, the 2018 AL recipient, starts against Colorado Rockies righty German Marquez, who will make his third Opening Day appearance. In Boston, two-time winner Corey Kluber guides the Red Sox against fellow righty Kyle Gibson and the Baltimore Orioles.

Righty Zack Greinke, the AL Cy Young winner in 2009, will make his third Opening Day start for the Kansas City Royals, opposing first-time Opening Day starter Pablo Lopez and the Minnesota Twins.

Lefty Julio Urias of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who finished third in the 2022 NL Cy Young voting, makes his first Opening Day start, opposing Arizona Diamondbacks righty Zac Gallen, who placed fifth.

A pair of lefties, the Atlanta Braves’ Max Fried and the Washington Nationals’ Patrick Corbin, will face off as both start on Opening Day for the third time.

In his first Opening Day nod, Detroit Tigers lefty Eduardo Rodriguez will take on Tampa Bay Rays righty Shane McClanahan, making his second straight season-opening start.

Coming off a third-place AL Cy Young finish, Toronto Blue Jays righty Alek Manoah will face St. Louis Cardinals righty Miles Mikolas, who reportedly reached a two-year extension with the club Friday. Mikolas will make his second Opening Day start after Adam Wainwright went on the injured list with a groin strain.

In a matchup of first-time Opening Day starters, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Mitch Keller takes on fellow righty Hunter Greene of the Cincinnati Reds.

–Field Level Media

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