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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Ranking all 30 of MLB’s opening day starters for 2019

Brace yourself, baseball fans. Opening day is almost here.

We got a small taste of meaningful baseball last week when the Seattle Mariners swept a two-game series against the Oakland Athletics in Japan. Now, though, we’re primed and ready for the season’s first full slate on March 28.

That’s right, all 30 teams will be in action on this year’s traditional opening day. And as always, one of the more interesting aspects leading into the big day is which pitchers will get the honor of throwing their team’s first pitch.

A listing of everyone scheduled to be (or, in two cases, already have been) opening day starters- curious to know what criteria you’d use and how your lists would look.

 

QLE Posted: March 26, 2019 at 06:18 AM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: opening day, pitching, rankings

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. JJ1986 Posted: March 26, 2019 at 01:20 PM (#5825450)
I don't think I've been down enough on the Angels if Trevor Cahill is their ace.
   2. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: March 26, 2019 at 01:51 PM (#5825476)
Skaggs and Heaney aren't the most intimidating combo, but they're both better than Cahill. Just not quite ready for opening day.
   3. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: March 26, 2019 at 02:29 PM (#5825498)
I"m shocked that 9 of them are ranked below Mike Minor.
   4. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: March 26, 2019 at 02:54 PM (#5825508)
Part of that is a few teams not starting their best options, but there are a bunch of remarkably weak-seeming rotations. About a third of the teams don't project to have evrn a single top 50 or 60 starter. I don't know if that's normal or not, but my guess would be no.
   5. RoyalFlush Posted: March 26, 2019 at 03:17 PM (#5825514)
Do the Royals move out of the last spot on this list if Duffy is healthy and ready to go Opening Day?

Probably not.
   6. geonose Posted: March 26, 2019 at 04:04 PM (#5825539)
Do the Royals move out of the last spot on this list if Duffy is healthy and ready to go Opening Day?

I'm not sure that Brad Keller is as good as his rookie season was, but he should be getting more respect than this. He was better than Lauer last year.
   7. Spahn Insane Posted: March 26, 2019 at 04:14 PM (#5825544)
Lester's starting the opener, but he might well end up being the worst starter in the Cub rotation.
   8. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: March 26, 2019 at 04:17 PM (#5825546)
Madison Bumgarner vs. Jhoulys Chacin 2017/2018

38 starts vs 67 starts
240 innings vs 373 innings

Bumgarner when he is pitching is likely better. But there is value in being able to take your turn regularly.

And from the article itself: Our rankings are subjective and always open for debate. We try to weigh past performance with upside, with the most recent past typically carrying the most weight.

Bumgarner made 21 starts in 2018



   9. Spahn Insane Posted: March 26, 2019 at 04:33 PM (#5825553)
Chacin was one hell of a shrewd signing.
   10. Spahn Insane Posted: March 26, 2019 at 04:35 PM (#5825556)
I"m shocked that 9 of them are ranked below Mike Minor.

That's opening day starter Mike Minor to you, pal.
   11. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: March 26, 2019 at 04:36 PM (#5825557)
9: Allegedly when he joined the team sometime during the first week of spring training one of the analytic people sat down with him and Counsell and they told Chacin to throw his slider twice as often. Chacin was like, hey I won't be able to get past the 5th or 6th inning much at that type of usage. Counsell told him that was Counsell's problem.
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 26, 2019 at 04:58 PM (#5825569)
That's opening day starter Mike Minor to you, pal.
Wonder what ol' Scott Feldman is up to this year.

EDIT: Nothing of his whereabouts on Wiki. But I did learn that he's 2009 Jewish Major Leaguers Pitcher of the Year Scott Feldman to us, pals.
   13. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: March 26, 2019 at 05:12 PM (#5825573)
Mike Minor is the Rangers' 10th opening day starter in 10 years -- wow.
   14. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: March 27, 2019 at 01:25 AM (#5825643)
Mike Minor is the Rangers' 10th opening day starter in 10 years -- wow.

I saw that line somewhere else too, but I don't buy it. Cole Hamels made 2 Opening Day starts, just not in consecutive years.

Rangers Opening Day Starters
2019 Mike Minor
2018 Cole Hamels
2017 Yu Darvish
2016 Cole Hamels
2015 Yovani Gallardo
2014 Tanner Scheppers
2013 Matt Harrison
2012 Colby Lewis
2011 C.J. Wilson
2010 Scott Feldman
   15. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: March 27, 2019 at 03:03 AM (#5825647)
'Tanner Scheppers' was my comeback to [12]. [14] kinda spoiled it.
   16. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 27, 2019 at 07:58 AM (#5825657)
deGrom below anyone just seems kind of weird, but we'll soon find out how he compares to Scherzer.
   17. Rally Posted: March 27, 2019 at 08:15 AM (#5825658)
Wonder what Dallas Keuchel is doing for opening day. He should be starting for somebody.

Long Island Ducks?
Nippon Ham Fighters?
A new House of David team with Dallas pitching and James Harden attempting the 2 sport thing?
   18. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: March 27, 2019 at 08:25 AM (#5825663)
deGrom below anyone just seems kind of weird, but we'll soon find out how he compares to Scherzer.
No. Putting deGrom ahead of Scherzer would be like the people who were saying, post-2015, that Harper had passed Trout. Maybe deGrom has, but it's too early to say.
   19. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: March 27, 2019 at 08:28 AM (#5825664)
This is probably a good thread to remind about Bill James' Starting Pitcher Rankings, which is a fun little tracking toy.
   20. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 27, 2019 at 08:42 AM (#5825666)
Woohoo! Orioles only 28th!
   21. SoSH U at work Posted: March 27, 2019 at 09:54 AM (#5825679)
I saw that line somewhere else too, but I don't buy it. Cole Hamels made 2 Opening Day starts, just not in consecutive years.


If you go 10 years but 11 Opening Day starts(2009-2019), you add Kevin Millwood.

   22. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 27, 2019 at 11:50 AM (#5825714)
deGrom below anyone just seems kind of weird, but we'll soon find out how he compares to Scherzer.

No. Putting deGrom ahead of Scherzer would be like the people who were saying, post-2015, that Harper had passed Trout. Maybe deGrom has, but it's too early to say.


And that was Townsend's reasoning, which I understand. But mine was a more current take, not a long range perspective, and the tiebreaker was deGrom's unbelievable consistency.

Different premises, different conclusions, but the truth is that you could take the first 5 or 6 on that list, and with equal run and defensive support it'd be a crapshoot as to how they all came out.

The more interesting question to me is which of the first 6 will be the most likely to break down (or just start to lose effectiveness) towards the end of the season. That's also a crapshoot, but if I had to choose one, it'd probably be Sale.
   23. manchestermets Posted: March 27, 2019 at 01:02 PM (#5825730)
Variation on a theme: Opening Day matchups ranked. Cy Young winner v runner-up in both leagues is cool.
   24. bobm Posted: March 30, 2019 at 10:14 AM (#5826997)
[23]

Since the Cy Young Award was first presented in 1956, there have only been two reigning winners who wound up facing the runner-up on opening day the next season, with both instances occurring in 1979.

With Snell and Verlander going against each other, as well as NL Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom and the New York Mets facing Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals, the number grows to four on Thursday.

In 1979, reigning AL winner Ron Guidry (Yankees) faced runner-up Mike Caldwell (Brewers) and NL winner Gaylord Perry (Padres) faced Burt Hooton (Dodgers). I


WaPo
   25. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 30, 2019 at 12:28 PM (#5827021)

After transcending the Mets miserable season to win the NL Cy Young award, deGrom was the easy choice to make his first career opening day start.

Maybe I'm picking nits here, but "miserable" seems like an overstatement about the Mets' 2018 season. I've been a Mets fan for 35 years; I know miserable. 77-85 (including 38-30 in the second half), nice steps forward by a few young players, and of course deGrom's greatness made for a fairly entertaining season as below-.500 seasons go.
   26. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: March 30, 2019 at 04:32 PM (#5827080)
There were plenty of bright spots last year, but it was depressing watching them start 11-1 and then follow it up with 20-50 and ~0 runs scored/game. Made it a lot more difficult to enjoy the good stuff down the stretch.

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