MLB Opening Day slate to feature eight Cy Young Award winners

ByJeff Passan ESPN logo
Friday, March 24, 2023

Eight former Cy Young Award winners are scheduled to start Opening Day next Thursday, including a matchup between reigning National League winner Sandy Alcantara and three-time honoree Max Scherzer, whose New York Mets travel to face the Miami Marlins.

Major League Baseball teams announced their Opening Day starters Friday as part of an effort by the league to gin up interest in the first game of a transformative season in which the game will include a pitch clock.

In his final spring training start Friday, Scherzer threw 100 pitches over six innings against the Tampa Bay Rays, striking out 11 while allowing four hits and two runs.

"It's like a gender-reveal party," Mets manager Buck Showalter told reporters on Friday about announcing if it would be Scherzer or Justin Verlanderstarting on Opening Day. "I think we should hit a golf ball or a baseball and it explodes. What color would Max be?"

Verlander,who signed with the Mets this offseason, is scheduled to start the team's home opener on April 6.

The MLB Opening Day slate features several first-class duels -- and will include two-time winner Jacob deGrom, whose debut with the Texas Rangers was in doubt after tightness in his left side delayed his first spring training start. Philadelphia Phillies ace Aaron Nola, fresh off a World Series appearance, will get his sixth consecutive Opening Day start -- the longest current active streak -- and oppose the two-time Cy Young winner in a pairing of longtime NL East foes.

Nine teams had announced their starters before Friday. That list includes the Los Angeles Angels, with Shohei Ohtani coming off his World Baseball Classic MVP award, as well as the New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants, who will pit Gerrit Cole against Logan Webb.

Some of the other best matchups include:

Among the other Cy Young winners who will kick off their team's season:

Atlanta's Max Fried and Washington's Patrick Corbin both will start for the third time on Opening Day as the Nationals host the Braves. The rest of the matchups feature at least one pitcher commencing the season for the first time:

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