Opening Day is less than ten days away, and teams have already been setting their potential lineups and listing their opening day starters. Houston just became one of them.
The Astros will face the Los Angeles Angels on April 7 in Anaheim. The Angels revealed that their Opening Day starter will be none other than Shohei Ohtani, the two-way Japanese star and reigning American League Most Valuable Player. Houston had what seemed to be their answer for Opening Day until it was revealed that their starter is not who most thought it would be.
As McTaggart stated, nothing is set. This move is surprising, to say the least, as Verlander seemed to be the clear favorite to start the season for Houston. It is possible that the Astros still feel that JV is not quite ready as he returns from Tommy John surgery. The Cy Young winner has looked great in spring training outings thus far.
Starter Lance McCullers Jr would be an option, but McCullers is currently working to come back from an injury he sustained during last season’s ALDS and was not able to fully treat with trainers due to the lockout.
One could argue that Luis Garcia or Jose Urquidy should get the nod, but Framber makes the most sense out of the three. Framber had one of the best seasons of his career last season despite starting late due to a broken finger in spring training. Framber had an 11-6 record with a 3.14 ERA and 125 strikeouts.
Should Framber get the start, the Astros still have a good chance of winning. One of Framber’s biggest strengths is his ability to get groundballs often, limiting baserunners and allowing his defense to work for him. With his great pitching and the always dangerous Astros lineup, you can pretty much write in a “W” on April 7.
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