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Chris Tillman, Scott Feldman, Cliff Lee named opening day starters

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Chris Tillman will make the first opening-day start of his career March 31.
Chris Tillman will make the first opening-day start of his career March 31. (USATSI)

MORE: Spring Training | Scoreboard | FA tracker: hitters | FA tracker: pitchers

Three more starting pitchers were named opening day starters Monday after the Tigers announced Justin Verlander in possibly the weirdest upset of his career. The Astros tabbed free agent signee Scott Feldman while the Orioles announced All-Star Chris Tillman as their opening-day ace. And in the least surprising news of the day, the Phillies named Cliff Lee their opening-day starter.

Feldman, 31, will get the ball for the Astros as they host the Yankees on Tuesday, April 1. It will be the second opening day start of his career, as he was the Rangers' man in 2010 after a 17-win season.

Last year, Feldman went 12-12 with a 3.86 ERA (105 ERA+), 1.18 WHIP and 132 strikeouts in 181 2/3 innings for the Cubs and Orioles -- helping to land him a three-year, $30 million with Houston.

Tillman, 25, was 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA (113 ERA+), 1.22 WHIP and 179 strikeouts in 206 1/3 innings pitched last season for the Orioles, making his first All-Star Game. This will mark his first opening-day assignment and he's the youngest Orioles opening-day starter since 1994, when Mike Mussina took the ball (via Dan Connolly).

The Orioles open Monday, March 31 against the defending champion Red Sox in Baltimore.

As for Lee, with Cole Hamels injured, there wasn't really much choice here. He will duel with Yu Darvish of the Rangers on March 31 in one of the day's juiciest pitching matchups.

 
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