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Houston Astros: Zack Greinke is the Opening Day starter

Mar 11, 2021; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) throws against the New York Mets during the first inning of a spring training game at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 11, 2021; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) throws against the New York Mets during the first inning of a spring training game at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports /
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On Monday, Manager Dusty Baker announced that Zack Greinke will be the Opening Day starter for the Houston Astros. The veteran was always going to be the go-to starter with Framber Valdez going the second day before his finger injury.

This will be Greinke’s fifth Opening Day start of his career, while the first four didn’t go as planned, the right-hander was the third best pitcher on the rotation the last two years. As the ace of the staff now, the 37-year-old will not have the dominant strikeout outing that we have seen from others in the past.

Greinke has been out of Astros’ camp due to personal reasons.

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While starting spring training a little later than the usual pitchers and catchers reporting early, Greinke has been out for a few days due to personal reasons. As the Opening Day starter, he was scheduled to start on Tuesday against the New York Mets until he left camp.

The right-hander is the oldest starter on staff, and with the most accolades and chances of making the Hall of Fame, it makes sense Greinke is getting the ball first. The staff chose who they thought would be the Opening Day starter last month, and three out of the four contributors were on point.

Greinke is coming off a 4.03 ERA in 2020 with one of his highest strikeout rates of his career at 9.0 per nine innings. Through two starts this spring, the right-hander has posted a 2.25 ERA in four innings of work.

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The Astros are back on the field on Monday against the Marlins at 12:05 p.m. with Jose Urquidy to start. Tuesday’s game will have Peter Solomon getting the start, since Greinke will be out. The right-hander will be making his second appearance of spring training, after dominating in his first outing since Tommy John surgery. The Marlins’ game will be televised and will be a full nine innings.

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