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Detroit Tigers: Justin Verlander to Start Opening Day 2017

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Apr 5, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (right) greets Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (left) during the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 5, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (right) greets Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (left) during the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander will once again start for the club come Opening Day. He’ll face the Chicago White Sox in the Windy City on Monday, April 3rd.

Detroit Tigers fans will see a familiar face take the mound to kick off the 2017 season.

Justin Verlander will start on Opening Day for the Tigers for the ninth time in his career.

In addition to Detroit, he previously made Opening Day starts in Toronto, Kansas City, New York and Minnesota.

MLB.com’s Jason Beck reported the news in a tweet on Saturday. Beck tweeted, “The Justin Verlander Opening Day start announcement came early this year. Brad Ausmus confirmed it at TigerFest today.”

Last season, the ace started Detroit’s season in Miami. Verlander was tagged for three hits, three runs and a pair of walks en route to a Tigers win.

Despite some early struggled from the starter (6.49 ERA in his first 34.2 innings), the Tigers’ ace rebounded to turn in a Cy Young-worthy season.

Over the course of 227.2 frames, Verlander led the league in strikeouts while also logging a stellar 5.2 WAR.

All told, the future Hall of Famer finished tied for the league-lead in WAR.

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He also ranked highly in SIERA (second), innings pitched (second), strikeouts per nine innings (third), FIP (fourth), fewest walks per nine innings (10th) and xFIP (11th).

The ace also finished as a finalist for the Gold Glove at his position in the American League.

The award eventually went to Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros. However, Detroit’s starter still posted some solid defensive numbers. He turned in a DRS of 5 and a rSB of 2.

With a dominant Verlander leading the way, the rotation could be a strength for the Detroit Tigers.

Michael Fulmer will also be one of the team’s frontline starters. The reigning American League Rookie of the Year will look to build on a debut season that nearly saw him win an ERA crown.

Elsewhere, the rest of the rotation is expected to be filled out by Jordan Zimmermann, Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd. If all five pitch to their abilities, Detroit could very well make a return trip to the playoffs.

Considering he’s pitching on Opening Day, Justin Verlander’s first home start should come during Detroit’s first home series of the season.

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The Tigers will take on the Boston Red Sox in a four-game set starting on Friday, April 7th.

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