It was all but set in stone, now it has been confirmed as Kevin Cash has announced that Blake Snell will be the Rays starting pitcher on Opening Day.
Not much of a surprise, but #Rays Cash said Blake Snell will be pitching on March 28, making him the Opening Day starter against the Astros.— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) March 6, 2019
The 2018 American League Cy Young will kick off the Rays season on Opening Day (March 28th). The Rays will be taking on the Houston Astros at 4:00pm at Tropicana Field, kicking off the season with a four game series against the reigning AL West division champions.
This will be Blake Snell’s first time starting Opening Day for the Rays, joining a list of 11 other pitchers to be deemed the Rays Opening Day starter.
Chris Archer and James Shields share the franchise lead with four Opening Day starts. David Price, Scott Kazmir, and Wilson Alvarez are the only other pitchers in team history to have started on more than one Opening Day.
Snell was a 2011 draft pick by the Tampa Bay Rays and, after a breakout performance in the minors during the 2015 season, became one of the top prospects in all of baseball. He made his major league debut in 2016, but struggled with consistency and spent the next year battling through control issues.
Returning in July 2017, Snell was back on track to being one of the best pitchers in the game. Those changes carried over to the 2018 season where Snell would ultimately win the American League Cy Young Award for his dominance.