Verlander vs. Hamels = Opening Day competition

Silver Boot Series starts on opening day

After adding former Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher, Gerrit Cole, to an already lethal rotation, the Astros are no doubt favorites to reach the World Series again. But for the Rangers to get an upfront diagnosis of just how bad things may be this season, what better way than to face those who stand at the top of the mountain.

The Astros then took down Boston and the New York Yankees to win the AL Pennant before defeating the Dodgers in 7 games for the first World Series title in franchise history. Keuchel pitched on opening day two straight seasons before Thursday.

Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre is starting his 21st big league season, the only active major leaguer with at least 20 seasons.

"A relentless style of baseball that puts pressure on the other team", Banister said. "Don't care who gets credit, it's an all-in Texas mentality". Rangers Hall of Fame broadcaster Eric Nadel's call of the game is available, as always, from MLB's At Bat app, as long as you're willing to fork over $4 a month for a subscription.

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Game two of 162 begins tonight, when the Astros send Dallas Keuchel to the hill. RHP Justin Verlander will have his first Opening Day start for the Houston Astros and his 10th career Opening Day start. He was acquired from the Tigers on August 31, won all five of his starts in September and was 4-1 with a 2.21 ERA in six postseason outings on the way to a World Series title. Lefty Cole Hamels and the Rangers are both still trying to get back to the World Series. "I'm excited to be here for a whole season". In his career, Hamels is 7-4 with a 4.19 ERA and 97 strikeouts against Houston. The second start came in an American League Division Series, and Fister allowed three runs in 1 1/3 innings.

The Astros jumped in front in the first inning as leadoff man Springer homered to right on his first swing of the season. Houston (1-1) was only 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, and as many as eight runners were left on base.

The Rangers aren't going to be great, but they could be good enough. "So what we have at stake is some really fun, competitive baseball, and that's something to look forward to for the whole season".

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