Lance Lynn will be the opening day starter.
That sounds good in two ways. One, Lance Lynn earned that right. Two, the words “opening day” sound sweet right about now.
It could have been Mike Minor. Nobody would have blamed Chris Woodward if he gave it to the new guy, Corey Kluber, either, who, in a five-year run from 2014 to 2018 won two Cy Young awards, finished third twice, and ninth once.
For Rangers fans, Cy Young is an award the best pitcher in each league receives. Only one team in the American League has never had a Cy Young winner. That’s the team Corey Kluber currently pitches for.
Lance Lynn certainly earned the opening day honors. He won sixteen games for the Rangers last season, with an ERA at 3.67. But he was a battler, a throwback to when starters went more than five innings. In fact, no pitcher in the American League faced more batters last season than Lance Lynn.
When you put him out there, he stays out there.
Lynn finished fourth in the A.L. in strikeouts, with 246. His sixteen victories tied for fifth-best in the league. He finished seventh in ERA, fourth in innings pitched, seventh in WHIP, and sixth best in batting average against.
And that’s why Lance Lynn finished fifth in Cy Young voting. He had a remarkable 2019.
He will get the ball first. It’s a long way from when a Tanner Scheppers or a Yovani Gallardo got the ball on opening day. The Rangers actually have deserving pitchers.