Justin Verlander officially named Astros' Opening Day starter

Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander will start Opening Day against the Seattle Mariners on July 24, Astros manager Dusty Baker announced Wednesday.

What It Means:

Verlander is good to go after the extra time off allowed him to recover from March groin surgery and a lat strain. It will be the 37-year-old right-hander's 12th career Opening Day start, eighth-most since 1900. Verlander won his second American League Cy Young Award last season after going 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA and a career-high 300 strikeouts over 223 innings (34 starts). He also led both leagues in opponents’ batting average (.172) and WHIP (0.80) and recorded his third career no-hitter.

numberFire's models expect Verlander to spin a 3.51 ERA and 1.00 WHIP with 87 strikeouts and 16 walks over 69 1/3 innings this season.