*Today is Verlander vs. Snell. And with DeGrom and Scherzer also going, it's the first time in MLB History that 1 and 2 in the previous season's Cy Young voting face each other on Opening Day.
Justin Verlander's previous Opening Day starts: 58IP, 46H/26ER, 60K:20BB, 4.03 ERA / 1.14 WHIP. Eight of those runs came on Opening Day 2009 at Toronto.
*Let's pick it up with the first of what will be a weekly look at odds and postseason chances:
-FiveThirtyEight (98-64): 86% to make the playoffs, 74% to win the division, 16% to win the World Series. It's the best chance of any AL team to win another World Series.
-FanGraphs (97-65): 95.4% to make the playoffs, 90.2% to win the division, 17.8% to win the World Series, just behind the Yankees.
-Baseball Prospectus (94-68): 93.4% to make the playoffs, 85% to win the division, 14.9% to win the World Series, highest of any team.
*Allow me to drop some predictions of my own:
-Bregman hits 38 home runs.
-Correa hits .310.
-Michael Brantley has 110 RBI.
-Altuve reclaims his Hits title.
-Forrest Whitley wins five games for Houston this year.
*Sports Illustrated's Jack Dickey has your 2019 Astros season preview. Four of nine "Baseball Experts" from SI picked the Astros to win it all. And here are The Ringer's 2019 Predictions, in which all five experts have the Astros winning the AL, and four of them picking the Astros to throw another parade at the end of October.
*The Astros rank #2 in ESPN's Opening Day Power Rankings.
*Robert Ford spent about 20 minutes with ESPN 1660 and talked all things Astros.
*Jeff Luhnow previewed the 2019 Astros on 790.
*Chandler Rome has the two most important factors for the 2019 Astros: Health, and SPs 3-5.
*Jake Kaplan has five questions for the Astros going into 2019.
*Brian T. Smith wonders where Dallas Keuchel is.
*The Astros have set their minor-league rosters.
*Jake Kaplan has ten prospects who could impact the 2019 Astros.
*Noted Asshat Stefan Stevenson remarks that the Rangers "still run Texas" because they have more Texas counties (148) in which the majority of the population identify as Rangers fans, as opposed to Astros fans (98). This ridiculous exercise is courtesy of something called Vivid Seats includes Loving County (pop. 74), King County (pop. 289), Borden County (pop. 602), etc.
*One former prospect who won't is Houston's 2009 44th Round pick Michael Schurz, who was arrested for online solicitation of a minor.
*Aaron Gleeman projects the next decade's biggest superstars, featuring Altuve, Correa, and Bregman.
*FanGraphs' Sheryl Ring: Minor-league players might actually get a raise.
*From 2013: Sam Miller in Baseball Prospectus - Mark Reynolds is Totally Blind.
*Bayern and Real Madrid will play at NRG Stadium on July 20.
*The Man with the Last Perfect Bracket.
*A Musical Selection: