Astros hungry, set to line up for Opening Day

March 25th, 2018

HOUSTON -- An offseason full of celebrations and awards gave way to a businesslike spring camp, and now the Astros are ready to defend their World Series championship.
The Astros, returning nearly all of their core players from their 2017 title team, are poised to repeat with arguably the deepest starting pitching rotation and the deepest offense in the Major Leagues. The Astros begin the defense of their crown on Thursday against the Rangers in Arlington, sending to the mound.
Reigning American League MVP Award winner , World Series MVP , superstar shortstop and the rest of the boys will have to fight off the Yankees, Red Sox and Indians in the AL, but the Astros have made it clear: The championship goes through H-town.
Projected Opening Day lineup

  1. George Springer, RF
  2. , 3B
  3. Jose Altuve, 2B
  4. Carlos Correa, SS
  5. , LF
  6. , 1B
  7. Evan Gattis, DH
  8. , C
  9. , CF
    RHP Justin Verlander
    Key roles
    • Facing lefty Cole Hamels to start the season, expect Marisnick -- who was hurt during the run to the World Series -- to start Thursday's opener.
    • With first baseman Yuli Gurriel out to start the season with a left-hand injury before he will have to serve a five-game suspension handed down for making an insensitive gesture in the World Series last year, will get time at first, though the veteran Gonzalez will play plenty of first.
    • Right-hander remains the Astros' closer despite his rough World Series, but , and Will Harris can all save games.
    Injury updates
    • Gurriel underwent surgery to remove the hook of the hamate bone in his left hand on Feb. 28 and could be on the disabled list to start the season. Regardless, he will have to serve a five-game suspension. He's staying in Florida to rehab while the Astros open the season.
    • Right-hander  (left oblique strain) is also in Florida rehabbing to start the season.