Opening Day not only marks the long-awaited start of another baseball season, but it also annually offers what's arguably the best day of starting pitching of the entire year. After all, teams throughout the league traditionally honor their staff ace when it comes to naming an Opening Day starter.
With that in mind, here's a closer look at each club's official Opening Day starter for this year, as well as who they turned to for last year's season opener. The breakdown also includes an interesting Opening Day fact or figure for each team.
:: 2016 Opening Day coverage ::
Here's the current rundown of Opening Day starters (listed by team, alphabetically), with a link to a story on each pitcher from the reporter who covers him:
2016 Opening Day starter: Garrett Richards | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Jered Weaver
DYK: Richards is the first pitcher other than Weaver to start for the Halos on Opening Day since Joe Saunders in 2009, as well as the first right-hander since John Lackey in '07.
2016 Opening Day starter: Dallas Keuchel | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Keuchel
DYK: Keuchel will be the first Astros pitcher to make consecutive Opening Day starts since Roy Oswalt made eight straight season-opening starts from 2003-10.
Video: Keuchel to make his 2016 debut on Opening Day
2016 Opening Day starter: Sonny Gray | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Gray
DYK: This will be Gray's third straight Opening Day start, making him the first A's pitcher to start three consecutive season openers since Dave Stewart got the call in five in a row from 1988-92.
Video: Sonny Gray set to start third straight opener
2016 Opening Day starter: Marcus Stroman | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Drew Hutchison
DYK: Stroman, 24, is in line to become the third-youngest Opening Day starter in Blue Jays history, behind only Hutchison and Todd Stottlemyre. Listed at 5-foot-8, Stroman would also be the shortest Opening Day starter in franchise history.
2016 Opening Day starter: Julio Teheran | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Teheran
DYK: Teheran is the first Braves pitcher to make three Opening Day starts before his 26th birthday since Al Javery did it for the Boston Braves from 1942-44.
2016 Opening Day starter: Wily Peralta | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Kyle Lohse
DYK: This will be the first career Opening Day start for Peralta, who has logged 90 career appearances over his first four seasons with the Brewers.
Video: Peralta excited to be named Opening Day starter
2016 Opening Day starter: Adam Wainwright | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Wainwright
DYK: This will mark Wainwright's fourth consecutive Opening Day start -- and fifth overall -- for the Cardinals. His five season-opening starts are tied for the second-most in franchise history, behind Bob Gibson's 10.
2016 Opening Day starter: Jake Arrieta | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Jon Lester
DYK: Arrieta, who also started Opening Day for the Orioles in 2012, is in line to make multiple Opening Day starts and win a Cy Young Award before ever being named an All-Star. Only four other Major Leaguers have done so previously, though Arrieta may not be the only pitcher to join the ultra-rare list this season (see Indians below).
Video: Arrieta primed for his second Opening Day start
2016 Opening Day starter: Zack Greinke | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Josh Collmenter
DYK: Greinke has one previous Opening Day start to his name, having tossed six innings of one-run ball for the Royals in their 2010 season-opening loss to the Tigers.
2016 Opening Day starter: Clayton Kershaw | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Kershaw
DYK: Kershaw is set to become just the sixth starting pitcher in the last 100 years to make at least six consecutive Opening Day starts before turning 29 years old. His six starts will also be just one shy of the Dodgers' franchise record, held by Hall of Famers Don Sutton and Don Drysdale.
Video: Kershaw to take the hill for Dodgers on Opening Day
2016 Opening Day starter: Madison Bumgarner | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Bumgarner
DYK: This will be the third straight Opening Day nod for Bumgarner, who racked up a 0.82 ERA over 11 innings in his first two season-opening starts.
Video: MadBum to get third straight Opening Day start
2016 Opening Day starter: Corey Kluber | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Kluber
DYK: Kluber is in line to join Arrieta as only the fifth and sixth Major League pitchers to make multiple Opening Day starts and win a Cy Young Award before being named an All-Star.
2016 Opening Day starter: Felix Hernandez | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Hernandez
DYK: Hernandez is set to make his ninth career Opening Day start, which would be the most ever by a pitcher before turning 30 years old. Hernandez, who turns 30 on April 8, is currently tied with Dwight Gooden and Bert Blyleven with eight pre-30 starts apiece.
2016 Opening Day starter: Wei-Yin Chen | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Henderson Alvarez
DYK: Chen will be the Marlins' fifth Opening Day starter in as many years, following the likes of Alvarez, Jose Fernandez, Ricky Nolasco and Josh Johnson.
2016 Opening Day starter: Matt Harvey | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Bartolo Colon
DYK: Harvey will be the Mets' sixth different starting pitcher in the last six years, joining Colon, Dillon Gee, Jonathon Niese, Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey.
Video: Harvey set for Opening Night after bladder clot
2016 Opening Day starter: Max Scherzer | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Scherzer
DYK: Since the Nationals debuted in 2005 after moving from Montreal, Scherzer is the fourth pitcher to start on back-to-back Opening days, joining Livan Hernandez, John Lannan and Stephen Strasburg (three straight).
2016 Opening Day starter: Chris Tillman | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Tillman
DYK: Tillman is the first Orioles pitcher to get the nod on Opening Day in three consecutive seasons since Mike Mussina did so from 1998-2000.
2016 Opening Day starter: Tyson Ross | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: James Shields
DYK: Ross is vying to become the Padres' first starter to earn an Opening Day victory since Jake Peavy in 2008.
2016 Opening Day starter: Jeremy Hellickson | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Cole Hamels
DYK: Hellickson will take the hill looking to buck the Phillies' recent trend of Opening Day pitching struggles. The club's starters have pitched no more than five innings in each of the last three season openers, all while combining for a 10.20 ERA in those contests.
2016 Opening Day starter: Francisco Liriano | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Liriano
DYK: Liriano will become the first Pirates pitcher to make three consecutive Opening Day starts since Doug Drabek did so from 1990-92. Liriano has taken a no-decision each of the last two years, despite posting a 1.38 ERA and 17 strikeouts over 13 innings in those two starts.
Video: Liriano to make his 2016 debut on Opening Day
2016 Opening Day starter: Hamels | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Yovani Gallardo
DYK: Hamels is the Rangers' seventh different Opening Day starter in as many years. In fact, Kevin Millwood, who started four straight season openers from 2006-09, is the only pitcher to make consecutive Opening Day starts for Texas at any point since 1997.
2016 Opening Day starter: Chris Archer | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Archer
DYK: This is the second straight Opening Day assignment for Archer and the 14th straight season the Rays' Opening Day starter has been age 30 or younger. The only Opening Day starter older than 30 in Rays history was 31-year-old Tanyon Sturtze in 2002.
Video: Chris Archer named Rays 2016 Opening Day starter
2016 Opening Day starter: David Price | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Clay Buchholz
DYK: Price also got the nod for the Rays in 2014 and the Tigers last year, making him the third pitcher to start three straight Opening Days for three different clubs, according to Elias. The others were Kevin Brown (1997 Marlins, '98 Padres, '99 Dodgers) and Jack Morris ('90 Tigers, '91 Twins, '92 Blue Jays).
2016 Opening Day starter: Raisel Iglesias | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Johnny Cueto
DYK: Iglesias will become the second Cuba native to start on the mound on Opening Day for the Reds. Dolf Luque, a member of the team's Hall of Fame, did it in 1921 (vs. Pirates) and '28 (Cubs).
2016 Opening Day starter: Jorge De La Rosa | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Kyle Kendrick
DYK: De La Rosa is Colorado's sixth Opening Day starter in the last six seasons. The club has had only one pitcher (Ubaldo Jimenez, 2010-11) make consecutive Opening Day starts since '02.
2016 Opening Day starter: Edinson Volquez | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Yordano Ventura
DYK: The Royals are just 1-6 in their last seven season openers, despite the fact that their starting pitchers have posted a combined 2.09 ERA during that span.
2016 Opening Day starter: Justin Verlander | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Price
DYK: Verlander made seven consecutive Opening Day starts for the Tigers from 2008-14, before deferring to Price last year. Verlander's eighth career Opening Day start this year would be the second-most in franchise history, behind only Morris' 11.
Video: Verlander ready for another Opening Day start
2016 Opening Day starter: Ervin Santana | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Phil Hughes
DYK: In 10 seasons since 2007, the Twins have started nine different pitchers on Opening Day, with only Carl Pavano ('11-'12) getting multiple assignments. Going back to Pavano, Santana is the fifth straight Opening Day starter to come to Minnesota from outside the organization.
2016 Opening Day starter: Chris Sale | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Jeff Samardzija
DYK: Sale made back-to-back Opening Day starts for the White Sox from 2013-14, before missing last year's season opener due to a foot injury. He's 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his two Opening Day starts.
Video: White Sox tab Sale for 2016 Opening Day start
2016 Opening Day starter: Masahiro Tanaka | More »
'15 Opening Day starter: Tanaka
DYK: Between Tanaka last season and CC Sabathia from 2012-14, Yankees Opening Day starters have gone four straight years without a quality start, and New York has dropped each of those games. The Yankees haven't lost five straight season openers since 1934-38.
Paul Casella and Andrew Simon are reporters for MLB.com..