Ranking The Top 10 Pitchers To Watch On Opening Day 2014

10 Pitchers To Watch On Opening Day

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Opening Day is one of the best days of the calendar year. Some even believe it should be a national holiday. The quality of pitching in baseball seems to be at an all-time high. There are plenty of players to watch and storylines to check out. These are 10 Opening Day pitchers you need to at least check out.

10. Stephen Strasburg -- Washington Nationals

Stephen Strasburg Washington Nationals
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10. Stephen Strasburg -- Washington Nationals

Stephen Strasburg Washington Nationals
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Stephen Strasburg showed flashes of why Scott Boras was asking for million prior to him throwing a pitch. His May and June numbers were fabulous. If he stays healthy, he could be a dark horse Cy Young candidate. He gets to start his season against the weak-hitting New York Mets.

9. Jose Fernandez -- Miami Marlins

Jose Fernandez Miami Marlins
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9. Jose Fernandez -- Miami Marlins

Jose Fernandez Miami Marlins
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Jose Fernandez came out of nowhere with his Steve Carlton-like season to steal the Rookie of the Year award from Yasiel Puig. It was well deserved as he posted a 12-6 record on a terrible Miami Marlins team. Can he repeat his dominant performance in 2014? The Marlins made him the youngest Opening Day starter in seven years. Is that too much pressure for the kid?

8. David Price -- Tampa Bay Rays

David Price Tampa Bay Rays
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8. David Price -- Tampa Bay Rays

David Price Tampa Bay Rays
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David Price may be one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball. He has been rumored to have been shopped by the Tampa Bay Rays, but for now he is starting their Opening Day game. Do yourself a favor and watch one of the best in the game take on the Blue Jays.

7. R.A. Dickey -- Toronto Blue Jays

R.A. Dickey RA Toronto Blue Jays
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7. R.A. Dickey -- Toronto Blue Jays

RA R.A. Dickey Toronto Blue Jays
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R.A. Dickey was just not the same pitcher last season. Maybe it was because he moved to the AL, or maybe age caught up to him. Either way, he needs to bounce back to help a Toronto team that failed to meet expectations last season. They need him to front a rotation that has to be much better than their 67 quality starts from 2013.

6. Jeff Samardzija -- Chicago Cubs

Jeff Samardzija Chicago Cubs
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6. Jeff Samardzija -- Chicago Cubs

Jeff Samardzija Chicago Cubs
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Jeff Samardzija pitched an absolute gem last year on Opening Day against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He plays those same Pirates in what could be his final Opening Day as a member of the Chicago Cubs. He could be the biggest trade chip of the season if the Cubs can't overachieve. You should watch him and think about how he could be on your favorite team by mid-season.

5. Chris Sale -- Chicago White Sox

Chris Sale Chicago White Sox
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5. Chris Sale -- Chicago White Sox

Chris Sale Chicago White Sox
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Chris Sale has been the savior of the Chicago White Sox rotation over the past few years. Unfortunately for him, his team is not able to score to get him deserved wins. With two great seasons under his belt, he looks to ascend into the upper echelon of starting pitchers. He begins that journey on March 31 against the Minnesota Twins.

4. Julio Teheran- Atlanta Braves

Julio Teherán Atlanta Braves
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4. Julio Teheran- Atlanta Braves

Julio Teherán Atlanta Braves
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Julio Teheran had a very good season in 2013, but that isn't why he is so high on this list. With injuries to Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen, the Opening Day job is pretty much in the bag for Teheran. How will he react to the added pressure of losing two of his fellow starters for the season?

3. C.C. Sabathia -- New York Yankees

CC C.C. Sabathia New York Yankees
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3. C.C. Sabathia -- New York Yankees

CC C.C. Sabathia New York Yankees
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The story behind C.C. this offseason is his alarming lack of velocity and his weight loss. He is currently only throwing in the high-80s on his fastball. He is trying to develop a cutter to add movement to his pitch, but his performance may be the key to the New York Yankees' season.

2. Madison Bumgarner -- San Francisco Giants

Madison Bumgarner Sam Francisco Giants
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2. Madison Bumgarner -- San Francisco Giants

Madison Bumgarner San Francisco Giants
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With four established veterans on the staff, including former Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum and last year's Opening Day starter Matt Cain, the San Francisco Giants decided to go with 24-year-old Madison Bumgarner to start the team's first game of the season. He looks to help the team forget an awful 2013 with a gem to start the season.

1. Justin Verlander -- Detroit Tigers

Justin Verlander Detroit Tigers
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1. Justin Verlander -- Detroit Tigers

Justin Verlander Detroit Tigers
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Max Scherzer won the Cy Young award in 2014, but still couldn't pry the Opening Day starter job from Justin Verlander. While he had a disappointing (for him) 2013, Verlander is still one of the most feared pitchers in baseball. He ranks No. 1 on this list because you should expect a comeback of epic proportions. He may bounce back to his 24-win form on the first day of the season.

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