The organization announced the decision on Twitter:
Boston Red Sox @RedSox
Ladies & gentlemen, your Opening Day starter: @DAVIDprice24! https://t.co/jcwndue9DR3/29/2016, 1:59:50 PM
After finishing last in the American League East in 2015, Boston will begin its bounce-back attempt April 4 with a road tilt against the Cleveland Indians.
Following a 2015 season that saw Price finish second in the AL Cy Young Award voting by virtue of an 18-5 record with a 2.45 ERA split between the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays, the fact that the team selected him comes as little surprise.
Boston inked the 30-year-old lefty to a seven-year, $217 million contract during the offseason, and he is expected to be the workhorse and one constant in a rotation that is riddled with question marks otherwise.
The Red Sox mark Price's fourth team since 2014, as he spent the first six-plus years of his career with the Tampa Bay Rays, and starting on Opening Day gives him a rare distinction, per the Elias Sports Bureau (via Red Sox manager of media relations and baseball information Jon Shestakofsky):
Jon Shestakofsky @Shesta_HOF
David Price will be the 3rd pitcher to make 3 straight Opening Day starts, all for different teams. https://t.co/qR6cE8LkEw3/29/2016, 1:49:51 PM
Price has consistently been among the best starters in baseball since debuting in 2008, as evidenced by his career mark of 104-56 with a 3.09 ERA.
He will have a tough challenge ahead of him, however, as the Tribe will counter with 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, according to Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com.
That is a marquee pitching matchup in every sense of the term, and it will certainly test both lineups as they look to get into regular-season form.
While the Opening Day result carries the same weight as any other game over the course of the season, Price will undoubtedly have some added pressure to live up to his contract and get Boston off to a great start after a miserable 2015 campaign.
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