LEADING OFF: WS MVP Strasburg makes '20 debut, A's streaking

A look at what's happening around the majors today:

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STRASBURG SET

World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to make his season debut for Washington after being sidelined by a nerve problem in his pitching hand. The right-hander is ready to start at Nationals Park against Baltimore.

Strasburg missed what would have been his first two appearances of 2020 after making all 33 starts last year and then becoming the first pitcher to finish a postseason with a 5-0 record.

The 32-year-old Strasburg led the NL with 209 innings and 18 wins in 2019.

STRAIGHT A’S

The Athletics try for their ninth straight win when rookie left-hander Jesus Luzardo makes his second career start, taking on Houston at the Coliseum. Luzardo threw five scoreless innings Tuesday vs. Texas in his starting debut.

Rookie righty Cristian Javier (1-0, 1.42 ERA) counters for the Astros, who have lost four in a row. Houston center fielder George Springer has missed two straight starts because of a sprained right wrist.

WELCOME

Prized pitcher Spencer Howard is expected to make his major league debut when the Phillies host Atlanta in a doubleheader.

The 24-year-old Howard, a second-round pick in the 2017 draft, is widely considered Philadelphia’s top pitching prospect since Aaron Nola or even Cole Hamels.

Howard’s bid to crack the rotation was derailed by service issues. The Phillies kept the right-hander on their taxi squad in Allentown, Pennsylvania, for enough days to delay his potential free agency until after the 2026 season.

NINE-MAN ROTATION

Pablo López (1-0) is set to become the first Miami pitcher to make a second start this season when the surprising Marlins face two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom (1-0) and the New York Mets at Citi Field.

With their opening day roster ravaged by a coronavirus outbreak, the Marlins became the first team in major league history to start nine different pitchers in the first nine games of a season. The previous record of eight was held by the 1904 Philadelphia Phillies, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

HARD-LUCK LYNN

Lance Lynn has allowed only one run over 18 1-3 innings in his three starts for Texas, but his lone victory came on opening day more than two weeks ago— when the Rangers beat Colorado 1-0 in the first game at their new ballpark.

Lynn (1-0) leads the majors with his 0.49 ERA and .100 opponents batting average (6 for 60). The 33-year-old right-hander gets his third shot at career win No. 100 when the Rangers close out a three-game series at home against the Los Angeles Angels.

Lynn is one of 11 major league pitchers with at least seven 10-win seasons since 2012.

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