Verlander gets the nod for Tigers’ opener

For the seventh consecutive season, Justin Verlander gets the nod for the Tigers' opener.

Kim Klement/Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

And the Detroit Tigers’ Opening Day starter is?

For the seventh consecutive season, Justin Verlander will take the mound when the Tigers play the Kansas City Royals on March 31 at Comerica Park.

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Manager Brad Ausmus told the media assembled in Lakeland, Fla., of his decision before Monday’s game against the Washington Nationals, whom Verlander held to one hit over five innings on Sunday.

It was Verlander’s second outing of the spring after his quick recovery from offseason core-muscle surgery.

"I’m always grateful to pitch on Opening Day," Verlander told the media. "I know what the day means to Tigers fans. It is like a holiday and I never take it for granted."

Verlander gets the nod over Max Scherzer, who won the American League Cy Young Award last season.