List of Tampa Bay Rays Opening Day starting pitchers
The Tampa Bay Rays are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in St. Petersburg, Florida. They play in the American League East division. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Rays have used eleven different Opening Day starting pitchers in their nineteen seasons. Since the franchise's beginning in 1998, the eleven starters have a combined Opening Day record of five wins, eight losses (5–8), and six no decisions. "No decisions" are awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game.
James Shields holds the Rays' record for most Opening Day starts with four, with one win, one loss, and two no decisions. The all-time record for a Tampa Bay pitcher winning an Opening Day game is one, shared by Steve Trachsel, Albie Lopez, Victor Zambrano, James Shields, and David Price.
Overall, Rays starting pitchers have a combined 3–5 record at home and 2–3 when they are away for Opening Day. In 2004, the Rays opened the season against the New York Yankees at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. Although that game was not played in Tampa Bay's actual home of Tropicana Field, it was still considered a home game for the Rays. Tampa Bay beat the Yankees 8–3 in that game, giving starting pitcher Victor Zambrano the win.
|Season||Each year is linked to an article about that particular Rays season.|
|ND (W)||No decision by starting pitcher; Rays won game|
|ND (L)||No decision by starting pitcher; Rays lost game|
|Pitcher (#)||Number of appearances as Opening Day starter with the Rays|
|*||Advanced to the post-season|
|**||Won the American League Championship Series|
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- "Archer K's 12, but Rays lose opener to Blue Jays". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved April 5, 2016.