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Philadelphia Phillies Announce Surprising Opening Day Starter

The Philadelphia Phillies have announced their Opening Day starter and it's not what many expected.

The Philadelphia Phillies made a surprising announcement on Sunday with their plans for Opening Day.

Aaron Nola, entering his tenth MLB season for the Phillies was expected to be the guy to take the mound against the Atlanta Braves.

Instead, they are going with Zack Wheeler for the first time.

Nola has gotten six Opening Day starts for the Phillies, one of the most in franchise history, but this might not be that surprising of a move for the veteran.

In a recent interview with, Nola had a surprising quote about Opening Day.

"I think Wheels [Zack Wheeler] should take it,” Nola said. “I think he’s earned it, man. That stuff’s great and all, but the baby is on the way. We’ll have to figure out when the little one is coming. It might be around that day.”

Wheeler, entering his age-34 season, is two years removed from his All-Star season that saw him finish second in Cy Young voting.

He had a higher ERA last season than he had in a while but has still been performing at a high level for long time.

The Phillies just recently signed Wheeler to a record three-year extension worth $126 million that is actually the largest annual salary for any contract in history.

Now, making him the ace, makes a lot of sense for someone being paid that much.

He's been fantastic in both the regular season and in the postseason.

Over his first four seasons with the Phillies, Wheeler has started 101 games with a 43-25 record and 3.06 ERA. In 11 postseason games, Wheeler has produced a 2.42 ERA and 68 strikeouts.

It's clear that he earned that contract and has indeed earned the Opening Day nod.

You'll be able to see the Phillies take on the Braves on March 28 at 3:05 p.m. ET.