Holland gets nod for home opener against Angels

Holland gets nod for home opener against Angels

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Matt Harrison is the Rangers' Opening Day starter, but Derek Holland will be on the mound for the home opener on April 5 against the Angels. Holland is slotted to be the fourth starter behind Harrison, Yu Darvish and Alexi Ogando.

Harrison starts on Sunday, March 31 against the Astros while Darvish and Ogando will start the next two games of the series. The Rangers have two off-days during the first week of the season, including the Thursday before the home opener.

That would allow them to bring back Harrison to pitch the home opener and manager Ron Washington mentioned that as a possibility earlier this week. But the Rangers have decided to pitch Holland that day. That would leave Harrison and Darvish to pitch the next two games against the Angels and Ogando to pitch Monday, April 8 against the Rays. That leaves April 9 as the first day the Rangers would need a fifth starter.

Ogando is scheduled to pitch Sunday against the Reds in Surprise and Friday against the Padres in San Antonio. Holland is scheduled to pitch on Monday against the Padres and the following Saturday against them in San Antonio. He is 7-5 with a 5.58 ERA in 13 starts and three relief appearances against the Angels in his career.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.