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Cubs' Ryan Dempster To Start Against Pirates On Opening Day

The Pirates now know who they will face on Opening Day at 1:20 PM on April 1, as the Cubs have named Ryan Dempster their starter, with Carlos Zambrano and Matt Garza probably starting the other two games of the series.

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The Cubs don't have any lefty starters, so we really already knew this, but since Dempster is a righty, the Pirates will probably start the following players:

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C Chris Snyder
1B Lyle Overbay
2B Neil Walker
SS Ronny Cedeno
3B Pedro Alvarez
LF Jose Tabata
CF Andrew McCutchen
RF Garrett Jones

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(Against lefties, the Pirates will have a similar default lineup, but with Matt Diaz instead of Jones.)

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Dempster struck out 208 batters in 215.1 innings last year and had a 3.85 ERA. Zambrano pitched extremely well down the stretch last year, and Garza had a 3.91 ERA and 150 strikeouts in 204.2 innings for the Rays. So this is by no means an easy first series for the Pirates, who will start some combination of Paul Maholm, James McDonald, Ross Ohlendorf and Kevin Correia

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.