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Opening Day! Game 1: Royals at Tigers

Gil Meche (0-0, 0.00) vs. Justin Verlander (0-0, 0.00)

The waiting is over, Tigers Town. This afternoon, we finally get to open the early Christmas present we received back in early December when the Tigers made it clear to everyone that Detroit would be a baseball superpower for years to come.

No more wondering how good this team will be. Today, we begin to find out. Opening Day is always a celebration in Detroit, but this 2008 opener brings a different level of anticipation and expectation with it.

In three starts against the Tigers last year, Gil Meche went 1-1 with a 3.27 ERA, giving up 19 hits in 22 innings and posting 15 strikeouts. The Royals also have something of a Tiger killer in designated hitter Billy Butler, who hit .383/.420/.638 against Detroit pitching, with two home runs and 11 RBIs in 50 plate appearances. Kansas City figures to be a formidable opponent throughout the season, and could play a big role in determining who wins the AL Central.

For the Tigers, Justin Verlander gets the Opening Day start as the confirmed ace of the starting rotation and one of the best young pitchers in baseball. In five starts against Kansas City last season, Verlander went 3-0 with a 3.23 ERA, striking out 26 Royals in 30 2/3 innings.

How about playing some real live games that counts in the standings, Detroit? It looks like the weather wants to see some matinee baseball, as well.

Royals Review has your SB Nation opposing view for this three-game series.