The club announced Verlander as the ace starter on Friday. He will face the Tampa Bay Rays on the road on March 28 to start a four-game series.
The Astros have expectations coming into the year. Baseball Prospectus forecasts Houston with a 98-64 record, which it believes will be an MLB-best in 2019.
For Verlander, the Tampa Bay opener will be his 11th opening day start in his illustrious 15-year career and the second straight opening day start as an Astro.
The 36-year-old Verlander is earning $28 million this season and has incentive to be one of the best pitchers in the American League. His 2020 option would be guarantee him $22 million if he finishes in the top five in Cy Young Award voting.
This week, Verlander also revealed a new pitch to his repertoire in spring training - the changeup.
"I saw the reactions I wanted on almost every one I threw," Verlander said after throwing seven of them during a 4-1 win over the Miami Marlins on Thursday in Jupiter, Florida.
The Associated Press and ESPN contributed to this story.
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