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Max Fried to make 2nd straight Opening Day start for Braves

MLB: World Series-Atlanta Braves at Houston Astros

Nov 2, 2021; Houston, TX, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried throws a pitch against the Houston Astros during the first inning in game six of the 2021 World Series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

ATLANTA -- Max Fried, who capped his 2021 season as the starting pitcher in Atlanta’s decisive Game 6 World Series win over Houston, has been named the Braves’ Opening Day starter.

The Braves announced on Wednesday that Fried will start against Cincinnati in their April 7 opener in Atlanta. It will be the left-hander’s second consecutive Opening Day start.

Fried pitched six scoreless innings, allowing only four hits, in Atlanta’s 7-0 win over the Astros to clinch their first World Series championship since 1995. Fried, 28, was 14-7 with a 3.04 ERA and two shutouts in 2021.

Fried, Charlie Morton and Ian Anderson are established atop the rotation. Manager Brian Snitker was expected to choose between Fried and Morton to start the opening game. Morton, 38, was 14-6 with a 3.34 ERA last season. He suffered a broken leg in Game 1 of the World Series but has made a full recovery.

Snitker has not announced who will follow Morton and Anderson in the rotation. Kyle Wright and Huascar Ynoa have been described by general manager Alex Anthopoulos as the leaders of a competition that also includes Kyle Muller, Tucker Davidson and rookie Spencer Strider.

The Braves are expected to use a six-man rotation as they open the season by playing 14 consecutive days before their first off day. They are then expected to return to a five-man rotation.