The Washington Nationals are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Washington, D.C. They play in the National League East division. The team was known as the Montreal Expos from 1969 to 2004. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Nationals have used six different Opening Day starting pitchers in their sixteen seasons. The six starters have a combined Opening Day record of 3 win, 9 losses and 4 no decisions. No decisions are awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game, or if the starting pitcher does not pitch at least five innings with the lead. The overall Opening Day record of the team is 7–9.
Max Scherzer holds the franchise record for most Opening Day starts with five. He is 1–3 on Opening Day, with one no decision.
Liván Hernández is the only pitcher to make an Opening Day start for both the Expos and the Nationals.
As the Washington Nationals, the team played their home games at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium from 2005 to 2007; their only home opener there was a 9–2 loss in 2007 by starter John Patterson. Nationals Park is the team's current field, and it was the site of the team's 2008 season opener, with starting pitcher Odalis Pérez on the mound in a game that the Nationals won 3–2 over the visiting Atlanta Braves.
|Season||Each year is linked to an article about that particular Nationals season.|
|ND (W)||No decision for starter; Nationals won game|
|ND (L)||No decision for starter; Nationals lost game|
|Game score with Nationals runs listed first|
|Location||Stadium in bold for home game|
|Pitcher (#)||Number of appearances as Opening Day starter with the Nationals|
|2005||Liván Hernández||L||4–8||Philadelphia Phillies||Citizens Bank Park||44,080|||
|2006||Liván Hernández (2)||L||2–3||New York Mets||Shea Stadium||54,371|||
|2007||John Patterson||L||2–9||Florida Marlins||Robert F. Kennedy Stadium||40,389|||
|2008||Odalis Pérez||ND (W)||3–2||Atlanta Braves||Nationals Park||39,389|||
|2009||John Lannan||L||6–12||Florida Marlins||Dolphin Stadium||34,323|||
|2010||John Lannan (2)||L||1–11||Philadelphia Phillies||Nationals Park||41,290|||
|2011||Liván Hernández (3)||L||0–2||Atlanta Braves||Nationals Park||39,055|||
|2012||Stephen Strasburg||ND (W)||2–1||Chicago Cubs||Wrigley Field||41,176|||
|2013||Stephen Strasburg (2)||W||2–0||Miami Marlins||Nationals Park||45,274|||
|2014||Stephen Strasburg (3)||ND (W)||9–7||New York Mets||Citi Field||42,442|||
|2015||Max Scherzer||L||1–3||New York Mets||Nationals Park||42,295|||
|2016||Max Scherzer (2)||ND (W)||4–3||Atlanta Braves||Turner Field||48,282|||
|2017||Stephen Strasburg (4)||W||4–2||Miami Marlins||Nationals Park||42,744|||
|2018||Max Scherzer (3)||W||2–0||Cincinnati Reds||Great American Ball Park||43,878|||
|2019||Max Scherzer (4)||L||0–2||New York Mets||Nationals Park||42,263|||
|2020||Max Scherzer (5)||L||1–4||New York Yankees||Nationals Park||0|||
|2021||Max Scherzer (6)||ND (W)||6–5||Atlanta Braves||Nationals Park||4,801|||