I'm not sure why, but I'm mildly fascinated (or maybe somewhat interested) in Opening Day starting pitchers.
We might arrive at some sort of surprise scale for these announcements:
Level 1 - No surprise at all, as this guy's demonstrated that he's the best starter on the roster.
Level 2 - Mildly surprising, or just semi-obvious, as the club has more than one starter who might reasonably lay claim to the title of staff ace. This was an open question heading into spring training.
Level 3 - They're really going with this guy?
I'll rate Brett Anderson at exactly 1.34 on this scale. Anderson won only four games last season. But he came off the Disabled List late in the season and pitched brilliantly down the stretch, then beat the Tigers in the Division Series. Which was enough to get him the nod over sophomores Jarrod Parker and Tommy Milone, both of whom won 13 games last season. Funny thing is that Anderson's experience seems to have made a difference here, but he's actually younger than Milone and scarcely older than Parker.
I'm not convinced that Anderson will finish this season as the A's best pitcher; he hasn't thrown more than 112 innings in a season since 2009. But he's probably their best to start the season, assuming he can survive March.