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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Announces Opening Day Starter

The Dodgers have named their Opening Day starter and rotation order.

The Dodgers have plenty of competition in their spring camp, including in the starting rotation. While Dave Roberts had named most of the rotation already, he confirmed what it will be today with media. Roberts also confirmed that Clayton Kershaw will be the starting pitcher on Opening Day. 

For Clayton Kershaw, this would have been his tenth Opening Day start in a row if not for an injury that kept him out for the first few weeks of last season. Hyun-jin Ryu got the start last year when Walker Buehler was also not ready to go. 

This will be Kershaw’s ninth Opening Day start, the most in franchise history. The competition ultimately came down to him or Buehler, but Kershaw will be taking the ball on March 26th against the Giants in Los Angeles.

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Kershaw has faced the Giants three times on Opening Day in his career and has pitched incredibly well. In 22 combined innings, Kershaw has allowed just one earned run and struck out 23 Giants en route to a 2-1 record. The Giants shut out the Dodgers on Opening Day in 2018, despite Kershaw throwing six innings of one-run ball.

It’s worth noting that this is the first official time that Roberts has named Alex Wood to the starting rotation. His presence with the Dodgers’ likely puts Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May in a position where they will be starting the season at Triple-A unless one of them takes a bullpen spot. 

NEXT: Could Bullpen Needs Lead to Role Changes for Julio Urias?

Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. I know most may not agree here but at least to start the year we have 4 LHP and only 1 RHP. I realize throughout the course of the year that could change, but after Buehler’s 2nd spot in rotation, there will be 4 LHP starting in a row. i can see where teams will try and load up with RHB which potentially could pose a problem but wss.

    • Most Teams don’t have that many RH batters, so “load-up” may be a stretch but they might be able to has stretches of 3-4 RHB in a row, maybe in the middle of the line-up. But with as many low ball, hard slider/sinker pitchers that we have, I don’t see it as a huge problem, just like I don’t see a lot Lefthanded batters as a problem. A good batter is a good batter no matter what side of the plate he swings from. There are a lot of players who play regardless of whose pitching. I’m waiting to see how Mookie Betts reacts when Roberts sits him against a right handed pitcher because Friedman says to do so. You dpon’t sits stars like Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, Max Muncy. Those guys hit anybody, because they know how to hit and don’t always pull the ball…

  2. Win a World Series the regular season feels like spring training at this point and it kind of showed with the team last year as they phoned in the second half

  3. May and Gonsolin should both be in the bullpen and make occasional starts. Right now the bullpen is righty heavy, and the starting rotation is lefty heavy. Next year one of these two needs to be a regular starter to give some RHP balance to the rotation. But both of them could do long relief (three or more innings) right now. Both of them could make occasional starts to break up the lefty heavy rotation, especially against teams with alot of right handed power. Alexander should be demoted to make room. May and Gonsolin both came up last year and looked good. Why put them back on the shelf when they can help now. Cull the bullpen deadwood from last year, and let these guys play. They earned it last year.

  4. Good for Clayton! The 4 leftie thing is weird in MLB. But got a feeling Stripling will be slotted in here and there and will help change that scenario. May and Gonsolin figure to slot in at one point or another also.

  5. Kershaw needs to figure out a way to get through the 1st inning without giving up a couple runs. Maybe a Redbull or something would help. He does fine afterwards, but some crazy reason they have been tee ing off on him early..

  6. While Dave has announced a 5-man rotation to start the season, my guess is that by season’s end, it will look more like a 7-man rotation. Extra days off and an injury or two will dictate this. And with the depth of quality starting guys, this is probably okay.

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