The 2021 regular season is quickly coming to a close, but the Dodgers have yet to catch the Giants for first place in the NL West. That cause was aided some by the return of Clayton Kershaw on Monday, who went 4.1 innings in his first game back on Monday night.
With Kershaw returning, it gives the team more options as they plan out their rotation options to end the season. With matchups against both the Reds and the Padres (two potential Wild Card opponents) looming, there was some expectation that the Dodgers might rearrange their starters to avoid giving them another look at guys like Scherzer and Buehler. But prior to Monday’s game, Dave Roberts told Bill Plunkett of the OC Register that the team wasn’t looking to do that.
That’s a fair question, but no. We’re going to keep guys in their same slots and expect to win every game remaining on the schedule.
If that’s the case, the Dodgers rotation will look as follows for their upcoming 3-game series against the Reds:
- Walker Buehler on Friday
- Max Scherzer on Saturday
- Clayton Kershaw on Sunday
Having Kershaw back helps lengthen this Dodgers rotation, as does the return of Tony Gonsolin. With both pitchers back and able to eat up some innings, the team should be able to deploy a much more consistent rotation for the final few weeks of the season.
One thing to note regarding the starting rotation; if everything goes according to plan and the Dodgers pitch their starters on normal rest the rest of the way, that would line up Julio Urías, Walker Buehler, and Max Scherzer for the last series of the season against the Padres. This would not only allow the Dodgers to start their best pitchers in what may be the most critical series this year, but it would also set up Clayton Kershaw for a potential Wild Card game should they find themselves outside of first place after game 162. It doesn’t get much more exciting than that.