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Clayton Kershaw starts Dodgers opener against upstart Rockies

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers turn to ace Clayton Kershaw against the Rockies in the opener of a three-game series on Friday night at Dodger Stadium, which has historically been a very favorable matchup for Los Angeles.

The only time Kershaw faced the Rockies last season in Los Angeles, he threw his first career no-hitter, a 15-strikeout masterpiece that was only a Hanley Ramirez throw away from a perfect game.

But it doesn't end there. Kershaw has made 11 home starts against the Rockies in his career, and has allowed no runs in seven of them. He is 6-2 with a 1.38 ERA in those 11 starts, with 86 strikeouts and 27 walks in 71⅔ innings. The Dodgers are 9-2 in those starts.

Kershaw has struggled a little bit to open his 2015, with a 5.84 ERA and five walks in his first two starts. In 2014 his most walks over any three-start stretch was six, done only four times, and the last three all involve some overlap.

The Dodgers have won six straight home games against the Rockies, who are off to a great start in 2015.

The clubs are 1-2 in runs per game in the National League through nine games, with Colorado scoring 5.00 runs per game and the Dodgers at 4.78. The Rockies and Dodgers are in the top two in the league in extra-base hits, total bases, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, OPS+ and wOBA. The Dodgers also lead the NL in walks (38) and wRC+ (140).

But the Rockies haven't just been Coors Field creations in the early going. They are 6-0 on the road and have outscored opponents 30-9 away from home.

The Dodgers have been no slouch at home, at 5-1 themselves, though the games have been relatively closer. The Dodgers have scored 33 runs at Dodger Stadium, and allowed 26.

Nolan Arenado has decided to add excellent offense to his elite defensive tools, hitting .324/.395/.735 so far, while second baseman DJ LeMahieu, is challenging Adrian Gonzalez, hitting .514/.528/.571. LeMahieu is 18-for-35 on the season, including 13 hits in his last 22 at-bats.

Gonzalez, carrying an 11-game hitting streak into Friday night, is 19-for-36 (.528), but also with five home runs, six doubles and six walks, still leading the world in on-base percentage (.595), slugging percentage (1.111), OPS (1.706), OPS+ (378), wOBA (.701) and wRC+ (373).

Kyle Kendrick, starting Friday night for the Rockies, has a 7.31 ERA in eight career games at Dodger Stadium, including five starts, with 11 strikeouts and six walks in 28⅓ innings. Dodgers batters in those games have hit a combined .364/.401/.535 against Kendrick at home.

Game info

Time: 7:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA