The Dodgers are the last team in baseball to begin interleague play in 2017, and they start things off with the reigning American League pennant winners, facing the Indians for three games at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
After no interleague games in the first 64 games of the year, the Dodgers play 20 of their next 58 games against American League foes.
This is just the fourth time the Dodgers and Indians have met in interleague play, and the first since 2014. It is just the second time the clubs have met in Cleveland. The Dodgers swept a three-game series here from June 13-15, 2003.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts played in all three games that series, starting twice in center field. He was 2-for-9 with two walks — a .364 on-base percentage — and a stolen base, and scored three runs.
Clayton Kershaw starts the opener, putting the Dodgers’ best foot forward. The left-hander is 12-4 with a 2.22 ERA in 28 career starts with 208 starts in 190⅓ innings. Since the start of 2013, Kershaw has made six starts in American League parks and allowed six total runs, posting a 1.07 ERA with 48 strikeouts and five walks in 42 innings.
But the Dodgers have won only four of those six games.
Trevor Bauer starts for Cleveland, sporting an eye-popping 6.10 ERA in his 12 starts this season. He hasn’t quite been that bad, with 76 strikeouts in 62 innings and a FIP (4.17) nearly two runs lower.
Both bullpens figure to loom large in this series, with the Dodgers and Indians boasting arguably the two best relief units in the game. Cleveland is the only major league team with a better bullpen ERA (2.36) and FIP (2.95) than the Dodgers (2.68 ERA, 2.98 FIP), and LA (29.1%) and Cleveland (28.0%) rank second and third, respectively in relief strikeout rate, trailing only the Astros (31.1%).
Time: 4:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA
The game will also be streamed on Twitter (through MLB’s page), but will be blacked out in the local markets.