Should Kershaw earn the win on Sunday night at Globe Life Field, he’ll have two wins in the same postseason series for the first time in his career. The Dodgers have won two Kershaw starts in three different series — 2013 NLDS, 2016 NLDS, 2017 NLCS — but Kershaw didn’t get the win in both games in any of those series.
World Series Game 5 lineups
|CF||Bellinger (L)||3B||Wndle (L)|
|LF||Pederson (L)||CF||Kiermaier (L)|
Kershaw has been very good this postseason, with a 2.88 ERA in four starts, winning three, with 31 strikeouts and only three walks. He struck out eight Rays in Game 1 on Tuesday.
For the Dodgers, it doesn’t matter which pitcher gets the victory on Sunday, as long as they win. But following the formula from Game 1 is the ideal outcome, perhaps most importantly Kershaw going at least six innings, to avoid handing the ball over to a shaky Dodgers bullpen earlier than needed.
Kershaw on Sunday will be the sixth pitcher to start 30 postseason games, along with Andy Pettitte, Tom Glavine, Roger Clemens, Justin Verlander, and Greg Maddux.
It’s Kershaw’s sixth World Series start, tying him for second-most in Dodgers history. Sandy Koufax and Carl Erskine top the franchise list, each with seven starts in the Fall Classic.
The Dodgers have the same lineup as Game 1, including Cody Bellinger back in center field after being limited to designated hitter duties in Game 4 with back tightness.
The Rays are using the same lineup as Game 1 against Kershaw with a few order tweaks, including right-handed former Padres outfielders Manuel Margot cleanup and Hunter Renfroe batting fifth after the order was flipped five days ago. Randy Arozarena stays in the No. 2 spot after Game 4, with Brandon Lowe hitting third. Those two were in the opposite order in Game 1.