LOS ANGELES — Dave Roberts confirmed his spring choice when asked before Tuesday’s workout at Dodger Stadium who his opening day starter will be.
“It’ll be Clayton,” the Dodgers manager said.
Clayton Kershaw will start on Thursday, July 23, against the Giants at Dodger Stadium (7 p.m. PT), the opener of a four-game weekend series against the Dodgers’ biggest rivals. That’s the second of two games on ESPN for opening day.
Roberts originally named Kershaw his opening day starter for this season on March 9. On July 3, the first day Dodgers players reported to summer camp at Dodger Stadium, Kershaw said he hadn’t yet heard if that was still the case.
“I’m kind of assuming we’re rolling with that premise, but I have no idea,” Kershaw said. “You know, the schedule is not out yet. So I think it’s probably hard to know that for sure.”
Roberts said Kershaw pitched four innings in Monday night’s instrasquad game at Dodger Stadium, and added another inning in the bullpen.
It’s the ninth opening day start for Kershaw, extending his franchise record. He’s 5-1 with a 1.05 ERA on opening day, allowing seven total runs in eight starts, with 59 strikeouts in 51⅔ innings.
Kershaw’s nine opening day starts would tie for the fifth-most by a left-handed pitcher dating back to at least 1904.
Three of Kershaw’s opening day starts have been against San Francisco (2011, 2013, 2018), all at home. Kershaw has allowed one run in 22 innings in those games, with 23 strikeouts.