Opening Day has arrived. It’s time for baseball and the opening series for the Los Angeles Dodgers comes on the road. The World Series favorites will travel to Colorado, to face a familiar foe on the hill in Kyle Freeland.
A repeat of last year’s opening series, the Dodgers once again go on the road to face the Rockies, but the matchup for opening day will be different on both sides. Last year, Clayton Kershaw took on German Marquéz in what turned out to be as it usually is at Coors Field, a high-scoring affair where the Rockies took home the win.
This time around, we’ll get Walker Buehler versus Kyle Freeland. Both homegrown first-round picks with plenty of experience against the opposing side.
Kyle Freeland has 16 career starts against the Dodgers with a 3-7 record and 4.09 ERA over 88 innings. He’ll look to repeat the efforts of 2017 when he beat the Dodgers 2-1 in Colorado’s home opener, which was also Freeland’s major league debut.
Buehler has been the ace of the Los Angeles Dodgers for a short while, but believe it or not, this is his first opening day start. Seniority is taken into account for the choice of opening day starter, which gave Kershaw an extra start or two, and there have been other factors involved as well.
This will be Buehler’s 16 start and 20th overall appearance against the Rockies. Although the 4.20 ERA is somewhat inflated by Coors, his 1.080 WHIP shows he’s been effective.
Even if there isn’t a ton of excitement around the Rockies this season, we look forward to seeing another star in the division. Kris Bryant will make his debut with the Rockies in front of his new home crowd, and keep an eye out for Connor Joe and Brendan Rodgers. The former showed real promise in 2021 and could be a breakout candidate, while Rodgers gets another full season under his belt.
Regardless of the quality of the players, it is always scary to pitch in Colorado and the 2022 Rockies have some interesting names. CJ Cron enjoyed a strong 2021, Elias Diáz flashed a decent bat for the catcher spot and Ryan McMahon is looking to prove himself fresh off a contract extension.
Despite the struggles of Cody Bellinger and a down year from Mookie Betts, the Dodgers offense showed tremendous balance in 2021 with nearly the same OPS against right-handers and southpaws:
- vs RHP: .786 OPS, 114 wRC+
- vs LHP: .783 OPS, 111 wRC+
A healthier Mookie Betts and a full season from Trea Turner should provide a nice boost even if Bellinger doesn’t find his swing back. The team’s biggest acquisition is a left-handed batter in Freddie Freeman, but the former MVP has never been a liability against southpaws. with a respectable .784 against lefties for his career. That’s only marginally worse than Seager’s .805 mark.
Let’s have a nice opening weekend of baseball, everyone.
Opening day game info
- Teams: Dodgers at Rockies
- Location: Coors Field
- Time: 1:10 p.m. PT
- TV: SportsNet LA
- Streaming: MLB.tv (out of market)