The Dodgers kick off their season in just a few days. For the first time since the 1989 season, they get to start the year as the defending World Series champions. Clayton Kershaw will get the ball first to start the year off right.
This will be Kershaw’s 9th Opening Day start for the Dodgers in his career, a franchise record. It would have been his 11th if not for a series on injuries derailing his last two attempts to throw game one. But a promising 2020 season has Kersh trending in the right direction in the last year of his contract.
MLB recently came out with their rankings for Opening Day starters across baseball. The Dodgers southpaw came in ranked at number 5, which feels oddly low but also somehow oddly high? We’ll let you decided on that.
The order of guys ahead of Kershaw mostly makes sense. Jacob deGrom and Shane Bieber are essentially interchangeable at the top spot, with Gerrit Cole coming in at number 3. But the Padres’ Yu Darvish came in at number 4 which probably won’t sit well with Dodgers fans for a lot of reasons. More from MLB on Kershaw:
Injuries have deprived him of making Opening Day starts the past two seasons. But after a healthy, bounce-back season, now he gets to stand atop the mound as something he has never been before: A champion.
This is the first time in his career that Kershaw gets to pitch as a champion. Despite reaching the pinnacle of baseball glory, Dodgers teammates and coaches believe he is just as motivated as ever.
The Dodgers as a whole appear more motivated than ever before coming off of a World Series win. Almost every player has mentioned to the media that they want to win again in 2021 so that they can celebrate the right way and take away any notion of an asterisk season.
MLB better watch out, the Dodgers are feeling dangerous.