Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts indicated Clayton Kershaw is primed to take the ball Saturday night in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series but the remainder of the rotation has not yet been set.
“We’ve got a couple days to decide,” Roberts said of determining the order of his pitchers behind Kershaw. The Dodgers could change from their alignment for the NL Division Series — Kershaw in Game 1, Rich Hill in Game 2, and Yu Darvish for Game 3.
Alex Wood was slated to start in potential Game 4, which the Dodgers were adamant would not have been Kershaw on short rest.
Just like with the NLDS, the Dodgers will not know their opponent until two days before the series is set to begin. A rainout pushed Game 4 between the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals to Wednesday, and they’ll play a decided Game 5 on Thursday.
That is among the reasons the Dodgers have not made any decision beyond Kershaw. “Maybe, maybe not,” answered Roberts when asked if there were advantages to alter the rotation for the NLCS.
“Just to set it in stone right now makes no sense. Without digging into matchups, home-road, weather, things like that.”
Hill only faced the Nationals once this season, holding them to one run in five innings of work on the road. Wood made two starts against the Cubs, one time each at home and on the road, and started at Nationals Park.
Darvish did not face either the Cubs or Nationals this season. Considering Hill’s success at Dodger Stadium it’s reasonable to assume he will start Game 2, regardless of which team advances.