Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the team with still stick with a six-man starting rotation through next week’s series against the San Francisco Giants. That leaves Clayton Kershaw and group on an extra day of rest for one more turn.
Meaning, Hyun-Jin Ryu will start the opener at AT&T Park, followed by Kenta Maeda on Tuesday, and Kershaw in the series finale. It also amounts to Kershaw not starting in the road series with the Washington Nationals next weekend.
That the Dodgers aren’t sending their ace to the hill in what may be a National League Championship Series is merely a matter of circumstance, not intentional, even if there’s an advantage to possibly be gained.
“I do believe if a team sees a pitcher more, there is a percentage of an advantage,” Roberts began to explain. “I don’t know if it matters as much.
“When you’re talking about Clayton, or Max Scherzer or a Zack Greinke, guys that are those elite pitchers, have elite stuff, and can play the cat-and-mouse game and make adjustments. But I do know we’re not trying to manipulate our rotation to avoid or make sure we see certain guys.”
Kershaw faced the Nationals in June and earned the win to help the Dodgers avoid being swept in the three-game series. Assuming the Dodgers revert back to a traditional rotation, Kershaw can make a total of four starts prior to the playoffs beginning.
The last of which would come against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on Saturday, Sept. 30, which is the second-to-last game of the regular season. That would put the Dodgers ace on five days’ rest for Game 1 of the NL Division Series.