The Los Angeles Dodgers begin their quest for a seventh consecutive National League West title and their third straight trip to the World Series with an Opening Day matchup at Dodger Stadium against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
And for the first time since Vicente Padilla in 2010, the Dodgers have someone other than Clayton Kershaw on the mound Opening Day. With Kershaw unable to build up in time after suffering from shoulder inflammation, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts named Hyun-Jin Ryu his starter for the season opener.
Though, that came after a process of elimination. Walker Buehler was slow-played and therefore also unavailable, and when Roberts was deciding between Rich Hill and Ryu, Hill was diagnosed with a strained MCL in his left knee.
Ryu is only the second Korean pitcher to start Opening Day for the Dodgers, joining Chan Ho Park who received the honor in 2001 under former manager Jim Tracy.
The Diamondbacks counter with Zack Greinke, who makes his fourth career Opening Day start (third with the Diamondbacks). Greinke is 0-1 in the those outings with Arizona, and the team split the games.
The Dodgers not only get their first look at a new Diamondbacks lineup that is no longer anchored by Paul Goldschmidt, but it’s one that’s without Steven Souza Jr who required season-ending surgery. And of course the D-Backs also don’t have A.J. Pollock, now the Dodgers’ starting center fielder.
The Dodgers, on the other hand, are at full strength with shortstop Corey Seager making his highly-anticipated return to regular-season action after missing the majority of 2018 because of Tommy John surgery.
Seager only played in five Spring Training games, and although his numbers weren’t awe-inspiring, he gave the organization and fans plenty of reasons to be excited about his presence in the lineup.
Justin Turner is in his normal No. 3 spot behind Seager coming off a monster spring. He slashed .457/.552/.783 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 19 games.
Adam Jones just signed a one-year deal with the Diamondbacks a couple weeks ago, but the veteran outfielder is in the lineup and batting leadoff for them against the Dodgers on Opening Day.
LF: Joc Pederson
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Max Muncy
CF: A.J. Pollock
RF: Cody Bellinger
2B: Kiké Hernandez
C: Austin Barnes
P: Hyun-Jin Ryu
RF: Adam Jones
3B: Eduardo Escobar
2B: Wilmer Flores
LF: David Peralta
1B: Christian Walker
CF: Ketel Marte
SS: Nick Ahmed
C: John Ryan Murphy
P: Zack Greinke