Dodgers Confident In NLDS Rotation Options After Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced the starting rotation for the National League Division Series again will be Walker Buehler in Game 1, followed by Clayton Kershaw in Game 2. Beyond that, the Dodgers have a trio of options they are confident in but undecided on.

“Right now we’re just going to leave it open,” Roberts said of a Game 3 starter against the San Diego Padres. The candidates are Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May and Julio Urias. Only Urias appeared during the Wild Card Series, effectively serving as a piggyback to Buehler.

“Each one of those guys is going to be available in (Games) 1 and 2,” Roberts said for the NLDS. “We’ll kind of see how it plays out. All three are still built up, so I’m sure one of those guys will take down Game 3.

“There might be a situation where those guys are available in any of the preceding games as a side day, to then make a start. We have a lot of good options.”

Gonsolin made two starts against the Padres this season, going 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA and 10 strikeouts over 11.2 innings pitched. The second of those outings came during a key September matchup at Petco Park, when Gonsolin tossed seven strong innings to help the Dodgers bounce back from a loss in the series opener.

May was 1-1 in his three games (two starts) facing the Padres. He fared reasonably well in the first start on Aug. 4, but the Padres appeared to have a better read on the right-hander when they faced him six days later.

May dropped from eight strikeouts to just two, though he did limit San Diego to just two runs and went six innings in each outing. May’s final time seeing the Padres was out of the bullpen as the Dodgers began preparations for a potential relief role come the postseason.

Urias only made one start against the Padres in 2020, allowing two runs on five hits over 6.1 innings.

Dodgers NLDS roster decisions

Along with not yet locking into their entire NLDS rotation, the Dodgers additionally are mulling roster changes.

“We’re going to make a decision soon,” Roberts said. “I think it’s going to be adding a pitcher, and Floro is a good name. We’ll probably take out a position player.”

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