The Los Angeles Dodgers rotation to begin the 2023 season is set, and it’s headlined by Julio Urías making his first career Opening Day start.
Urías was officially given the nod on Friday when MLB permitted all clubs to announce their Opening Day starter. Kershaw has made nine of the past 12 Opening Day starts for the Dodgers, but believes his fellow southpaw earned the honor for 2023.
The battle for the fifth spot was also sorted out on Friday when Michael Grove was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City, making Ryan Pepiot the final rotation spot winner to begin the season. He is expected to fill that role until Tony Gonsolin returns from a sprained left ankle.
As expected, also included in the Dodgers Opening Day rotation are Dustin May and Noah Syndergaard.
May is entering his first full season since undergoing Tommy John surgery and believes he’s made significant progress toward getting back to the pitcher he was prior to the operation.
Meanwhile, Syndergaard is aiming to get himself back on track after an inconsistent 2022 season with the Los Angeles Angels and Philadelphia Phillies.
Dodgers starting rotation order
After Urías on Opening Day, listed Dodgers probables are May, Kershaw, Syndergaard and Pepiot. Although the expectation was Kershaw would start the second game of the season if not Opening Day, the Dodgers have instead decided to split up their left-handers.
Meanwhile, Syndergaard’s Dodgers debut will come Sunday, April 2, in the finale of a four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Pepiot will make his first start of the year against the Colorado Rockies the following day.
Urías’ second start of the season is expected to be against the Rockies, and the following four starters will face the Diamondbacks again. The Dodgers play against their National League West counterpart from Arizona for eight of their first 10 games.
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