Clayton Kershaw gets the ball for the Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night, and manager Dave Roberts set the Los Angeles rotation behind Kershaw through the third game in the best-of-seven championship series.
Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros opposes Kershaw in the opener at Dodger Stadium.
Rich Hill and Yu Darvish are slated to start behind Kershaw. Hill, went 12-8 with a 3.32 ERA in 25 starts this season, and opposes Justin Verlander in Game 2. Hill, 37, was in the minors two years ago and has never pitched in the World Series. Verlander, 34, was ALCS MVP and has experience on this stage with the Detroit Tigers.
In nine games with Houston since being acquired from the Tigers at the trade deadline, Verlander is 9-0 with a 1.23 ERA, 67 strikeouts and 11 walks in 58 2/3 innings. He gave up one run and recorded 21 strikeouts in 16 innings in the ALCS.
Darvish, acquired in July from the Texas Rangers, is 5-5 in 14 career starts against the Astros. He will start Game 3 in Houston.
Kershaw beat the Chicago Cubs in an 11-1 clincher in the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field.
Roberts said he would know more about shortstop Corey Seager, who was not on the roster for the NLCS due to a back injury, on Monday. Seager is scheduled to hit live pitching for the second consecutive day and was informed he would be active for the World Series.
Corey Seager taking BP. pic.twitter.com/NHBGWlhFSO
— Sarah Wexler (@SarahWexler32) October 23, 2017
“We’re very optimistic,” Roberts said. “Corey really doesn’t want to be denied.”
Roberts did not disclose the corresponding roster move to come if Seager is active. Charlie Culberson hit .455 in the NLCS but said the Dodgers need Seager on the field.
“We need Corey out there,” Culberson said. “He’s an MVP-type player.”
The Dodgers could use Alex Wood in Game 4 unless the series calls for the Dodgers to roll the dice with Kershaw. However, two factors have Roberts leaning away from skipping Wood: He pitched well enough to win — Javier Baez hit two good pitches for home runs and Willson Contreras mashed a nearly 500-foot bomb — at Wrigley Field; and Kershaw’s recent back issues are always considered in rotation decisions.