Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Like in each series thus far in the 2020 MLB postseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers have clear plans for when Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw will each start. However, the order has been shuffled for the World Series, as Kershaw gets the ball in Game 1 against the Tampa Bay Rays.
That was a predictable outcome once Buehler started Game 6 of the National League Championship Series over the weekend. With an off day coming Wednesday, the Dodgers are electing to save Buehler for a Game 3 start, which will be on an extra day of rest.
That additionally leaves him lined up to start a potential Game 7 on what would be his normal turn. Kershaw presumably would pitch a possible Game 5 on Sunday.
Whereas the Dodgers declined to name starters outside of Buehler and Kershaw for prior series out of comfort in their array of options and flexibility, it now is more out of a necessity for the World Series.
“We’ve got to still think through Game 2 and how that kind of unfolds,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “That should bleed into Game 4 as well. … We have guys that are starters, but we still have to have guys that are rested and in the right spot for Game 2, even with days off.”
The most likely scenario is the Dodgers rely on a bullpen game Tuesday. Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin and Julio Urias all pitched against the Atlanta Braves in Game 7 on Sunday, which essentially rules out any of the three being in position to provide much length.
May would be the best possibility for that, as he threw just 18 pitches in a shaky one inning of work. Urias tossed 39 pitches over three innings, and it’s not completely beyond reason to believe the Dodgers could look to avoid using him until Game 3.
Potential World Series roster changes
Roberts alluded to the Dodgers considering changes to their World Series roster, though ultimately said the expectation was for it to remain the “status quo.”
However, if the Dodgers do make a move, Roberts indicated the scenario would be reducing the number of pitchers from 15 to 14.
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