MLB.com's Ken Gurnick writes that the way Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has structured his spring rotation strongly suggests that lefties Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu will face the Diamondbacks in the two-game series in Australia to open the regular season. According to Gurnick, the decision to give Zack Lee his first start of the spring on Friday sets up Kershaw and Ryu to start the opening two games.
Usual No. 2 man Zack Greinke has been all but ruled out because of his being behind schedule thanks to a calf injury. Gurnick notes that Dan Haren will make the trip in order to serve as an emergency starter if needed.
The series begins on March 22, and Arizona manager Kirk Gibson has already tabbed Patrick Corbin and Trevor Cahill to start.
Last season, Kershaw pitched to a sparkling 1.83 ERA (194 ERA+) and 4.46 K/BB ratio in 236 innings. For his efforts, he was awarded the NL Cy Young for the second time in his career. Ryu, meantime, logged a 3.00 ERA (119 ERA+) and 3.14 K/BB ratio across 192 innings and finished fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting.