As expected, the Dodgers have announced that Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu will start the first two games of the season, in Australia against the Diamondbacks. The two teams will play a pair of games in Sydney from March 22-23.
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, meanwhile, 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.
Kershaw will be making his fourth straight opening day start for the Dodgers. Only Don Sutton (seven), Don Drysdale (seven), Fernando Valenzuela (six) and Ramon Martinez (five) have made more opening day starts in team history.
The decision to start Ryu in the second game of the season became obvious once Zack Greinke suffered a calf injury earlier in camp. Greinke is slowly working his way but will not be ready in time for the season-opening series.
The Diamondbacks have already announced that Patrick Corbin and Trevor Cahill will start the two Australia games.