A surge in the second half of the season has given the Los Angeles Dodgers another runaway in the National League West, and with the division championship safely put away, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has named his starting pitchers for the first two games of the National League Division Series.
— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) September 23, 2023
There's little surprise that those two pitchers will be Clayton Kershaw and Bobby Miller, but Roberts has not said which pitcher will get the ball in the opener and which one will start the second game.
The Dodgers are 4 1/2 games behind the Atlanta Braves for the best record in the National League and they are 7 games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers. Los Angeles is on track to finish in the No. 2 position in the National League, and that means they would not have to compete in the initial 2 of 3 Wild Card Series.
The Dodgers will have a bye as a result of that record, and that will give Dave Roberts the chance to set up his pitching staff any way he sees fit. Based on their level of experience, it would seem fairly clear that Roberts will lean towards giving the ball to Kershaw for the opener, but sometimes obvious choices are not made by experienced managers.
Based on the current standings, the Dodgers will have the home field edge in 4 of 7 games against the winner of the Wild Card series between the third-seeded Brewers and the sixth-seeded Chicago Cubs.
The Dodgers have made the playoffs in 11 consecutive seasons, but their only World Series title in that run came in 2020.