Kershaw announced as starter for NLCS opener

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Manager Dave Roberts announced that Clayton Kershaw will start Game 1 on Saturday and left-hander Alex Wood will start Game 4 on Wednesday, with the club waiting to find out who its opponent will be before making a decision on Games 2 (Sunday) and 3 (Wednesday). Wood threw a simulated game Thursday, in advance of his Game 4 start.

Game Date Time Matchup TV
Gm 1 Oct. 14 8 p.m. ET TBD @ LAD TBS
Gm 2 Oct. 15 7:30 p.m.  TBD @ LAD TBS
Gm 3 Oct. 17 TBD LAD @ TBD TBS
Gm 4 Oct. 18 TBD LAD @ TBD TBS
*Gm 5 Oct. 19 TBD LAD @ TBD TBS
*Gm 6 Oct. 21 TBD TBD @ LAD TBS
*Gm 7 Oct. 22 TBD TBD @ LAD TBS

Rich Hill and Yu Darvish, in some order, will start Games 2 and 3. In the Dodgers’ NL Division Series presented by T-Mobile vs. the D-backs, Hill started Game 2 and Darvish got the ball for Game 3.

• Dress for the NLCS: Get Dodgers postseason gear

The Nationals have little familiarity with Darvish — sluggers Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman have never faced the right-hander — and the Cubs were held scoreless for six innings against Hill in Game 3 of the 2016 NLCS.

“We’re close,” Roberts said about finalizing the rotation. “Obviously after tonight, we’ll know and make that decision.”

As for their roster, the Dodgers don’t plan on making any wholesale changes from their NLDS roster. The only player who could be added is lefty reliever Luis Avilan.

Avilan wasn’t an option for the NLDS because of a left shoulder injury that bothered him at the end of the regular season. But he threw a 20-pitch simulated game Wednesday, and Roberts said Avilan feels back to “100 percent.”

Avilan would give the Dodgers a third lefty out of the bullpen, joining Tony Cingrani and Tony Watson.

“We sort of saw how this past series played out, how the bullpen was used, my comfort level,” Roberts said, “We’re pretty much aligned as far as where we wanna go.”

Kenta Maeda, the Dodgers’ newest righty specialist, threw a 25-pitch bullpen session Thursday to stay sharp, Roberts said.

Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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