Clayton Kershaw will make his franchise record ninth opening day start for the Los Angeles Dodgers (0-0) as they take on their National League West divisional foe, the Colorado Rockies (0-0). The Rockies counter with starter German Marquez, who has found plenty of success through nine career appearances against the Dodgers, posting a 2.54 ERA in that span. The Rockies have won exactly one playoff game in the past 11 years, while the Dodgers have reached the World Series three times in the past four years.
Free Picks: Los Angeles Dodgers vs Colorado Rockies
Death, taxes, Kershaw and the Dodgers
For the ninth — and possibly final?! — time, Clayton Kershaw will be on the mound to start on opening day for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kershaw, a future Hall of Famer, is as synonymous with the Dodger blue as anyone in the history of the franchise, and there’s a very good reason for that: the three-time Cy Young winner hasn’t slowed down.
So it’s no surprise that Kershaw and the reigning champion Dodgers are substantial -227 money line favorites (Betway) on the latest MLB odds entering Thursday’s matchup with the host Colorado Rockies. After all, the Dodgers do have the shortest odds to repeat as World Series winners this fall (+350 at Betway).
But we’re not focused on that right now. One game at a time, right? Let’s just take a closer look at what Thursday has in store.
On one side, we’ve got Kershaw and a free-swinging offense that had the second best team OPS (.821) in the majors a season ago. With a pair of former MVPs (Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts) and a bunch of other fearsome bashers (Corey Seager, Will Smith, Edwin Rios, etc.), there really aren’t any holes in this lineup.
As for Kershaw, the “hole” you might point to is his poor showing this past spring. The 33-year-old posted a 10.22 ERA in four starts. Then again, we’re talking about a guy who pitched to a 2.16 ERA last season and has the lowest career ERA among all active hurlers (2.43). He’s probably fine.
Opposite Kershaw and the Dodgers is German Marquez and the Rockies. They traded away one of the game’s elite third basemen this offseason in Nolan Arenado, not long after he won his eighth Gold Glove in eight seasons. He also owns a career 121 OPS+ and five top-10 MVP finishes in the past six seasons. His presence in the middle of the lineup will be thoroughly missed.
Marquez has been strong against the Dodgers of late, including a seven-inning, two-run outing when he last faced them in September. But let’s not overthink this BetPicks prediction, folks … the Dodgers are definitely the team to roll with here.
- Los Angeles is 7-3 on the money line in its past 10
- The OVER has cashed in six of the Dodgers’ past 10 games
- Colorado is 4-6 on the money line in its past 10
- The OVER has cashed in five of the Rockies’ past eight games
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Jordan Horrobin is a freelance sports journalist based in Toronto, Ontario, who enjoys sports-related research and telling engaging stories. His work can also be found at Sportsnet, Forbes and elsewhere. Though he abandoned most of his team-specific fandoms in the interest of unbiased analysis, Jordan roots hard for his fantasy football/hockey teams (and he's a complete homer for all things Ohio University).
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