Clayton Kershaw Named Dodgers' 2021 Opening Day Starter vs. Rockies

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2021

Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw pitches in a spring training baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Friday, March 5, 2021, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Dodgers signed 2020 National League Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer and will get 2012 American League Cy Young winner David Price back in its rotation, but neither one of them was about to unseat the ace when it came to starting Opening Day. 

Pedro Moura of The Athletic noted Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed Clayton Kershaw will start the April 1 opener against the Colorado Rockies.

"There's really no wrong decision," Roberts said, per ESPN's Alden Gonzalez. "I just feel that he's earned it, he's the right guy for the spot for 2021—for every reason I just think it makes the most sense."

Los Angeles may have the deepest rotation in the league with Kershaw, Bauer, Price, Walker Buehler, Julio Urias, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin. It could use a six-man rotation throughout the year to keep the arms fresh for the stretch run for a potential thrilling National League West race with the San Diego Padres.

San Diego added Yu Darvish and Blake Snell to a roster that already made the playoffs last year in what could be the best division race in the league.

Fortunately for the Dodgers, they have a future Hall of Famer in Kershaw to kick them off on the right foot as the Opening Day starter. The southpaw has a NL MVP, three NL Cy Youngs, five ERA titles, eight All-Star selections and now a World Series crown on his illustrious resume.

He should still be at the backend of his prime at 33 years old throughout the 2021 campaign and was brilliant during the shortened 2020 season with a 2.16 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 62 strikeouts in 58.1 innings.

It was more of the same for Kershaw, who finished with an ERA below 3.00 in 11 of the last 12 seasons.

If he does so again in 2021, look for the Dodgers to challenge for another World Series title.