There are technically two games on the docket for today and both are unquestionably big ones. The 2014 Regular Season officially gets underway at 4:00 AM EST from Sydney, Australia (thanks to the time difference) as the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks begin their two game series abroad. Opening the season with a series abroad has been done multiple times in recent years as Major League Baseball has grown quite fond of the idea of expanding the game’s reach internationally. To date most of these series have been held in Japan with the most recent coming at the start of the 2012 season. This, however, is the first effort to bring the game Down Under.
While the Dodgers and D’backs will play two in Australia that will count, the rest of baseball continues their Spring Training across Florida and Arizona. Games will begin across the board in just about a week’s time.
And here are your pitching probables for the day:
Los Angeles will send their ace to the hill in Game 1, as Clayton Kershaw will take the ball in a decision that could have arguably been predicted last fall. The 26 year old is the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner and has taken home the award twice in the past three seasons. There’s hardly a better pitcher in the National League, let alone on the Dodgers’ roster.
Kershaw made three starts against Arizona this past season. In 21.1 IP he’d go 0-1 with a 2.11 ERA and 1.078 WHIP.
Arizona will counter with Wade Miley. The 27 year old had a respectable 2013 season but it was hardly an improvement over his rookie season. Hardly the team’s first choice to make this start (that honor would have gone to Patrick Corbin before his injury), Miley made three starts against the Diamondbacks a year ago. He’d go 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in 18.2 IP.
As for the last game, slated for a 10:00 PM EST first pitch, the Dodgers will go with Hyun-Jin Ryu on the hill. The left-hander had an impressive rookie season with the Dodgers in 2013 and became very familiar with the division rival Diamondbacks. Ryu made five starts against them a year ago, throwing 31.0 IP. He’d go 1-2 with a 4.65 ERA and 1.355 WHIP.
The D’backs will counter with Trevor Cahill, who’s coming off a rough year thanks to a hip injury that threw off his mechanics a season ago. He’d pitch well against the Dodgers, however, making four starts and throwing 25.2 IP. He’d go 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA and 1.130 WHIP.