Dodgers enter '18 with sky-high expectations

Kershaw set for franchise-best 8th Opening Day start

March 26th, 2018

LOS ANGELES -- In some ways, the Dodgers will open the 2018 season with a very similar club to the one that fell only one win shy of a World Series title last year. Then again, with Matt Kemp in left field and without at third base, there already are some surprises.
Mainstay will make his franchise-record eighth Opening Day start against the Giants at Dodger Stadium at 4:08 p.m. PT on Thursday. It could be his last Opening Day start as a Dodger because he can opt out of his contract after this season.
That brings an extra level of urgency for the Dodgers to end their 30-year title drought. The lineup is loaded, the starting rotation is experienced and the bullpen is built around the Big Man, .
Projected Opening Day lineup

  1. Chris Taylor, CF
  2. , SS
  3. , RF
  4. , 1B
  5. Matt Kemp, LF
  6. , C
  7. , 3B 
  8. , 2B 
  9. Clayton Kershaw, P
    Key roles 
    • Taylor, who opened 2017 in the Minor Leagues but had a breakout season after his recall, is locked in at leadoff and in center field because of his athleticism, speed and power.

• Jansen is a two-time All-Star and two-time Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award winner.
• With Turner on the disabled list because of a fractured wrist and Forsythe moved to third base, and Hernandez will share second base. Kemp will get the bulk of playing time in left field, with filling in.
Injury updates
• Turner's broken wrist, suffered in the last week of camp on a hit-by-pitch, is expected to keep him out anywhere from one to two months.
• The club has not offered a recovery timetable on reliever Tom Koehler, who sprained a right anterior shoulder capsule.
has had no setbacks after left shoulder surgery and could pitch by midseason.