To the surprise of no one ace Clayton Kershaw will get the honor of starting the first game of the 2013 MLB season. This will be the third year in a row Kershaw starts Opening Day and it will most likely not be his last either. There is no question he deserves the nod after his incredible season last year (14-9, 2.53 ERA) as he is the best pitcher among a talented group of guys that includes newly acquired starter Zack Greinke, Josh Beckett and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Even though almost every starter in the majors would do whatever it takes to get the special opportunity of starting the first day of the regular season, Kershaw is playing down.
“It’s probably the same as every day, Opening Day,” said Kershaw.
While there is some truth to that statement, it will be much more than that this year. The Dodgers have huge expectations heading into the 2013 season in which they are the early favorites to go the distance with the fire power they are packing on their talented roster. Not to mention, Opening Day will be played against the defending World Series champions which means fans on both sides are hoping to see their beloved team get off to a fast start.
“I know there’s a lot excitement about this season, for sure. I’m not debating that. But Opening Day is Opening Day no matter whether it’s here or somewhere else. I expect the fans to be as awesome as they always are.”
Kershaw is many people’s pick, including mine, to be the National League Cy Young Award winner for the 2013 season. There is no question he will have a lot of stiff competition among the other pitchers in the NL, including his teammate Greinke. The good news for Dodgers fans is that both players constantly competing with each other to be the better pitcher throughout the season will only benefit the team as a whole.