Canada outfielder Michael Saunders hit .727 playing against Pool D opponents United States, Mexico, and Italy in the World Baseball Classic. Of his eight hits, three were doubles and one was a home run in a deciding game against the U.S. earlier today. Overall, he drove in seven runs with his hot bat.
U.S. third baseman David Wright was considered a top candidate for the award as well, as he hit a crucial grand slam against Italy last night. Overall, he had five hits in 11 at-bats with three walks and five runs batted in as well.
Saunders hit 19 home runs playing right field for the Seattle Mariners last year in his first full season in the Majors.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed it in March and he confirmed it again on Tuesday: Clayton Kershaw will start on Opening Day, Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times reports.
The Dodgers are one of four teams that will open the 60-game regular season schedule on July 23; everyone else begins play on the 24th. With a 10 PM ET start, the Dodgers will host the Giants at Dodger Stadium.
Johnny Cueto will likely pitch opposite Kershaw for the Giants. Cueto was named the Giants’ Opening Day starter on March 11, before the league shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t yet officially named an Opening Day starter for the makeshift season.
Kershaw, 32, made the Opening Day start eight consecutive times for the Dodgers from 2011-18. Hyun-Jin Ryu, now a Blue Jay, pitched on Opening Day last season for the Dodgers. Last year, Kershaw logged 178 1/3 innings over 28 starts and one relief appearance, his highest innings total since 2015. He went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 189 strikeouts, and 41 walks.