Dodgers roster and schedule
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Los Angeles Dodgers roster and schedule for 2020 season

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The 2020 MLB season is now a 60-game dash, starting on July 23 and ending, hopefully, with a full-size postseason in October. Between now and the start of the season, we’ll be giving quick capsule previews of each team, reminding you of where things stood back in Spring Training and where they stand now as we embark on what is sure to be the strangest season in baseball history. First up: The Los Angeles Dodgers roster and schedule:

DODGERS ROSTER (projected)

When the season opens on July 23-24, teams can sport rosters of up to 30 players, with a minimum of 25. Two weeks later, rosters must be reduced to 28 and then, two weeks after that, they must be reduced to 26. Teams will be permitted to add a 27th player for doubleheaders.

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In light of that, there is a great degree of latitude for which specific players will break summer camp. For now, though, here are who we expect to be on the Dodgers roster to begin the season:

Catchers:

Will Smith
Austin Barnes

Infielders:

Max Muncy
Kiké Hernández
Corey Seager
Justin Turner
Matt Beaty
Edwin Rios

Outfielders:

Cody Bellinger
Mookie Betts
Joc Pederson
AJ Pollock
Chris Taylor

Starters:

Clayton Kershaw
Walker Buehler
Julio Urías
Alex Wood
Ross Stripling

Relievers:

Kenley Jansen
Blake Treinen
Pedro Báez
Joe Kelly
Brusdar Graterol
Dustin May
Scott Alexander
Caleb Ferguson
Adam Kolarek


BREAKDOWN:

The Dodgers are expected to be the class of the National League, if not all of baseball, and seem like a lock to reach the postseason for an eighth consecutive season. The club had very little roster turnover and added perennial MVP candidate Mookie Betts to the mix. Last season, the Dodgers ranked fifth in batting average, second in on-base percentage, and first in slugging percentage and OPS. Adding Betts to a cast that includes reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Joc Pederson, Max Muncy, and Corey Seager is just ridiculous.

Clayton Kershaw, entering his 13th season, will lead the rotation and get the Opening Day nod against Johnny Cueto and the Giants. Kershaw has been mostly healthy, but hasn’t crossed the 30-start threshold since 2015. He obviously won’t this year, either. When he has been on the mound, he has been effective. In 2019, Kershaw went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 189 strikeouts, and 41 walks over 178 1/3 innings. Walker Buehler, in the No. 2 spot, has quickly established himself as one of the game’s best starters and has the potential to challenge the likes of Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom for the NL Cy Young Award.

The Nos. 3-5 spots in the rotation are a little more iffy for the Dodgers and represents the club’s biggest weakness, which is not to say it’s that much of a weakness. Julio Urías will move to the middle of the rotation. He was quite good last year, finishing with a 2.49 ERA over 79 2/3 innings split across eight starts and 31 relief appearances. Alex Wood, who missed most of 2019 with the Reds due to back problems, returned to the Dodgers. When he’s healthy, he can be great, such as 2017 when he went 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA in 152 1/3 innings. The “when he’s healthy” clause is big, though. Ross Stripling will handle the No. 5 spot and could be bandied back and forth between there and the bullpen as needed.

Kenley Jansen will once again handle the ninth inning for the Dodgers. Despite a recent uptick in ERA, no doubt due to his heart ailment, he remains one of the game’s better closers. Last season, Jansen closed out 31 games with a 3.71 ERA and an 80/16 K/BB ratio in 63 innings. He’ll be backed up by Blake Treinen, Pedro Báez, and Joe Kelly. And don’t forget about Brusdar Graterol. In 9 2/3 innings in the majors after debuting with the Twins last season, the right-hander struck out 10 and walked two.

DODGERS SCHEDULE:

Every team will play 60 games. Teams will be playing 40 games against their own division rivals and 20 interleague games against the corresponding geographic division from the other league. Six of the 20 interleague games will be “rivalry” games.

  • July 23-26: vs. Giants
  • July 28-29: @ Astros
  • July 30-August 2: @ Diamondbacks
  • August 3-5: @ Padres
  • August 7-9: vs. Giants
  • August 10-13: vs. Padres
  • August 14-16: @ Angels
  • August 17-18: vs. Mariners
  • August 19-20: @ Mariners
  • August 21-23: vs. Rockies
  • August 25-27: @ Giants
  • August 28-30: @ Rangers
  • September 1-3: vs. Diamondbacks
  • September 4-6: vs. Rockies
  • September 8-10: @ Diamondbacks
  • September 12-13: vs. Astros
  • September 14-16: @ Padres
  • September 17-20: @ Rockies
  • September 22-24: vs. Athletics
  • September 25-27: vs. Angels

The entire Dodgers schedule can be seen here.

Cardinals beat Brewers, both clinch postseason berths

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. LOUIS — Harrison Bader tripled and homered to help the St. Louis Cardinals clinch a postseason berth on the final day of the regular season with a 5-2 win over Milwaukee, and the Brewers also earned a playoff spot Sunday via help on the West Coast moments later.

St. Louis (30-28) will be the fifth seed in the NL and open a three-game wild-card series at San Diego on Wednesday. By winning, the Cardinals avoided having to travel to Detroit for two makeup games Monday. St. Louis finished the regular season with 23 games in 18 days as it made up a slew of postponements caused by a coronavirus outbreak in the clubhouse.

“You had to throw some of the expectations out the window not knowing what to expect after taking those couple weeks off and all those doubleheaders and so many new guys,” Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. “It was very different, very fulfilling to make the playoffs.”

The Brewers (29-31) locked up the eighth seed and a third consecutive postseason berth after the Padres beat San Francisco 5-4 in a game that ended about 15 minutes after St. Louis’ victory. The Giants finished with an identical record as the Brewers but lost out on a tiebreaker due to an inferior intradivision record.

“It’s fitting for 2020 and everything we went through,” Brewers left fielder Christian Yelich said. “It felt just as good as past years. This year’s a unique one. There’s so many challenges we had to go through on a daily basis behind the scenes, things you don’t deal with in a normal year.”

Milwaukee will face the top-seeded Dodgers in Los Angeles in a three-game series that also starts Wednesday.

The Brewers haven’t had a winning record at any point this season. Milwaukee and Houston will be the first teams ever to qualify for the playoffs with a losing mark.

“It’s a celebration,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We’re in the playoffs. That’s how you see it. There’s no reason to apologize for getting into the playoffs.”

Cardinals starter Austin Gomber allowed one run, one hit and two walks and struck out three over four innings.

Giovanny Gallegos (2-0), Genesis Cabrera and Alex Reyes combined to pitch the final five innings. Reyes got his first save.

“We’d have been happy getting in as the eight seed,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “We’d have been happy being the one seed, but people can say we got in if there was no expanded playoffs so that’s even another feather in this group’s cap.”

Brett Anderson (4-4) surrendered a triple to Bader and a walk to Tyler O'Neill to start the third inning before departing with a blister on his left index finger. Anderson opened the season on the injured list with a blister on the same finger and did not make his debut until Aug. 3.

Freddy Peralta replaced him a day after being activated from the paternity list, and O’Neill promptly stole second. Kolten Wong then hit a line drive off Peralta’s leg that Peralta threw into right field to score Bader and O’Neill.

Paul Goldschmidt and Paul DeJong each added RBI singles to push the St. Louis lead to 4-0.

After Milwaukee scored in the top of the fifth, Bader hit his fifth home run of the season.

“That was a big counterpunch,” Shildt said of Bader. “Got them on their heels again.”

THREE TIMES THE FUN

Yadier Molina grounded into a triple play in the eighth inning when he hit a one hop grounder to Jace Peterson at third base in the eighth inning. It was Milwaukee’s first triple play since Sept. 23, 2016, when Cincinnati’s Joey Votto lined out to first base. Molina was also the last Cardinals player to hit into a triple play when he grounded out to third base at Boston on Aug. 15, 2017.

TRAINING ROOM

Brewers: Counsell said it was too early to prognosticate Anderson’s status after departing with the blister.

Cardinals: St. Louis president of baseball operations John Mozeliak announced that RHP Dakota Hudson will have Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Monday. Hudson went 3-2 with a 2.77 ERA in eight starts before leaving his start on Sept. 17 at Pittsburgh with right elbow discomfort after two innings.

UP NEXT

Brewers: The Brewers head to Los Angeles and will likely be without two of their top starters in Anderson and Corbin Burnes, who sustained a left oblique injury on Thursday.

Cardinals: This will be the fourth postseason series between St. Louis and San Diego, who faced each other in 1996, 2005, and 2006 in the Division Series.