Opening Day is only 22 days away but the 25 man roster is still far from set. For the most part, the team will look very similar to last years team. Here is my early prediction for the Opening Day roster.

Outfielders:

  • Alex Verdugo
  • Cody Bellinger
  • AJ Pollock
  • Joc Pederson

Joc Pederson is making the Opening Day roster but I do believe that he will not make it past the All Star break with the Dodgers. I feel he will be used as a nice trade chip along with some other prospects.

Infielders:

  • Justin Turner
  • Corey Seager
  • Max Muncy
  • David Freese
  • Enrique Hernandez
  • Chris Taylor

David Freese, Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger will all play first base for the Dodgers this season but more than likely Muncy and Freese will see the lions share of time. Bellinger may be substituted in late game situations. Kiké Hernandez and Chris Taylor will split their time at second base and occasionally at shortstop when Corey Seager is getting the day off.

Catchers:

  • Austin Barnes
  • Russell Martin*

Austin Barnes is going to be the Opening Day starter no questions asked, unless some insane injury happens. If Russell Martin isn’t healthy by Opening Day, he may spend some time on the Injured List. In that case, Rocky Gale or one of the Dodgers catching prospects may be called up. Although I don’t think the Dodgers would expedite that process this quickly.

Starting Pitchers:

  • Walker Buehler
  • Rich Hill
  • Kenta Maeda
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu
  • Julio Urias

I don’t believe that Clayton Kershaw will be healthy enough to make his ninth Opening Day start. His shoulder issue is still lingering and even if he is healthy enough for Opening Day, I don’t believe that he will be able to make an effective start. Who will make the start? I hope and I’m sure all Dodger fans hope that it will be Walker Buehler.

Taking the fifth spot in the rotation is going to Julio Urias. Even though the Dodgers Front Office wants to monitor him this season and save him for the stretch, he is undeniably pitching with fire. Just the other day he touched 98 with his fastball. Let him pitch every fifth day and monitor his innings until Kershaw can come back.

Relief Pitchers:

  • Kenley Jansen
  • Joe Kelly
  • Ross Stripling
  • Scott Alexander
  • Dylan Floro
  • Yimi Garcia
  • Tony Cingrani
  • Josh Fields

The backend of this bullpen will be lead by Kenley Jansen and Joe Kelly. The two will make an excellent setup and closer role. Personally, I think that this bullpen will be filled with guys that can touch the upper 90’s with their fastballs. With the exception of some specialist pitchers. Alexander will primarily be used as a ground ball getter. Stripling will be used as a utility role. Either pitching in the bullpen or making spot starts in the rotation.

Injured List:

  • Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw won’t be hurt but he will start the season on the injured list until he is able to build up his pitch count. After he returns from the Injured List, Julio Urias will likely be optioned to Triple-A to make room for Kershaw.

This roster could change as we get closer to Opening Day but I don’t think it will change too much from the one that I have come up with. When Opening Day rolls around, Walker F’n Buehler better be on the mound making his first Opening Day start. Let the Buehler era begin!

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