Kershaw announced as starter for NLCS opener

Ace will be followed by Darvish and Hill (in some order), then Wood in Game 4

Kershaw announced as starter for NLCS opener

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers' rotation for the National League Championship Series presented by Camping World is almost settled.

NLCS Game 1: Saturday, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on TBS

Manager Dave Roberts announced that Clayton Kershaw will start Game 1 on Saturday and left-hander Alex Wood will start Game 4 on Wednesday, with the club waiting to make a decision on Games 2 (Sunday) and 3 (Wednesday). Wood threw a simulated game Thursday, in advance of his Game 4 start.

Game Date Time Matchup/Results TV/Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 14   LAD 5, CHC 2 WATCH
Gm 2 Oct. 15   LAD 4, CHC 1 WATCH
Gm 3 Oct. 17 9 p.m. LAD @ CHC TBS
Gm 4 Oct. 18 8 or 9 p.m. LAD @ CHC TBS
*Gm 5 Oct. 19 8 p.m. LAD @ CHC TBS
*Gm 6 Oct. 21 4 or 8 p.m. CHC @ LAD TBS
*Gm 7 Oct. 22 7:30 p.m. CHC @ LAD TBS

Rich Hill and Yu Darvish, in some order, will start Games 2 and 3. In the Dodgers' NL Division Series presented by T-Mobile vs. the D-backs, Hill started Game 2 and Darvish got the ball for Game 3.

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Darvish has faced the Dodgers' NLCS opponent, the Cubs, just once in his career, losing a start at Wrigley Field last July despite allowing two hits and two runs in 4 1/3 innings, with nine K's. Meanwhile, the last time Hill faced the Cubs was when he held them scoreless for six innings in Game 3 of the 2016 NLCS.

"We're close," Roberts said about finalizing the rotation. "Obviously after tonight, we'll know and make that decision."

As for their roster, the Dodgers don't plan on making any wholesale changes from their NLDS roster. The only player who could be added is lefty reliever Luis Avilan.

Avilan wasn't an option for the NLDS because of a left shoulder injury that bothered him at the end of the regular season. But he threw a 20-pitch simulated game Wednesday, and Roberts said Avilan feels back to "100 percent."

Avilan would give the Dodgers a third lefty out of the bullpen, joining Tony Cingrani and Tony Watson.

"We sort of saw how this past series played out, how the bullpen was used, my comfort level," Roberts said, "We're pretty much aligned as far as where we wanna go."

Kenta Maeda, the Dodgers' newest righty specialist, threw a 25-pitch bullpen session Thursday to stay sharp, Roberts said.

Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.