Diamondbacks @ Dodgers March 30, 2023: Julio Urias gets the Opening Day nod

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

The offseason has thankfully come to an end, and real baseball begins today. After a disappointing offseason that has the Dodgers entering the 2023 season with more question marks than they’ve had in quite some time, it’s time for at least six months of meaningful baseball. The Dodgers aren’t the overwhelming favorites in the NL West, as they lost a ton of talent while the already-talented Padres added another All-Star shortstop, but all those projections and predictions get tossed out the window with games starting today.

The Dodgers open the season at home with a four-game set against the Diamondbacks, who finished in fourth in the NL West with a 74-88 record in 2022. The Dodgers beat up on Arizona last season, winning 14 of 19 contests and outscoring them by nearly 40 runs.

Image Image
7:10 PM Los Angeles
DH Lewis RF Betts
2B Marte (S) 1B Freeman (L)
LF Gurriel Jr. C Smith
1B Walker 3B Muncy (L)
3B Longoria DH Martinez
SS Ahmed LF Peralta (L)
CF Carroll (L) 2B Vargas
C Moreno CF Outman (L)
RF McCarthy (L) SS Rojas
P Gallen (R) P Urias (L)

Julio Urias gets his first Opening Day start for the Dodgers and becomes their fifth different Opening Day starter in the last five seasons. Urias put together a career-best year last season, as he finished in third in Cy Young voting. He led the NL with a 2.16 ERA (3.71 FIP), but only threw 175 innings (compared to unanimous Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara and his 228.2 innings) (How did Max Fried finish higher than Urias). Urias established himself as the Dodger ace and is due for a huge payday this offseason (please, Dodgers). Urias saw the Diamondbacks twice last season and allowed two runs (one earned) in 11 1/3 innings. In the Spring, Urias got three Cactus league starts and allowed five runs in 11 2/3 innings. He also made two starts for team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic and allowed seven runs in nine innings. He maxed out at 65 pitches in the Spring.

Opposing Urias will be Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen. Gallen established himself as a true number 1 last year, as he finished fifth in Cy Young voting with a 2.54 ERA (3.05 FIP) and a league-leading 0.913 WHIP in 184 innings. Gallen somehow went 12-4 on a team that finished under .500 and Arizona went 19-12 in games that he started. The Dodgers faced Gallen twice last season and he was pretty dominant despite Arizona splitting the two games. He got the no-decision both times, but allowed two hits in six shutout innings in his first start. He turned in arguably his best start of the season the second time he saw the Dodgers, allowing two hits in eight innings with a season-high 13 strikeouts. He took the no-decision as both of those hits came in the same inning, as a Will Smith triple and Max Muncy double tied the game for the Dodgers, who overcame Craig Kimbrel for a walk-off win.

Gallen struggled this Spring, as he allowed 15 runs in 16 1/3 innings. He issued 10 walks and struck out 10 batters and maxed out at 82 pitches. Last season, Gallen threw a fastball 48.1 percent of the time and averaged 94.1 MPH with it. He also throws a curveball (21.9 percent), cutter (14.8 percent) and changeup (14.2 percent). He had a few pitches tracked as a slider (26 total pitches) and sinker (one).

The Dodger lineup looks much different than it did last season. JD Martinez and David Peralta make their Dodger debuts against their former team, and Miguel Vargas gets the start at second. James Outman starts in center and gets his first action at Dodger Stadium (all his appearances last season came on the road) and Miguel Rojas makes his return to Dodger blue, starting at short.


The Opening Day roster was set with one surprise.

While Ryan Pepiot won the fifth starter spot, he was placed on the IL today with an oblique injury. He reportedly suffered the injury against the Mariners during the Spring and pitched through it against the Angels over the weekend, but will start the season on the IL. Michael Grove gets the number five spot and will start Monday against Colorado.


Isn’t it great that the winter is over.

TIL the Dodgers have a tarp. The Padres’ home opener was moved to tonight to avoid the rain. Climate is doing great no notes.


Morning, Chad.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PT and will be shown on SportsNet LA.

About Alex Campos

I've been writing about the Dodgers since I graduated from Long Beach State, where I covered the Dirtbags in my senior year. I'm either very good or very bad at puns.