The stars will shine bright in Hollywood tomorrow night, when Bryce Harper makes his major-league debut with Stephen Strasburg on the mound for the Nationals. But tonight's series opener at Dodger Stadium is no slouch of a ballgame.
Clayton Kershaw, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, starts for Los Angeles. Matt Kemp, last year's NL MVP runner-up, has been playing out of his mind so far this season. And Nationals left-hander Ross Detwiler only boasts an 0.56 ERA entering his fourth start of the year.
Davey Johnson will try out a new-look lineup for this one, trying to stack up as many of his best right-handed hitters as he can. Jayson Werth gets bumped up the No. 3 spot. Danny Espinosa gets bumped down to the 6-hole. Adam LaRoche hits cleanup, but he's the only left-handed batter in the lineup.
I'm not in town for tonight's game, but I've got good news: I just booked a morning flight to LAX, and I'll be reporting live from the scene at tomorrow's extravaganza (as well as Sunday's series finale). Until then, enjoy tonight's game and the conversation...
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Where: Dodger Stadium
Gametime: 10:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 189
Weather: Clear, 66 degrees, Wind 6 mph out to RF
SS Ian Desmond
3B Steve Lombardozzi
CF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Mark DeRosa
2B Danny Espinosa
LF Xavier Nady
C Jesus Flores
LHP Ross Detwiler
SS Dee Gordon
2B Mark Ellis
CF Matt Kemp
RF Andre Ethier
LF Jerry Hairston
1B James Loney
3B Juan Uribe
C A.J. Ellis
LHP Clayton Kershaw
The Washington Nationals avoided arbitration and agreed to one-year deals today with Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, Tanner Roark and newly acquired catcher Derek Norris.
If team's and players didn't agree to contracts by today's 1 p.m. ET deadline, an independent arbitrator will rule on the contract at a later date and decide how much the player will play for in 2017.
Harper and the Nationals agreed to a $13.625 million deal, which was significantly more than the $9.3 million contract that was projected by MLB Trade Rumors. Last season, coming off his 2015 MVP campaign, Harper made $5 million. The 24-year-old will be a free agent after the 2018 season.
Harper is coming off a disappointing season by his standards, in which he hit just .243 with 24 homers, which was way down from his total of 42 dingers in 2015.
According to multiple reports, Rendon signed for $5.8 million, Roark signed for $4.315 million and Norris' deal was for $4.2 million.
Roark made just $543,400 last season, which he vastly out-performed. Roark was one of the most consistent pitchers in the National League last year as he won 16 games and posted a 2.83 ERA in 210 innings of work.
With today's signings, all of the Nationals' arbitration-eligible players are under contract for 2017.
Related: Tanner Roark to replace Max Scherzer on World Baseball Classic roster
Nationals star Bryce Harper has a bold fashion sense, that's for sure. Just take a look at that hair. But he a more romantic fashion risk for his own wedding with a custom suit jacket.
He opted for a navy blue tuxedo with black piping. It was the lining that really stood out as special.
If you look closely, you'll see photos of Harper and his wife, Kayla, decorating the lining of the jacket.
There's also the date of wedding and script reading "Mr. and Mrs. Harper."
He credited the makers of his tuxedo, Stitched, in the tweet.
MORE NATIONALS: Nationals’ Bryce Harper ecstatic to see bride on wedding day