(KRON) The San Francisco Giants open the season against their rival the Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday night but with their ace not on the mound.
Clayton Kershaw has been scratched from the line up with a bad back.
Kershaw is being replaced by 22-year-old right-hander Dustin May, who will become the first Dodgers rookie to start on opening day since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981.
The Giants posted their opening day roster on Twitter earlier Thursday:
Major League Baseball is the first of the four major North American team sports playing regular-season games amid the coronavirus outbreak, which is getting worse in some parts of the U.S.
Major League Baseball and the players’ union agreed Thursday to expand the playoffs from 10 teams to 16 for the pandemic-delayed season, a person familiar with the deal said, a decision that makes it likely teams with losing records will reach the postseason.
The agreement was reached hours before the season opener between the New York Yankees and World Series champion Washington Nationals, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the agreement was subject to owner approval.
Sixteen of the 30 teams will advance to a best-of-three first round: the first- and second-place teams in every division and the next two clubs by winning percentage in each league. Those winners move on to the best-of-five Division Series, where the usual format resumes. The final four teams are in best-of-seven League Championship Series, and the pennant winners meet in the best-of-seven World Series.