The Dodgers have won all nine games Kershaw has started this season and have won 17 consecutive Kershaw starts going back to last season. Los Angeles will try for No. 18 on Friday in the opener of a three-game series at San Francisco.
The Dodgers are looking to rebound from a 3-2 defeat Wednesday at Arizona that ended their seven-game winning streak. Los Angeles has still won 11 of its past 13 games.
He did not get the win in his most recent outing, but it was still vintage Kershaw as the three-time Cy Young Award winner gave up one run on six hits over seven innings against the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday. Kershaw (5-0, 3.20 ERA) struck out six and did not walk a batter for the first time since an April 27 start against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
"I think this, from recent memory, was the best I've seen Clayton throw," manager Dave Roberts said after the Dodgers earned a 4-3 victory June 1 over the Phillies when rookie Will Smith hit a game-ending home run.
Smith is no longer with the Dodgers. His six-game apprenticeship came to an end when Austin Barnes was activated from the disabled list this week and was sent back to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
There is nobody Kershaw is more familiar with than the Giants. He has 45 career appearances (44 starts) against San Francisco, his most against any team, and has been impressive against the club's main rival, going 22-10 with a 1.70 ERA. His 0.851 WHIP against the Giants is his best against any National League opponent.
The Giants will counter Kershaw with a left-hander of their own in Drew Pomeranz (1-6, 8.08), who is getting another chance to get his season on track. The Giants are just 4-6 in Pomeranz starts this season and won just once in his four May starts as he delivered a whopping 19.16 ERA during the month.
Pomeranz has not gone five innings in any of his past five outings and his last start was one to forget. On May 31, Pomeranz gave up eight earned runs over 1 1/3 innings against the Baltimore Orioles.
It will be a tall task for Pomeranz to pitch opposite Kershaw and against an intimidating Dodgers lineup, but the Giants hope he has an advantage against the predominately left-handed swinging Los Angeles offense.
"I know you look at Pom's outing (on May 31), but we made that call before," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said after the call was made to push back Pomeranz's next start and go with rookie Shaun Anderson on Thursday. "We were going to ... give Pom a little more time."
Pomeranz is just 1-5 against the Dodgers, but he does have a 3.80 ERA against them in 10 outings (eight starts). He has made two starts against the Dodgers this season, giving up a combined five earned runs over nine innings, with the Giants winning an April 1 game and losing an April 30 contest at San Francisco.
The Giants will be without catcher Buster Posey, who was placed on the 10-day injured list Wednesday with a right hamstring strain. Right-hander Trevor Gott was activated from the IL to take Posey's place on the roster.
--Field Level Media