"It's just the thought, as far as, we like the matchup with Julio up there," said Roberts. "This game, if you have a way to manipulate a rotation and put people in position to do certain things, we like that matchup."
That means Urias, who has been handled with kid gloves because of his age, will be facing the New York Mets, Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants on the road in three of his first four Major League games.
"Those are some of the best teams in all of baseball," acknowledged Roberts. "But we believe, if he pitches well and executes, which he's been doing increasingly with each start, it will be a great atmosphere, and we expect he'll rise to the occasion. They're heavy [left-handed hitters] and that's a pretty easy one to see, that's why we play the game, and it goes to us feeling confident in that matchup for our club. We've got nothing but respect for that club, but for us that gives us the best chance to win that game."
Urias will be coming off a seven-strikeout, four-inning outing, cut short when he reached 86 pitches. Roberts has said Urias will remain on a limit of approximately 90 pitches an outing, depending on the stress of each start, which often is determined by how many 20-plus-pitch innings he has.
In three starts, Urias is 0-1 with a 6.94 ERA. He's allowed 16 hits with six walks and 14 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.