Yu Darvish will be the Opening Day pitcher for the San Diego Padres and new Los Angeles Dodger Yoshinobu Yamamoto will start Game 2 of the teams' two-game series in Seoul next week, the MLB clubs said Monday.

Veteran right-hander Darvish and the Dodgers' 29-year-old two-way star Shohei Ohtani, solely batting this season following right elbow surgery in September, are set for their first career meeting in Game 1 on March 20.

"Of course I'm looking forward to it, but I'm facing the Dodgers first of all," said the 37-year-old Darvish, who pitched nine games during his short stay at the Dodgers in 2017.

"I'll try to get proper analysis about other players too heading into the game."

Darvish will start on Opening Day for the fourth time in his MLB career and for the first time since 2022, in what will be the first MLB game to be played in South Korea.

"I think it's really special. I'll look to prepare well with a sense of appreciation," he said.

Yamamoto said he is "very happy" to start Game 2 after joining the Dodgers in December on the most valuable contract ever offered to a pitcher, a 12-year, $325 million deal.

"There is both a sense of real excitement and eagerness to focus," the 25-year-old said. "I'll do my best to make a good start."

Yamamoto claimed he "didn't think too much" about facing Darvish on this occasion but was hopeful of a future matchup.

"I really respect Darvish. I believe there will come a time we'll pitch against each other and I'll keep training hard for that," he said.