MIAMI — The race is on.The Dodgers long ago put the National League West in their rear-view mirror — their lead was 18 1/2 games over the Arizona Diamondbacks going into Tuesday’s games. And they hold a healthy nine-game advantage over the Atlanta Braves for the best record in the NL.But the competition to finish with the best record in baseball — and thus homefield advantage through a potential return trip to the World Series — has become much tighter. Going into Tuesday’s games, the Dodgers and New York Yankees had matching records (79-41) with the Houston Astros (77-41) just one game behind.“I guess it’s hard not to be aware of what the Yankees or the Astros are doing,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “But I think the whole thing is — we just want to play good baseball and if we play the type of baseball we’re capable of we should have the best record. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error That changed when the Dodgers got to Miami. Rookie right-hander Dustin May was moved up to start the series opener against the Miami Marlins, changing places with left-hander Clayton Kershaw who will start Wednesday’s game instead.The switch gives Kershaw seven days off between starts and lines him up to get five days off before his start on Tuesday (the Dodgers are off again next Monday).“It’s just the thought that if we can give Clayton an extra day, why not do it? There’s really no cost to doing it,” Roberts said.The change also — coincidentally? — means Kershaw will not face the Atlanta Braves this weekend, a potential playoff opponent for the Dodgers in October.“I don’t really think so,” Roberts said when asked if preventing the Braves from getting a look at Kershaw this close to a potential playoff matchup was a good reason to make the switch. “It’s obviously a good thought. But those guys know Clayton. They’ve seen him a lot. For what we did, that really wasn’t a driver.”After starting the season on the Injured List with shoulder issues this spring, Kershaw has avoided returning. It is the first time since 2015 he has not been sidelined by a back injury.Kershaw has averaged over six innings per start this season and could make as many as nine more starts before the end of the regular season. That would be his heaviest workload in starts and innings since 2015 when he led the majors in innings pitched (232 2/3) and tied for second in starts (33).“He’s actually in as good a place as he’s been at this point in the year that I can recall,” said Roberts who took over as Dodgers manager in 2016.HERNANDEZ PROGRESSKike’ Hernandez took live batting practice Tuesday for the first time since injuring his left hand on July 24. Hernandez suffered a sprain in the area between his thumb and forefinger.Hernandez is scheduled to take batting practice again Wednesday and then head to the Dodgers’ training complex at Camelback Ranch to face live pitching before going on a rehab assignment. He said “if everything goes okay” he hopes to be back on the active roster for the Dodgers’ homestand next week.Meanwhile, Chris Taylor (forearm) and Alex Verdugo (oblique) did not travel to Miami with the team and are already at the training complex in Arizona. Taylor is expected to go on a rehab assignment this week but Verdugo has not been cleared to start baseball-specific activities (like swinging a bat).ROSTER MOVEThe Dodgers placed first baseman Tyler White on the IL Tuesday with a strained right trapezius muscle and recalled outfielder Kyle Garlick from Triple-A Oklahoma City.Since being acquired from the Houston Astros in late July, White has gone 1 for 22 in 12 games with the Dodgers.“He’s been getting treatment on it. I don’t know how much it’s bothered him or impacted his swing,” Roberts said. “It might (explain his .045 average with the Dodgers). And Tyler didn’t make it as an excuse. But you just never know.”UP NEXTDodgers (LHP Clayton Kershaw 11-2, 2.77 ERA) at Marlins (RHP Elieser Hernandez 2-4, 4.94 ERA), 4:10 p.m., SportsNet LA (where available), AM 570 “But obviously when you’re looking at the National League playoffs and a potential World Series — we’re a long way from that. But homefield increases your chances.”The Dodgers’ chances of playing “good baseball” increase at home where they are 48-16. On the road, they were a less impressive 31-25 before Tuesday’s game, making homefield advantage more valuable, Roberts admitted — even though the Dodgers have made it to the World Series with (2017) and without it (2018).“Yeah, I think so,” Roberts acknowledged. “It’s always good to play at home and if you can control your own fate — which we’re in a position to do — that’s a good thing.”PITCHING SWITCHOver the weekend, Roberts said there were no plans to change the starting rotation even with Hyun-Jin Ryu returning from the Injured List Sunday and off days wrapped around the weekend series against the Arizona Diamondbacks (Thursday and Monday).