Max Scherzer to get the Game 1 start against the Dodgers

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There was never any doubt about who would be the Game 1 starter for the Dodgers in the NLDS. It’s going to be Clayton Kershaw. If the Dodgers could clone Kershaw he’d start 162 games a year and every game of the playoffs.

The question was a bit more open for the Nationals. While Max Scherzer is their best pitcher, some had suggested that maybe lefty Gio Gonzalez should get the start. The thinking: the Dodgers are the worst hitting team in baseball against lefties. Kershaw is likely gonna kill you, so maybe your best chance to beat him is to keep it close and low-scoring with a lefty hopefully neutralizing the Dodgers bats. Then you bring Scherzer out in Game 2, with his pitching advantage over Rich Hill making up for the fact that the Dodgers may hit better off of him than they might hit off of Gonzalez.

Whatever you think of the merits of that — I tend to think that it’s overthinking and that playing the matchups is less important than merely playing your best players — Dusty Baker was not likely ever going to adopt it as his strategy. Today he named Scherzer his Game 1 starter.

Kershaw vs. Scherzer. If you have plans for Friday that prevent you from seeing that, cancel them.