Washington Nationals-Dodgers Game 1 NLDS Preview

Sep 27, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second inning at Nationals Park. The Nationals won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 27, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second inning at Nationals Park. The Nationals won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Jun 29, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) pitches against the New York Mets in the seventh inning at Nationals Park. The Nationals won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

Inside Scherzer’s Numbers

When looking at Scherzer’s pitch arsenal, he has an average fastball of over 94 miles per hour (according to Fangraphs) to go with a slider, breaking ball, cutter, and changeup

During the second half, the pitch where Scherzer got the most strikeouts on was his slider. According to Brooks Baseball, teams hit a mere .115 against the slider with four extra-base hits (one home run) and 46 strikeouts in 96 at-bats

Just like Kershaw, the first pitch you see against Scherzer just might be the best pitch. According to Inside Edge, teams have chased the first pitch from Scherzer 22.3% of the time, which is the second highest percentage in the game.

One of the problems that Scherzer ran into early in the season was giving up the home run. This season, he gave up 31 home runs (career high), but ten of those came in the second half and ten of them came in the friendly confines at Nats Park all season (four in the second half).

If you are going to get to Scherzer, you have to get to him early, In the first inning this year, the ace has a 4.24 ERA and has given up six home runs. 13 of the 31 home runs Scherzer gave up this season occurred in the first three innings of the contest. Once he gets past the first 75 pitches, Scherzer has 87 strikeouts (best in baseball).

The Dodgers don’t have many hitters that have seen Scherzer, but one name to keep an eye on is right fielder Josh Reddick. While Reddick doesn’t have any home runs, he is 5-for-11 with two RBI’s against the Washington Nationals right-hander in his career.