2016 NLDS: Max Scherzer Named Game 1 Starter, Nationals Manager Dusty Baker ‘Unsettled’ For Game 2
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Two days after the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the National League West, manager Dave Roberts formally announced his rotation for the National League Division Series matchup against the Washington Nationals.

Roberts had previously hinted at sending out Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill in Games 1 and 2 of the NLDS, followed by Kenta Maeda in Game 3. While some managers may prefer to split left-handers in a short series, Roberts thought it best to keep his top pitchers starting back of one another.

Beyond Game 1, selecting which starters will take the mound during the NLDS isn’t quite as easy for Nationals manager Dusty Baker.

On Tuesday, Baker confirmed the obvious choice — Max Scherzer in Game 1 — but beyond that doesn’t so much as have a Game 2 starter in place, per Mark Zuckerman of masnsports.com:

Scherzer last pitched Sunday, which puts him on regular rest for Friday’s start. He went 20-7 with a 2.96 ERA and 0.97 WHIP this season. Scherzer led all NL pitchers in strikeouts (284), innings pitched (228.1), WHIP, wins, and was eighth in ERA.

The 32-year-old right-hander is considered one of the favorites to win the 2016 NL Cy Young Award. Baker’s primary options to start Game 2 presumably are Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark.

Gonzalez finished 11-11 with a 4.57 ERA, 3.76 FIP and 1.34 WHIP over 32 starts. He allowed six earned runs in two of his final six starts this season, and closed the year by allowing three runs in back-to-back outings.

The veteran left-hander was just about even whether pitching at home or on the road. He went 7-5 with a 4.45 ERA at Nationals Park, and 4-6 with a 4.69 ERA on the road. Gonzalez held the Dodgers to one run on three hits over six innings at home on July 20.

Overall in 2016, Roark went 16-10 with a 2.83 ERA. He too faced the Dodgers at home, though suffered a loss despite only allowing three runs in 7.1 innings pitched.

Roark went 9-6 with a 2.72 ERA at Nationals Park this season, and 7-4 with a 2.96 ERA in 16 road games (15 starts).