2016 NLDS: Nationals’ Max Scherzer Calls Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw ‘Best Opponent’ To Face
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The highly anticipated National League Division Series matchup between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals begins Friday with one of the best pitching matchups in all of baseball as Clayton Kershaw Max Scherzer square off.

While the Dodgers won five of the six head-to-head meetings between the two teams, regular-season results are often thrown out the window com the playoffs, and the Dodgers did not face Scherzer in any of those games.

Scherzer, who won the American League Cy Young Award in 2013, is among the candidates to win the NL Cy Young this season. He went 20-7 with a 2.96 ERA, 3.24 FIP and 0.97 WHIP and a Major-League leading 284 strikeouts.

Scherzer’s start in Game 1 will mark his first in the postseason with the Nationals. That it’s coming in a marquee matchup against Kershaw and the Dodgers adds to the intrigue.

“It’s what you play this game for. You don’t measure yourself against the worst; you measure yourself against the best. And I think this is best opponent I could possibly face with the Dodgers and Kershaw throwing,” Scherzer said Thursday.

“This is something you always remember. You want to be in these situations, because this is too much fun, to be able to go up and face a team and pitcher of this caliber.”

Scherzer is 2-4 with a 3.29 ERA in 10 career games (eight starts) against Los Angeles. He’s a lifetime 4-3 with a 3.73 ERA over 12 postseason games (10 starts), including a 3-1 mark with a 2.79 ERA in the ALDS.

Scherzer and Kershaw have pitched to comparable results in recent seasons, all the while a World Series has eluded both aces.