Preview: Dodgers Look To Keep Winning Streak Alive In Clayton Kershaw-Max Scherzer Duel
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals begin a weekend series at Dodger Stadium with Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer opposing one another for only the third time in their careers. It’s the 13th (10th in the regular season) meeting in MLB history between three-time Cy Young Award winners.

Including his start in Game 1 of the 2016 National League Division Series, Kershaw is 1-0 with a 5.59 ERA and 1.65 WHIP in head-to-head meetings with Scherzer. The right-hander is 0-1 with a 4.24 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in such games.

The statistics are skewed in some regard, as aside from the Game 1 start in the postseason, they last were pitted against each other as rookies in 2008.

Overall this season, Kershaw is 1-2 with a 1.73 ERA, 3.10 FIP and 0.88 WHIP in four starts. Kershaw is coming off a dominant performance in which he had 12 strikeouts and limited the Arizona Diamondbacks to one run on two hits over seven innings.

Kershaw outdueled Stephen Strasburg last season at Dodger Stadium, which helped Los Angeles salvage the three-game set. It stood as their only series loss from June 2-Aug. 27.

Scherzer takes the mound 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA, 1.73 FIP and 0.67 WHIP. He’s gone at least six innings in three of four starts this season, recorded at least 10 strikeouts in three outings, and allowed two earned runs or fewer in two of four starts.

Scherzer is tied for the MLB lead with one shutout and complete game apiece. He’s backed by a lineup that includes former Dodger Howie Kendrick but has Bryce Harper as an anchor. He leads the Majors with eight home runs and is third with a 1.18 on-base plus slugging percentage.

But Harper hasn’t been able to solve Kershaw in his career, as he’s just 1-for-18 with 12 strikeouts. The one hit Harper does have off the Dodgers’ ace is a homer.

Max Muncy makes a second consecutive start at third base, and the Dodgers lineup is further stacked with left-handed batters who are part of a platoon in Joc Pederson and Chase Utley.

Dodgers lineup:

CF: Chris Taylor
SS: Corey Seager
C: Yasmani Grandal
1B: Cody Bellinger
LF: Joc Pederson
2B: Chase Utley
RF: Yasiel Puig
3B: Max Muncy
P: Clayton Kershaw

Nationals lineup:

SS: Trea Turner
2B: Howie Kendrick
RF: Bryce Harper
1B: Ryan Zimmerman
LF: Moises Sierra
C: Matt Wieters
CF: Michael Taylor
3B: Wilmer Difo
P: Max Scherzer