Rich Hill or Max Scherzer will be named the dominant pitcher in Game 5 of the NLDS on Thursday, but who?. The team that wins, advances to the Nationals League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs, simple as that.

Dodgers’ wild card starting pitcher is Hill, who has had a crazy ride in the postseason with being the game two starter that also came with a loss. Around 1 p.m., the Nationals announced their lineup that included catcher Jose Lobaton that homered off of Hill in game two.

Lobaton’s Stats in Game 2 of NLDS vs. Hill: 

AB R H RBI AVG OPS
Jose Lobaton 4 1 1 3 0.250 1.250

Hill’s Stats in Game 2 of NLDS vs. Nationals: 

IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Rich Hill 4.1 6 4 4 2 7 1 8.31

The only factor that the players will miss is that hometown crowd and seeing Dodger blue all around Chavez Ravine. However; they have won in Washington before, so that doesn’t mean they can’t win again. However, Scherzer could excel in the friendly confines of Nationals Park.

Scherzer’s Stats in Game 1 vs. Dodgers: 

IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Max Scherzer 6 5 4 4 0 5 2 6.00

Dodgers’ Lineup vs. Scherzer: 

dodger-lineup-vs-scherzer

What will be the route that the Dodgers take to help them advance to the NLCS? What about the Nationals?

Each team has to first focus on how many inning their starting pitchers will last.

Rich Hill 

  • Watch out for Jose Lobaton and Ryan Zimmerman.
  • Short rest for Hill may not affect him because they are only looking for him to pitch no more than five or six innings.
  • Keep throwing his sweeping curveball and Nationals will look for that pitch.

Max Scherzer 

  • Left-handed hitters have a 280 point edge in OPS (.757-.477) compared to righties.
  • The Dodgers lineup consists of seven left-handed batters.
  • Andre Ethier has the best average against Scherzer than any other Dodger (.333 average with a .926 OPS in 26 plate appearances), so if the game is close look at for Ethier to pinch-hit.

The second focus that both Dave Roberts and Dusty Baker will have to keep a close eye on is their bullpens.

Dodgers Relievers in NLDS: 

Pros: Kenley Jansen, Joe Blanton and Luis Avilan

Cons: Pedro Baez

The Dodgers will have everything to worry about with a 20-year-old relief pitcher, Julio Urias, in such a high-risk game. The team will need the veterans of Joe Blanton and Kenley Jansen to stop the hot offense that is the Nationals.

Why Julio Urias Should Relieve Rich Hill in Game 5
W L ERA G SV IP SO
Joe Blanton 1 0 0.00 0 0 3.2 5
Grant Dayton 0 0 5.40 3 0 1.2 4
Pedro Baez 0 0 0.00 4 0 3.2 1
Kenley Jansen 0 0 12.00 3 2 3.0 5
Luis Avilan 0 0 0.00 3 0 1.1 2
Josh Fields 0 0 0.00 2 0 1.0 3
Ross Stripling 0 0 0.00 2 0 1.2 2

Nationals Relievers in NLDS:  

Pros: Sammy Solis, Oliver Perez and Marc Rzepcynski

Cons: Reynaldo Lopez and Blake Treinen

Like in game four, the Dodgers butchered Joe Ross and the Nationals bullpen. All Dodgers fans will hope that the veterans and Corey Seager will repeat the same to advance. If the Dodgers see Blake Treinen in game five, they know that he has to be skeptical to face Chase Utley.

W L ERA G SV IP SO
Sammy Solis 1 0 0.00 4 0 4.1 2
Mark Melancon 0 0 0.00 3 1 3.0 4
Marc Rzepczynski 0 0 0.00 2 0 2.0 3
Blake Treinen 1 1 3.86 2 0 2.1 4
Oliver Perez 0 0 0.00 3 0 2.1 3
Shawn Kelley 0 0 0.00 1 0 1.2 3
Reynaldo Lopez 0 0 4.50 1 0 2.0 3

How many innings would you want Rich Hill to pitch in game five against the Nationals? Comment below.

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