The Argument For Gio Gonzalez Starting NLDS Game 1

WASHINGTON — The Nationals, one would presume, would start Max Scherzer in Game 1 of next week’s NLDS against the Dodgers.

In Game 2, one might surmise Tanner Roark would take the mound to start the game.

General Manager Mike Rizzo was asked Wednesday who might start Game 3.

“I’m not sure,” Rizzo told The Sports Junkies. “That’s something we’re going to discuss Friday. Gio [Gonzalez] is probably the most capable Game 3 starter for us off the top of my head right now, but we haven’t made that decision. There’ll be some strategy involved in who we’re gonna do. It depends on where we’re playing, that type of thing. Suffice it to say, Gio will be one of our starters in the playoffs.”

With no Stephen Strasburg, at least through the NLDS, Gonzalez should figure to slot in as the Game 3 starter. But there’s another factor to consider: The Dodgers are literally the worst team in the majors against left-handed pitching.

Their rankings vs. lefties: .215 BA (30th); .294 OBP (30th); .337 SLG (30th); .631 OPS (30th).

Conventional wisdom would suggest the Nationals and Dodgers give each other their best shot out of the gate, which translates to Scherzer vs. Clayton Kershaw in Game 1. But the Dodgers’ splits vs. left-handers might have something to say about that.

Allow me to shamelessly rip someone else’s tweets to make the argument:

That’s the argument for Gonzalez in Game 1, if there ever was one.

Follow @ChrisLingebach and @1067TheFan on Twitter.

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