It’ll come against the Cincinnati Reds, which is far from an easy matchup for the righty.
Cincy’s lineup is loaded with great hitters.
However, with the way the 37-year-old Scherzer has thrown the ball since coming over to L.A., the Reds are likely the ones who are worried about the matchup.
Appreciating What Scherzer Has Accomplished With The Dodgers So Far
Scherzer’s time with the Dodgers has been laughably good so far.
With the way things are going, L.A.’s trade for the veteran might end up being regarded as one of the best deadline deals in MLB history.
The three-time Cy Young award winner has managed an absurd 0.88 ERA, 1.26 FIP, and 0.67 WHIP across eight outings with the Dodgers.
The team has won every single one of his starts to this point.
He has fanned 72 batters and walked just five in 51 innings, giving him an insane strikeout-to-walk ratio of 14.4.
IMMACULATE INNING FOR MAX SCHERZER 👏
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) September 12, 2021
He has allowed two runs or fewer in all of his starts with the team.
Further, he hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 29.2 innings.
That’s a span of four starts.
Just for kicks, let’s take a look at his numbers over that span: 0.00 ERA, 0.60 FIP, 0.44 WHIP, .120 opponent average, .297 opponent OPS.
Scherzer is absolutely untouchable right now, and there’s no one in the league that should want to face him.
Will He Be Up For The Task Against The Reds’ Potent Offense?
The Reds have an extremely good offense, and it features a trio of superstar hitters.
Now, the extent of Cincinnati’s outstanding lineup goes far beyond merely those three players, but the conversation definitely starts there.
Let’s take a look at how the Reds’ trio has performed on the whole this season:
- Votto: .265/.366/.544, .909 OPS, 129 OPS+
- Castellanos: .310/.365/.569, .933 OPS, 134 OPS+
- Winker: .307/.395/.560, .955 OPS, 141 OPS+
Those are some phenomenal numbers.
Now, let’s compare those numbers to the lifetime stats that the trio has managed against Scherzer:
- Votto: 5-for-19, 7 K
- Castellanos: 1-for-6, 3 K
- Winker: 0-for-7, 4 K
Obviously, with the exception of Votto, there’s a massive drop-off between the two sets of data we just looked at.
The sample sizes are small, but Scherzer seems to enjoy facing Castellanos and Winker.
We’ll see if that remains the case after Saturday night.
Votto does pose an interesting matchup for the Dodgers ace.
The Reds veteran has clearly had some success against him in the past.
In fact, of the five hits Votto has managed against Scherzer, three have been for extra bases.
That’ll be something to keep an eye on this weekend.
There’s a small chance this could be a Wild Card Game preview.
NL Wild Card
1️⃣ Los Angeles Dodgers 94-53
2️⃣ St. Louis Cardinals 76-69
3️⃣ San Diego Padres 76-70
4️⃣ Cincinnati Reds 76-71
5️⃣ Philadelphia Phillies 74-72
6️⃣ New York Mets 72-75
— Alain Keith Cabardo Daguio (@keithdaguio) September 17, 2021
To make things even more interesting, Scherzer will almost certainly be on the mound if the Dodgers do indeed land in the Wild Card Game.
That makes this matchup wildly intriguing.
If the Reds are able to do some damage against Scherzer this weekend, then the Dodgers will likely find themselves hoping to avoid Cincinnati in a potential Wild Card matchup.
However, if Scherzer shoves against the Reds, then L.A. likely won’t have anything to worry about.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves—the Dodgers might not even end up in the Wild Card Game.
Right now, L.A. is just a game behind the San Francisco Giants for the top spot in the NL West.