In a must-win game on Sunday night, the Dodgers will not be facing Max Scherzer. They will instead be facing right-hander Anibal Sanchez.
Lineup note: Anibal Sanchez will start for the Nationals on Sunday.
— FantasyLabs MLB (@FantasyLabsMLB) October 6, 2019
This is huge news for the Dodgers. I mean, who really wants to face Max Scherzer with the Washington crowd behind him while he is muttering expletive-laden rants about you? Not fun.
Instead, the Dodgers will get the much calmer Anibal Sanchez. Sanchez has put together a pretty decent 2019 season, but nowhere near the caliber of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, or Patrick Corbin. Sanchez held a 4.39 DRA and 90 DRA- for the season, which are both respectable marks.
For some past history on Sanchez, he held a 4.24 ERA and 4.70 FIP at Nationals Park this season, which bodes well for the Dodgers. Sanchez is also a pitcher who struggles the third time through the order (6.52 ERA compared to 1.76 the first time through), which is a good thing for the Dodgers considering how bad the Nationals bullpen is. Across nine career starts against the Dodgers, he holds a 3.53 ERA.
In Sanchez’s lone start at home against the Dodgers, he surrendered three earned runs across just 4 1/3 innings of work. This matchup is a very favorable one for the Dodgers on paper and could very easily be the type of matchup they need to get their bats hot. Sanchez’s postseason ERA is also 3.12, which is pretty good.
Dodgers Against Sanchez
Out of all the position players on the Dodgers’ roster, they collectively have gone 22-for-84 against
Sanchez combined, good enough for a .261 batting average. Those among the ones with good history are first baseman David Freese (5-for-16, two doubles) and Joc Pederson (4-for-11, two home runs). The only Dodgers without a hit against Sanchez are the ones with the last experience against him in Corey Seager (0-for-3) and Kiké Hernandez (0-for-1).
We will see what happens in Game 3, but this definitely appears to be a favorable matchup for the Dodgers on the road.