Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning in Game 4 of a baseball National League Division Series, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Dodgers host Nats in critical NLDS game 5

Baseball fans and fanatics are in for a treat with three Game 5s in the following two days. One of those being the LA Dodgers hosting the Washington Nationals Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. A look ahead to the winner-take-all matchup:

Dodgers Worst Nightmare

The Dodgers (106-56) were on top of the world and the National League in the regular season and now find themselves in the trenches fighting for their playoff lives after a win by Washington. This isn’t what LA expected when facing off against a Washington team that struggled mightily in the beginning of the season. Now the Dodgers are forced to hold off one of the hottest teams in baseball.

The Dodgers led the league in ERA (3.37) behind Walker Buehler (3.26), Clayton Kershaw (3.03) and Hyun-Gin Ryu (2.32). All hands will be on deck for LA in Game 5 and they’ll need it. Buehler talked about starting the game and the comfort of having the home crowd behind him.

Buehler and the Dodgers surely know what’s at stake in this game. Their storied franchise has not won a World Series since 1988 and is constantly criticized for faltering in the playoffs. Now one game away from an early playoff exit as the top seed in the National League, they’ll have to dig deep to stay alive.

Washington’s Outlook

The Nationals don’t have any slouches in the bullpen either. Washington will have starter Stephen Strasburg (3.32) to lead the stacked lineup. Not to mention Max Scherzer (2.92) and Patrick Corbin (3.25) as well.

In addition, Washington is coming into this game as one of the hottest teams in all of baseball. They struggled in the beginning of the season but they are 74-38 since May (the same record as the Dodgers in that time frame).

A fighting chance might be all this squad needs to upset LA and keep their season alive. A team that started the season 19-31 couldn’t ask for a lot more.

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