LOS ANGELES (AP) - In a star-studded matchup that’s a perfect fit for Hollywood, the Nationals and Dodgers begin their best-of-five Division Series in Los Angeles. Walker Buehler (14-4, 3.26 ERA) gets the start for the Dodgers against left-hander Patrick Corbin (14-7, 3.25). That means for the second straight year, Clayton Kershaw won’t be opening the postseason for LA.
A year ago, the Dodgers went with Hyun-Jin Ryu against Atlanta, ending Kershaw’s streak of six consecutive playoff appearances starting Game 1. “Around here I don’t know if one, two or three really matters,” Buehler said. “The order’s a little bit less significant than people want to make it out to be.”
Buehler worked on his mechanics in his final tuneup last Friday at San Francisco, where he gave up two runs and walked four in five innings. Last season, he debuted a new slider in a start against St. Louis.
“After that one went well, all the kind of doubt went away,” he said. “But I think what I’m doing now and the tinkering is a little bit overblown. I’m just working on things like I have my whole career.”
Having won a franchise-record 106 games in the regular season, the Dodgers are aiming for a third consecutive World Series appearance after losing to Houston and Boston the last two years.
“Our only goal is to win a championship,” manager Dave Roberts said. “We are equipped to accomplish that goal.”