Left Field: Andrew Toles vs Jayson Werth
Shoutout to the Dodgers, who waited until I finished this 3,000 word slideshow to announce that Howie Kendrick wouldn’t start game one in left.
Instead of the veteran, Andrew Toles will get the start in left. Tolsey was phenomenal in a small sample this season with a 1.7 WAR and 132 wRC+ in 115 plate appearances. Not only is Toles a solid bat in the lineup, but his arm is a major tool out in left and he brings a speed factor that the Dodgers don’t really have.
However, based on the matchups, Werth gets the advantage. He was pretty league-average overall, but his numbers against lefties are insane. The Dodgers will have one game started by a righty in the series (unless Ross Stripling gets a start, which he won’t). This season, Werth slashed .322/.411/.620 in 141 plate appearances against lefties, which gave him a 172 wRC+, the seventh-highest in baseball.
In a vacuum, this is probably a push. Factor in the matchups, it’s gotta be in favor of the Nats.