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Get ready for a Max Scherzer-Clayton Kershaw showdown

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Buster: Scherzer-Kershaw are two best pitchers (0:41)

Buster Olney previews Friday's matchup between Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw, who he says are the two best pitchers in baseball. (0:41)

Friday night will provide a treat for baseball fans everywhere when the two best pitchers in the National League -- Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw-- share the mound in a Nationals-Dodgers series opener at Dodger Stadium (10:10 ET on ESPN+).

Not long ago, Kershaw was the unquestioned ace of the senior circuit, but between the L.A. left-hander's injury issues and the rise of Scherzer, it's up for debate who is the NL's No. 1 guy on the mound heading into Friday's duel.

Here's what you need to know heading into the matchup, along with a chance to back the ace you'd want on your side.


The two have combined to win four of the past five NL Cy Youngs and have won baseball's top pitching award three times each (with Scherzer taking AL honors in 2013 as a Detroit Tiger). When they step on the mound for Friday's matchup, it will be the first showdown of aces with three or more Cy Young Awards since 2006.


This will be the third time that they've faced off as opposing starters (including playoffs). The first meeting came on Sept. 7, 2008 when both pitchers were rookies and Scherzer was with the Diamondbacks. The most recent meeting came in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS.

Neither pitcher has been at their best against the other, but the Dodgers won both meetings.


Kershaw has 21 career outings in which he's racked up double-digit strikeouts and not allowed a run, and Scherzer has 17 such outings. They rank first and second, respectively, among active players and dominate the top of pitching leaderboards throughout their career. The duo also checked in as the top two pitchers on our 2018 ranking of the 100 best players in baseball.