National manager Dusty Baker made the announcement Thursday, but did not say who would start Games 2 and 3.
Baker says the decision hinges on the status of ace Max Scherzer, who has been dealing with a hamstring injury.
Scherzer threw on flat ground in the outfield for almost 15 minutes Wednesday, and Baker says the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner is set to throw a bullpen session later in the day. Baker knows that going with Scherzer in Game 2 would allow him to come back for a potential Game 5 on full rest but says “the health of Max is No. 1.”
Left-hander Gio Gonzalez is the other logical choice for Game 2.
Strasburg is coming off a dominant regular-season finale in which he gave up only two hits in 7 2/3 innings against Pittsburgh last Friday. He retired the first 14 batters he faced in the 6-1 win.
Since returning from the disabled list Aug. 19, the 29-year-old has given up no earned runs in six of eight starts and has fanned 63 batters against only 10 walks. According to ESPN Stats & Information, his 0.86 ERA since the All-Star break is the second-lowest ever by a pitcher in the second half of a season (minimum of 10 starts) behind Jake Arrieta (0.75 in 2015).
Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.