Tim Hudson, Giants
Against the Nationals
2014: 2 GS, 2-0, 0.73 ERA
Career: 31 GS, 18-5, 2.35 ERA
Loves to face: Denard Span, 2-for-20, 3 K
Hates to face: Jayson Werth, 17-for-44, 4 HR, 12 RBIs, 5 BB
Why he'll win: Hudson has always given the Nationals trouble, and the hope is his recent light workload (10 2/3 innings since Sept. 7) has allowed his troublesome left hip to recover.
Pitcher beware: Time will tell how just how healthy Hudson's hip is. He's 2-11 with a 5.13 ERA in his last 18 starts.
Bottom line: Hudson's hip and second-half struggles after a tremendous start to the season make starting him a risky proposition by manager Bruce Bochy and the Giants.
Against the Giants
2014: 1 GS, 1-0, 2.25 ERA
Career: 8 GS, 5-2, 2.79 ERA
Loves to face: Buster Posey, 3-for-15, BB, 2 K
Hates to face: Hunter Pence, 8-for-20, 2 HR, 4 RBIs, 2 BB
Why he'll win: Zimmermann has excelled against the Giants, and he's hot -- he threw a no-hitter in his last outing and has been tagged for just one earned run in his last three starts.
Pitcher beware: The return of Brandon Belt combined with Brandon Crawford's resurgence has deepened San Francisco's lineup, making it a more dangerous bunch than the one Zimmermann faced in August.
Bottom line: Zimmermann had an outstanding regular season, and no pitcher enters the postseason on a higher note, so he gives the Nationals a clear advantage on the mound Saturday (5:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1).
Ryan Hood is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryanhood19. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.