Max Scherzer is preparing for what he believes will be the most important start of his Major League career on Thursday night.

Scherzer started Game 6 of the ALCS for the Detroit Tigers in 2013, but believes Game 5 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers is a bigger stage.

"This is probably the biggest start of my career, the biggest start of my life," the Washington Nationals right-hander said. "How you handle that, going out there and using the emotion of that scenario that everything's on the line -- look, I'm not going to shy away from it. This is the biggest start of my career."

The Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 6-5 on Tuesday night in Game 4 to push the series to a deciding game.

"If it's anything like Game 1, it's going to be such a thrill," Scherzer said. "Game 1 was unbelievable there in D.C. The fans were just going nuts from the first pitch. So the fact that it's going to be Game 5, I mean -- our fans really brought it in Game 1, so I can only imagine the atmosphere going into Game 5."