On Friday, manager Dave Roberts said he planned to start Scherzer at Atlanta only two days after the right-hander earned his first career save in the team’s NL Division Series-clinching win at San Francisco.
However, the plan was contingent upon a final go-ahead from Scherzer. And the team tweeted on Saturday that Knebel would start instead.
Though Knebel normally pitches in relief, the starting assignment is not a new role. Knebel was 4-0 with a 2.45 ERA in 27 games, including four starts, this season.
Roberts said Friday that Tony Gonsolin would be one of the pitchers used if he went with a bullpen game.
Scherzer was 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA for Washington and Los Angeles this season, including 7-0 with a 1.98 ERA in 11 starts for the Dodgers. He has pitched 12 1/3 innings over three appearances in the playoffs, allowing two runs and six hits with 16 strikeouts.
Scherzer earned his first career save in a 2-1 victory over San Francisco on Thursday night in Game 5 of the NLDS.
Left-hander Max Fried will be Atlanta’s Game 1 starter.