Finally, folks. After a week off following their sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals, the Washington Nationals will finally be taking the field again for their first World Series game since the DC relocation in 2005. Ryan Zimmerman is the only one that has been here for every year, and for him, this is the chance to bring it full circle, being part of numerous losing squads, with the possibility all those years later to be crowned a champ without ever leaving.
Houston had a wild series with the New York Yankees, which was ended when 5-6 Jose Altuve caught a hanging slider from Aroldis Chapman and sent it over the fence. He has long been one of the best in baseball, and his career productions have merited (legitimate) comparisons to Derek Jeter. This is a team that features nine tough hitters in its lineup and will be tough to stop. They won it all in 2017 and will be hoping for their second World Series title in three years. Their move to the American League really changed the game.
The Nationals are set at +175 underdogs, while the Astros will serve as -195 favorites. The over/under will be set at 6.5 runs.
Nats Look For Good Start
The offense has not exactly been great for the Nationals this postseason, but guys have delivered in the most crucial spots. Down two against the Brewers in the Wild Card Game, Juan Soto came through. In Game 5 against the Dodgers, Soto and Anthony Rendon took Clayton Kershaw yard, with Howie Kendrick’s 10th-inning grand slam making the difference. And they scored seven in the first inning of the closeout game against the Cardinals. Their pitching has been more than good enough to get the job done, and the hitters have been a good enough complement to them.
Max Scherzer is going to get the nod from Davey Martinez for Game 1. He has gone 2-0 in four appearances this postseason, striking out 27 over 20 innings and allowing four runs. He threw seven innings of one-hit ball in his last outing against the Cardinals. This will be his first playoff start against Houston.
Second In Three Years?
In 2017, the Astros took out the Dodgers in a thrilling World Series. And this time, they will be taking on the team that knocked the Dodgers off in order to ultimately make it to this point. The Houston lineup is stacked from top to bottom, with very few easy at-bats coming for DC pitching. Starting with George Springer at the top, they have Altuve, Alex Bregman, Michael Brantley, Yordan Alvarez, Yuli Guerriel, and still more. They can hit as well as any team in the majors, and every at-bat will be fun to watch.
They’ll be giving the ball to Gerrit Cole for Game 1. He has gone 3-0 in three starts this postseason, striking out 32 over 22 2/3 innings while allowing just one run on 10 hits. He did walk five in his outing against the Yankees, but he has been perfect besides that.
Nats Take Game 1
Ride with Scherzer, folks. The Nats will win a thrilling first game.
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