Winner takes all
ALCS Game 7 Preview: Astros vs. Rays
It all comes down to this. The Astros have erased a 3-0 deficit and tied the series with their 7-4 win over the Rays in ALCS Game 6. It sets up the best phrase in sports: Game 7. They've made it this far; now they just need to take the final step to make it to their third World Series in the last four years. Here's how the game shapes up:
When: Sautrday, October 17th, 7:37 PM Central.
Where: Petco Park - San Diego, California.
Streaming: Watch TBS App.
Pitching Matchup: Lance McCullers Jr. vs. Charlie Morton.
Series: tied 3-3.
|Date & Time (Central)||Pitching Matchup||Home Team|
|Game 1||Final: Rays 2, Astros 1||Framber Valdez (L) vs. Blake Snell (W)||Rays|
|Game 2||Final: Rays 4, Astros 2||Lance McCullers Jr. (L) vs. Charlie Morton (W)||Rays|
|Game 3||Final: Rays 5, Astros 2||Ryan Yarbrough (W) vs. Jose Urquidy (L)||Astros|
|Game 4||Final: Astros 4, Rays 3||Tyler Glasnow (L) vs. Zack Greinke (W)||Astros|
|Game 5||Final: Astros 4, Rays 3||John Curtiss (ND) vs Luis Garcia (ND)||Astros|
|Game 6||Final: Astros 7, Rays 4||Framber Valdez (W) vs. Blake Snell (L)||Rays|
|Game 7||Sat 10/17, 7:37 PM||Lance McCullers Jr. vs. Charlie Morton||Rays|
All games played at Petco Park.
All hands on deck
There's probably only one arm that is genuinely unavailable today, and that's Framber Valdez, who started Game 6 and went six innings. Everyone else, including Ryan Pressly, who has closed out three straight games, maybe even Zack Greinke, should be out in the bullpen ready to contribute in this decisive game.
But first, it'll come down to how Lance McCullers Jr. does. He was flat-out terrific in his Game 2 start, allowing just one earned run while striking out eleven over seven full innings (though he did allow the three unearned runs after the significant error in the first). If he can replicate that success and get into or possibly past the middle innings of this game while allowing zero to two runs, he will have done his job on Saturday.
Get ahead early
One thing that'll make Dusty Baker's job somewhat more comfortable, though in a Game 7 nothing truly is, is if his bats can start to distance themselves from the Rays early. There shouldn't be much of a shadow issue in this one, beginning at 7:37 PM Central, 5:37 local time in San Diego. That means Houston, who exploded in the middle innings in Game 6, might have the opportunity to do the same early in Game 7.
To do it, they'll have to put up runs on their former-teammate Charlie Morton, who shut them out over five frames in Game 2. Then, much like the Astros, the Rays will have just about everyone ready to come in, including the likes of Tyler Glasnow and Ryan Yarbrough, that they might not have as much success as they've had against the Rays bullpen in recent days. In a game with this high leverage, every baserunner will count and apply pressure, so the Astros need to reproduce Friday's success at the plate, albeit against potentially stiffer pitching.
Be sure to check SportsMap after the final out for an in-depth recap of the game, and follow me on Twitter for updates and reactions throughout each playoff game: @ChrisCampise
- ALCS Game 6 Recap: Astros vs. Rays - October 16, 2020 - SportsMap ›
- ALCS Game 7 Recap: Astros vs. Rays - October 17, 2020 - SportsMap ›