Houston can wrap up the World Series on Tuesday
Astros playoff report presented by APG&E: World Series Game 6 Preview
When: Tuesday, 7:07 p.m Central.
Where: Minute Maid Park - Houston, TX.
Streaming: Fox Sports App.
Pitching matchup: Verlander vs. Strasburg.
Series: Astros lead 3-2.
|Date & Time (Central)||Location||Pitching matchup|
|Game 1||Nationals 5, Astros 4||Minute Maid Park, Houston TX||Cole (L) vs Scherzer (W)|
|Game 2||Nationals 12, Astros 3||Minute Maid Park, Houston TX||Verlander (L) vs Strasburg (W)|
|Game 3||Astros 4, Nationals 1||Nationals Park, Washington D.C.||Greinke (ND) vs Sanchez (L)|
|Game 4||Astros 8, Nationals 1||Nationals Park, Washington D.C.||Urquidy (W) vs Corbin (L)|
|Game 5||Astros 7, Nationals 1||Nationals Park, Washington D.C.||Cole (W) vs Ross (L)|
|Game 6||Tuesday, 10/29, 7:07 PM||Minute Maid Park, Houston TX||Verlander vs Strasburg|
|Game 7*||Wednesday 10/30, 7:08 PM||Minute Maid Park, Houston TX||Greinke vs Sanchez+|
* If necessary
+ Projected Starters
With the DH back in play, Houston's offense needs to score early and often again
Although they didn't seem to miss a step without it, the Astros will be back in their AL ballpark for Game 6, which means they don't have to lose a position spot to get Yordan Alvarez in the lineup. They'll be able to put him back in his usual DH spot, getting a full-strength nine-bat order that will make them even more dangerous than the team that outscored Washington 19-3 over the last three games.
No matter the lineup or order of it, Houston will need to try and replicate the early-game success they had in Washington, scoring runs early to take control of the game and keep the Nationals out of reach. It will be a tough task going up against Stephen Strasburg, but this historic offense is also nearly matchup-proof. Look for a big game from Jose Altuve, who loves to light a spark in these big-moment games.
Verlander needs to learn from Cole and notch another milestone
Okay, not necessarily literally. However, Gerrit Cole was terrific in Game 5, rebounding from his disappointing loss in Game 1 to keep the Astros rolling and finish his incredible season on a high note. Justin Verlander will be looking to do the same in Game 6, erasing the memory of his Game 2 loss to keep his team in the game to potentially finish the series.
While a lengthy outing would be welcome by Houston, considering they only had to use two bullpen arms on Sunday, then had the day off on Monday, the bullpen will be ready to back Verlander up should he need to come out earlier than usual. He will likely be hoping to go at least five innings and leave with a lead, however, because he's still in search of joining another exclusive list: pitchers to earn a win in a World Series game. Verlander has started 6 World Series games in his career, including Game 2 this year, and is 0-5 in those. Getting his first victory in the biggest stage would also mean that his team gets to do something for the first time...
A chance to finish in front of the home crowd
While the 2017 World Series win will always the sweetest since it was the first for the franchise, the 2019 Astros have a chance to do something the team two years ago didn't: win it at Minute Maid Park. While the series did not go down as quickly as initially expected by many with Houston making easy work of Washington, that does provide a silver lining should the Astros take care of business at home in Game 6. Not only will the crowd be roaring and ready to go from the first pitch, if they can cheer their team on to the World Series win, but they will also blow the roof, which will be closed, right off.
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
The Astros playoff report is presented by APG&E.