It's winner-take-all for the World Series
Astros playoff report presented by APG&E: World Series Game 7 Preview
The 2019 World Series has been nothing short of a roller coaster for both fanbases. For the Nationals, you come in red-hot and take the first two games against Houston's best pitchers at Minute Maid Park and look like you may cruise to the series win.
But then come the Astros, who go into D.C. and take all three games on the road and push the series back to Houston where they'll have Justin Verlander on the mound for Game 6. Washington responds, dominating the Astros in their house once again, and here we sit, with one last game of the 2019 MLB season to decide who will take home the Commissioner's Trophy. Here is a preview of Game 7:
When: Wednesday, 7:08 p.m Central.
Where: Minute Maid Park - Houston, TX.
Streaming: Fox Sports App.
Pitching matchup: Greinke vs. Scherzer.
Series: tied 3-3.
|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||Nationals 7, Astros 2||Minute Maid Park, Houston TX||Verlander (L) vs Strasburg (W)|
|Game 7||Wednesday 10/30, 7:08 PM||Minute Maid Park, Houston TX||Greinke vs Scherzer|
* If necessary
+ Projected Starters
It all comes down to this
It's something sports fans love to hear: Game 7. While both of these teams would have liked to win the series in a more dominating fashion in fewer games, the fact remains that they have one game in front of them to go out and win to seal the deal. Both teams have reason to be confident. The Astros know what their offense can do on a good night, and have faith in their bullpen to back up Zack Greinke.
The Nationals can see themselves as favorites in this one, too, because they have a supposedly healthy Max Scherzer going to the bump, and their offense has been on fire in the three games at Minute Maid Park to this point. There are nearly endless ways that this game plays out where either team wins, and it's hard to say which side is truly the favorite. So, in those situations, you take away the intangibles and look strictly at the potential and matchup on paper, and in my opinion, I give the advantage to the Astros.
Can the home team win the one that counts?
So far in this World Series, we've seen something unprecedented, which is the road team winning the first six games. The Nationals have Max Scherzer on the mound to finish the sweep and make it all seven games. Houston will send out Zack Greinke, who, despite some playoff struggles, is still an elite arm and can get the job done. It's almost fitting that the Astros will have their season on the line with the guy they made the biggest splash to get in this year's trade deadline. If there were ever a time for Greinke to show he was worth the investment, this is it.
One key, in my opinion, of the Astros ending the road-team streak: keeping the crowd in it. One obvious way is to get early runs and hold on to a lead throughout the game. Should the Nationals score first, though, and try to take the air out of the stadium, it will be up to Houston to give the faithful at Minute Maid Park some reasons to make the home-field advantage worth winning, which is a loud, rowdy crowd that can lift the team up in some crucial spots. Part of that could be how A.J. Hinch manages a potential chess match. Will Gerrit Cole come in from the bullpen? Could we see Roberto Osuna come in for more than three outs of there's a tight game late? It will be fun to watch.
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.