The first 6 games of the 2019 World Series have been about as unpredictable as it gets in baseball. Cole and Verlander lose games 1 & 2 while Greinke and a lot of the bullpen stepped up to take Game 3. Then it seemed like all was lost for the Astros as they started rookie Jose Urquidy. Urquidy only had 7 MLB starts heading into this game but he showed the fuck up throwing 5 innings of 2 hit ball while the Astro bats took care of the rest. Cole went back to dominating in Game 5 setting up last night’s Strasburg/Verlander showdown. Strasburg became the first starter since 2015 to go at least 8 innings in a World Series game tossing a gem while Verlander was not at his best. The Nats scored 2 runs in the 5th, 7th, and 9th innings to put this game away and force the 3rd World Series Game 7 in the last 4 years.
Game 7 offers another epic pitching matchup as Mad Max faces off against Zack Greinke. With this being the final game of the season, the leashes for both of these pitchers will be short, even though they are both ace material. I expect that at the first sign of trouble we will see Corbin and Cole up in the bullpens.
Greinke has been great against the Nationals current lineup in his career. Most importantly, he has really dominated Anthony Rendon as Rendon has only 1 hit in 12 career ABs against Greinke. In an even smaller sample size, Greinke also shut down Juan Soto as Soto went 0-3 against Greinke in Game 3. It will be interesting to see what lineup Davey Martinez throws out there as there are some guys who have had success against Greinke.
Asdrubal Cabrera is batting .432 against Greinke in 37 career ABs
Gerardo Parra is batting .288 in 52 career ABs
Kurt Suzuki is batting .292 in 24 career ABs
On the other side of the coin you have Max Scherzer, who has been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the last decade. Only 3 guys in the Astros lineup have more than 10 ABs against Scherzer.
Altuve is 2-11
Josh Reddick is 5-11
Michael Brantley is a ridiculous 15-44 against Scherzer
Obviously these stats are not exactly indicative of what will happen tonight, but it is definitely something to keep an eye on.
The Nationals have seemed like a team of destiny all season. They got off to the real rough start in April and May and were one of the best teams in baseball from that point on. They played in the NL Wild Card game and by all accounts they should have lost that game. An error that allowed the bases to clear giving the Nats a 4-3 lead is a huge reason they are in this situation at all. It wasn’t an error that was a tough play either. It was an error that every RF in baseball should not make.
However it happened though, the Nats are here and deservedly so after beating the Dodgers and then dominating the Cardinals in the NLDS and NLCS.
The Astros have pretty much been the best team in baseball all year long and they have pretty much been the class of the MLB for the last 3 years (I know they didn’t win last year). They added an ace to a pitching staff that already had 2 aces and it seemed pretty clear that they would represent the AL in another World Series.
In what should be a fucking wild game, there is so much that can happen, it’s almost impossible to make a prediction. Even though I really have no fucking clue what will happen, here is my prediction anyway for what it’s worth.
Greinke gets through 4 innings getting in and out of trouble in pretty much every one of them. AJ Hinch turns to Gerrit Cole (on 2 days rest) to come in and keep the Astros in it. Michael Brantley will hit a HR in the 3rd or 5th inning to give the Astros a 1-0 lead and Cole shuts it down with the Astros tacking on 2 more to win Game 7 3-0.
I predicted before the season that the Astros would win the World Series. I predicted before the playoffs that the Astros would win the World Series. I am sticking with my prediction before Game 7 of the World Series. What a fucking game it will be!