World Series 2019: Nationals vs. Astros Game 6 Pitching Preview, Prediction.World Series 2019 Game 6 TV Schedule: What time, channel is Washington Nationals vs. Houston Astros?
On Sunday, Houston bombed its way to a 3-2 Fall Classic lead on the strength of a trifecta of two-run home runs, launched by Carlos Correa, George Springer and Yordan Álvarez.
The first pitching rematch of the 2019 World Series occurs in Game 6.
Washington is relying on Stephen Strasburg to keep its season alive, while Houston is calling on Justin Verlander to close down the series.
In their first meeting in Game 2, the two right-handed hurlers matched each other for six innings before the Nationals jumped on Verlander in the seventh.
The Astros are in the better spot when it comes to relievers, as they only used two in Game 5, while Washington pieced together its pitching order once Max Scherzer was ruled out.
If Game 6 turns into a battle of the bullpens, Houston may have the advantage with a handful of fresh hurlers.
So the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been in 2019, and we have a Game 6 pitching matchup that rises to meet them. Stephen Strasburg and Justin Verlander. Each is seeking to pitch his team to victory, of course, and each goes in with different relationships with recent history.
Take Verlander, for instance. He’s probably going to be the deserving choice for the AL Cy Young Award this season, and one day he’s very likely going to be a Hall of Famer. Insofar as Game 6 is concerned however, Verlander is trying to regain that vintage form. In Game 2, also opposite Strasburg, Verlander allowed four runs and 10 baserunners in six innings. In his previous start, he permitted four runs in seven innings in the ALCS against the Yankees. In both of those starts, Verlander ran into trouble in the first inning before settling in, at least for a while. Over his last four starts this postseason, he has an ERA of 5.40 with six home runs allowed.
In related matters, his velocity is down a bit, and he has had trouble commanding his fastball at times. And his slider hasn’t looked as sharp at times either. Maybe it’s a matter of mounting innings — the 36-year-old right-hander has 30 1/3 innings in the playoffs after working an MLB-leading 223 frames in the regular season. And maybe it’s also a matter of necessarily running into playoff-caliber lineups this time of year. Whatever the case, Verlander, against a Nationals lineup that’s scored a total of three runs over the last three games, needs to find the results that have eluded him since his Game 1 start against the Rays in the ALDS. That starts, of course, with working a clean first inning for the first time in more than two weeks.