Nationals Shocked the Astros in Game 1 of MLB World Series
Where’s the love for the Houston Astros? They’ve already dropped Game One of their 2019 MLB World Series matchup with the Washington Nationals. Game 2 of their best-of-seven series takes place tonight. The Nationals go with a newcomer prima donna and the Astros turn to a reliable veteran.
TV: 8:07 p.m. ET, FOX; LINE: Astros -173; O/U: 7 Under -111.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Stephen Strasburg (3-0, 1.64 ERA) vs. Astros RH Justin Verlander (1-2, 3.70)
Strasburg is one of just three pitchers with a 3-0 team record during these playoffs. The veteran righty is finally growing up it seems and pitching to his capabilities. He has allowed a total of four earned runs while striking out 29 batters and allowing just one free pass. The Over went 2-1 during those three quality starts. Strasburg also pitched three shutout innings of relief during Washington’s 4-3 comeback win over the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Wild Card game. Strasburg has a stellar 1.10 postseason ERA and a 4-2 record in seven career appearances (six starts).
Verlander was a big part of Houston’s first-ever World Series win in 2017. The big righty is having issues this year, posting a 2-2 team record after four playoff starts (Under 3-1). The good news for Game 2 is that Verlander’s victories came at home. He allowed two earned runs over 13-2/3 innings of work and struck out 15 with five walks. Verlander may have a reputation of being a big-game pitcher, but that hasn’t been true in the World Series. Verlander will aim to record his first-ever win in the Fall Classic.
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This, That, and a Dart Throw
Strasburg has been electric with 33 strikeouts and just one walk in 22 innings this postseason. He has allowed just four runs and 18 hits. The 31-year-old has been in control of his emotions in this year’s playoffs. He doesn’t have any sense for how he will handle his first dose of World Series pressure. “I don’t know. I’ve never done it before,” Strasburg said in his press conference. “I know what I expect of myself. I’m going to hold true to that. That’s all I can really control. My approach is everything, and how I respond to whatever happens once the ball leaves my hand is just as important.”
Verlander is 0-4 with a 5.67 ERA in five starts over three previous World Series with Detroit (two) and Houston (one). He admits the extra fanfare can make it tough to maintain his regular rhythm. “I’m going to be in my own world and do my own thing and just try to be in my routine as much as possible,” Verlander said during his press conference. “You know that the nerves are going to be higher. Your body knows it’s not a regular start. Going to sleep is not going to be the same as normal.”
Verlander has served up five homers over his last three starts. That includes two in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees. It was a contest in which he gave up four runs and five hits over seven innings in a no-decision. It is a season-long trend for the 36-year-old. He allowed a career-worst 36 creatures despite posting a stellar 21-6 regular-season record. Verlander has been taken deep three times by Asdrubal Cabrera (21-for-76, 30 strikeouts) and also has struggled with Kurt Suzuki (14-for-42).
Juan Soto went 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBI’s while Ryan Zimmerman went deep in his first World Series at-bat as the Nationals recorded a 5-4 victory in Game 1. Soto (20 years, 362 days) is the fourth-youngest player to homer in a World Series game behind Andruw Jones (19 years, 180 days), Miguel Cabrera (20, 187) and Mickey Mantle (20, 352).
Astros CF George Springer set a record by homering in his fifth straight World Series game and has gone deep a total of six times in eight career contests. 3B Alex Bregman struck out three times in four hitless at-bats in Game 1 and is just 3-for-22 over his last seven contests.
The Dart Throw: Astros 6, Nationals 3
2019 MLB World Series Trends
Houston Astros Trends
- Trend Under is 4-1 in Astros last 5 games with the total set at 9.0-10.5. Hit % 80.00% (5) O/U 1|4 Push 0 W/L
- Over is 4-0 in Astros last 4 interleague games as a favorite of -201 or greater. 100.00% (4) 4|0 0
- Over is 8-3 in Astros last 11 games a home underdog of +151 to +200. 72.70% (11) 8|3 0
- Under is 5-2 in Astros last 7 games as a favorite of -110 to -150. 71.40% (7) 2|5 0
Washington Nationals Trends
- Trend Over is 4-0-1 in Nationals last 5 games with the total set at 9.0-10.5. Hit % 100.00% (5) O/U 1|4 Push 0 W/L
- Under is 6-2 in Nationals last 8 games with the total set at 7.0-8.5. 75.00% (8) 2|6 0
- Under is 12-3 in Nationals last 15 interleague games as a favorite of -201 or greater. 80.00% (15) 4|0 0
- Under is 5-1 in Nationals last 6 games as a road favorite of -151 to -200. 83.30% (6) 1|5 0
MLB World Series Meetings Trends
- Trend Under is 7-2 in the last 9 meetings in Houston. Hit % 77.80% (9) O/U 2|7 Push 0 W/L
- Under is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings. 70.00% (10) 3|7 0
- Nationals are 9-1 in the last 10 meetings in Houston. 90.00% (10) 0 9|1
- Nationals are 20-6 in the last 26 meetings. 76.90% (26) 0 20|6
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