World Series Game 6
Washington Nationals at Houston Astros
First pitch: 5:07 p.m. PT
Probable pitchers: Stephen Strasburg (18-6, 3.32 ERA) vs. Justin Verlander (21-6, 2.58 ERA)
For the latter part of the year and through the playoffs, the Nationals’ mantra has been simply this: “Stay in the fight.”
Well, they’re literally going to need a win this evening if they want to do just that, otherwise Houston will capture its second title in three seasons. Fortunately, the Nats will have the best pitcher for the job going for them.
Strasburg has earned that distinction for his postseason prowess and he’s actually been enjoying his finest October to date. The former No. 1 overall draft pick has allowed only six earned runs total across four starts (and one relief appearance) -- with all clocking in as quality ones.
In all, Strasburg now owns a stupendous 1.34 ERA lifetime in the playoffs, while also crafting together a 64-6 K/BB ratio in those outings, spanning 47 innings.
The only caution is that Washington’s seemingly lifeless play in the three losses at home after previously holding a 2-0 series lead could be contagious. But Strasburg is not one of those pitchers who will let up, let alone with the club’s season on the line, so don’t expect him to be straying away from his usual playoff success.
Verlander doesn’t have the same type of dominant postseason numbers possessed by his counterpart (who does?). He’s still been very good in October assignments throughout his career, though, and although he was on the hook for four runs in six innings in Game 2, he was actually throwing a gem in a 2-2 affair into the sixth.
From there, the catcher whom he’s thrown every pitch to this season (Martin Maldonado) was replaced, and voila, the first batter he faced took him yard. Verlander was also charged a run when an inherited runner came around to score (which should’ve been unearned thanks to an Alex Bregman not-ruled error).
This time around, he catches a Washington lineup that went into a serious funk at home, managing just a single run in each of the three games at Nationals Park. I don’t see Verlander disappointing in his second crack at the Nats, and in the spot of trying to close out a World Series. The over/under of 7.5 means only a run-of-the-mill quality start would suffice. Play: UNDER 7.5 (-120)
Last Result: Astros-Nationals Under 7 (No Action; pitcher change)
2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*
Regular Season: 89-78-12, +1.05 units
Playoffs: 14-7-1, +3 units
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit (playoffs 0.5 unit)