Major League Baseball
Preview
Washington at Houston
When: 8:08 PM ET, Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas

The Houston Astros battled their way to victory over the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series, lining themselves up for a second World Series title in three years. Standing in the way are the National League champion Washington Nationals, who swept through the NLCS in four games and had a week to get the pitching well rested before visiting the Astros for Game 1 on Tuesday.

The Nationals are built around their starting pitching and deployed it liberally in the first two rounds of the postseason and the wild card game, with Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin all making appearances out of the bullpen. And with Game 1 and 2 in an American League park, Washington can keep NLCS MVP Howie Kendrick, first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and either Brian Dozier or Asdrubal Cabrera in the lineup. Kendrick leads the team with nine RBIs in the postseason while star third baseman Anthony Rendon is batting .375 with a .465 on-base percentage and a team-high 19 total bases. Rendon, Kendrick and company will have to work hard to keep up with the Houston offense, which features MVP candidate Alex Bregman at third base and ALCS MVP Jose Altuve, who blasted a walk-off homer in Game 6 to clinch the pennant Saturday, at second. Scherzer gets the ball in Game 1 while the Astros escaping the Yankees in six games means ace Gerrit Cole will take the mound Tuesday.

TV: 8:08 p.m. ET, FOX

PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Max Scherzer (2-0, 1.80 ERA) vs. Astros RH Gerrit Cole (3-0, 0.40)

Scherzer took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in Game 2 of the NLCS and ended up surrendering one hit while striking out 11 and walking a pair in seven scoreless frames. The three-time Cy Young Award winner owns 27 strikeouts in 20 innings during the postseason and yielded a total of one run and five hits over 15 innings in his last three appearances. Scherzer is making his second career World Series start after allowing three runs across 6 1/3 innings against San Francisco while he was a member of the Detroit Tigers in 2012.

Cole allowed a total of one run while striking out 32 in 22 2/3 innings over his three postseason starts, continuing a trend that stretches back to May. The 29-year-old, who will become a free agent after the World Series, is 19-0 with a 1.59 ERA and 258 strikeouts in 169 1/3 innings over his last 25 outings. Cole is 5-3 with a 2.26 ERA in eight postseason starts stretching back to 2013 but is taking the ball in a World Series game for the first time.

WALK-OFFS

1. Astros rookie slugger Yordan Alvarez went 1-for-22 with 12 strikeouts in the ALCS.

2. Washington has yet to record a stolen base in the playoffs.

3. Houston OF George Springer, who won the World Series MVP in 2017, is batting .152 in the 2019 postseason.

PREDICTION: Astros 3, Nationals 1
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Washington 101-71 W6 54-32 47-39 44-32 22-15 21-18 14-6
Houston 114-59 W1 65-22 49-37 26-17 21-13 56-20 11-9
Last Meeting
Washington Houston
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
8/24/17 WAS 5 x HOU 4 .175 0 .459 .225 1 .637
Player Stats
World Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Washington N/A
Houston N/A
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Washington M. Adams 0 0 0
Houston J. Altuve 0 0 0
Pitching ERA Avg K
Washington 0.00 .000 0
Houston 0.00 .000 0
Playoffs
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Washington A. Rendon .375 12 1.059
Houston J. Altuve .349 15 1.184
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Washington J. Soto 2 6 7
Houston J. Altuve 5 10 8
Pitching ERA Avg K
Washington 2.90 .243 123
Houston 3.49 .208 120