2019 MLB World Series Game 1 – Washington Nationals @ Houston Astros Preview & Pick

THE FACTS

When is Washington Nationals @ Houston Astros taking place? Wednesday 23rd October, 2019 – 01:08 (UK)

Where is Washington Nationals @ Houston Astros taking place? Minute Maid Park

What is the expected weather for Washington Nationals @ Houston Astros? Clear, 22c

What television channel is Washington Nationals @ Houston Astros on? BT Sport 1 in the UK / FOX, FOX-INT in the US / ESPN in Latin America

Where can I stream Washington Nationals @ Houston Astros? BT Sport subscribers can stream the match live via the BT Sport website or app in the UK / Fox Sports GO, MLB.tv in the US

Where can I get tickets for Washington Nationals @ Houston Astros? https://www.mlb.com/tickets/season-tickets

What was the outcome in the last meeting? Washington Nationals 3 – 5 Houston Astros

THE TEAM NEWS

WASHINGTON NATIONALS

  • The Nationals have been one of the biggest postseason stories in recent years. They got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card and later dispatched both the Los Angeles Dodgers (3-2) and the St. Louis Cardinals (4-0) in dominant fashion. They have gone 8-2 in the playoffs thus far, while averaging 4.5 runs scored per game.
  • The Nationals should not have any injury concerns ahead of the World Series, but they have not announced their official World Series roster yet. Anthony Rendon is one player to watch (.375/.465/.594, 1.059 OPS, seven RBI), while it’s also worth keeping an eye on reliever Daniel Hudson who is yet to allow a run in 5.2 scoreless innings during the current postseason.
  • The Nationals have not announced their Game 1 starter, although all signs point towards Max Scherzer getting the nod. ‘MadMax’’s most recent start was Game 2 of the NLCS on Saturday last week, so he would be quite rested. In four appearances this postseason, the 35-year-old carries a 1.80 ERA with 27 strikeouts over 20 innings pitched.

HOUSTON ASTROS

  • The Astros arrived at the World Series after winning an MLB-high 107 games during the regular season, and then got past the Tampa Bay Rays (3-2) and the New York Yankees (4-2) once the playoffs kicked in. Through their 11 postseason matches, they have gone 7-4 while averaging 3.72 runs per game. They have scored under 1.5 runs in three of those defeats, however, so they have averaged 5.14 runs per game every time they win.
  • The Astros should also have a clean bill of health once they announce their World Series roster. One player to watch is ALCS MVP Jose Altuve, who hit the series-clinching home run against the Yankees in Game 6. He is leading the MLB in home runs during the postseason with five, while posting a .349/.417/.767 with a 1.184 OPS.
  • Gerrit Cole has been confirmed as the Game 1 starter for the Astros. The right-hander has been nearly unhittable this postseason, notching 32 strikeouts, a 0.79 WHIP and a 0.40 ERA in three playoff starts (22.2 innings pitched). He has tossed at least 7.0 innings in every playoff start this postseason.

THE PREDICTION

It’s hard to see which side might have the edge here, as the Astros carry the momentum of their Game 1 win over the Yankees but the Nationals have had lots of time to prepare for this game. Pitching may well decide this game and while Scherzer is a stellar pitcher, the Astros have Cole who has been the best pitcher in MLB over the past few months. This, and the home-field advantage, should have the Astros as favourites entering Game 1.

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