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Verlander Can Fix World Series Woes, Clinch Title As Game 6 Favorite

Justin Verlander has struggled in his previous World Series outings. Despite that, he and the Astros are favorites in Game 6 over Washington, where a victory will not only clinch a championship, but cement Verlander’s status among the greatest big-game pitchers ever.

Matchup Information
  • Washington Nationals vs Houston Astros (Matchup Report)
  • Date/Time: October 29, 8:07 p.m. ET
  • TV Coverage: FOX
  • Opening Odds: WSH +155, HOU -175 | O/U 7.5 (Line History)
  • Starting Pitchers: WSH Strasburg (22-6, 3.15 ERA), HOU Verlander (22-9, 2.81)

Opening Odds Analysis

Houston has been favored in four of the first five games in the series, and is favored again at home, with one of its aces on the mound against a struggling Washington offense. With the Nationals countering with their best pitcher so far in the playoffs, the total has opened at 7.5. Four of the five games in this series have gone OVER that number.

Washington News & Notes

Home cooking has not done the Nationals any favors. In fact, their last three games in Washington have marked as bad a three-game stretch as any team could possibly imagine.

The Nationals returned home up 2-0 in the series, with three home games on tap and the offense absolutely sizzling. They scored just one run in each of the three ensuing games — all losses. It wasn’t just that they couldn’t hit with runners in scoring position, where they were 1-for-21, but they flat-out did not hit: they totaled just 17 hits, while Houston had 19 runs.

As the Nats can’t count on scoring many runs in Game 6, they’re going to have to bank on starter Stephen Strasburg to deliver yet again. Strasburg is 4-0 with 40 strikeouts in 25 innings across four starts and one relief appearance this postseason, and he owns a career 5-2 record with a 1.34 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in the playoffs.

He won Game 2 by allowing two runs over six innings, and needs another strong outing to keep the Nationals’ season alive.

Houston News & Notes

After Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander lost the opening two games of the World Series, with two poor performances, both pitchers were hoping to get another shot in the series to prove their dominance this season could carry over to baseball’s biggest stage.

Cole got his chance Sunday in Game 5 and did not disappoint. He gave up three hits and struck out nine over seven innings, his only mistake a solo home run to Juan Soto in the seventh, and was in complete control as Houston cruised to a 7-1 victory.

Now it’s Verlander’s turn to atone for a poor start, not just in this series but over his career in the Fall Classic. He is 0-5 with a 5.73 ERA in six career World Series starts, but with a chance to clinch Houston’s second World Series title in three years, a strong start for Verlander would completely change his World Series legacy.

Betting Pick: Houston Team Total UNDER 4.5

Strasburg has never given up more than three runs in any of his eight postseason appearances. I think he keeps that streak up and keeps the Astros’ bats in check.

Shark Bites
  • Washington is 6-0 SU in its last 6 road games.
  • Houston is 1-10 SU in its last 11 home games vs Washington.
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Houston’s last 6 games.