It all comes down to this: Game 7 of the 2019 World Series has the home team Houston Astros underdogs against the visiting Washington Nationals.
The away team has certainly made themselves at home in each of the first six games. For the first time in MLB history – and in every major US sport, for that matter – the visiting team has won each game in the title series thus far. That’s never occurred in the NFL, NBA, or NHL playoffs.
“It’s weird, really,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said, when asked to shed some light on the road-success oddity. “I mean, we can’t explain it. I know we were trying to win games at home and just couldn’t do it.”
One team will win the Commissioner’s Trophy tonight.
Las Vegas has the Nationals favored, the FanDuel sportsbook putting Washington at -178 (implied odds 64 percent). A $100 bet nets $56.18 on that line.
The home team Astros are the underdogs at +150 (implied odds 40 percent). A $100 bet would net $150.
Game 7 Matchup
The Washington Nationals are favored because they have the privilege of sending ace Max Scherzer to the mound. He was a late scratch for Game 5 because ofneck spasms.
Scherzer says he’s ready to roll, and was seen warming up in the bullpen last night. But it wasn’t to possibly relieve Stephen Strasburg, who ended up needing little help as he went 8.1 innings in the win.
He said he felt good,” Martinez said of Scherzer. “And he didn’t warm up to get in the game, he was just throwing to get loose. And after the game, he’s ready to go.”
Scherzer is 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA this postseason. He went 11-7 on the season with a 2.92 ERA.
The Astros send Zack Greinke to the mound. He’s 0-2 with a 5.30 ERA this postseason. But the 2009 Cy Young winner and six-time All-Star was 18-5 on the year with a 2.93 ERA. Greinke pitched well in Game 3 of the World Series, throwing 4.2 innings and giving up just one earned run on seven hits.
Home Town Road
Only twice has the World Series seen the away team win each of the first five games. It happened in 1906 and 1996, and in both instances, the home team won Game 6 to clinch the championship.
2019 is unprecedented territory.
“We don’t know, but we’re going to continue to try to ride this wave as long as possible,” said Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon, who drove in five runs Tuesday. “Maybe they enjoy our park and maybe we enjoy their park. We’re not going to ask questions. We’re just going to try to go out there and just have some fun.”