MLB WORLD SERIES: ASTROS @ NATIONALS PREVIEW ~ GAME 3 (10-25)
CAN ASTROS WIN TONIGHT AND MAKE THIS A SERIES OR DO NATS WIN 9TH STRAIGHT?
VEGAS ODDS: HOUSTON ASTROS (GREINKE) (-$1.35) vs. WASH NATS (SANCHEZ) ~ TOTAL RUNS: (8)
FRIDAY NIGHT OCTOBER 25TH, 2019 ~ GAME 3 OF THE 2019 WORLD SERIES
Except for many Nationals fans, and even likely not most of them, very few saw the Nats not just winning Games 1 and 2 in Houston, but beating Cole and Verlander in the process. Streaks happen in all sports, but wow have the Nationals gotten Red-Hot at the right time or what? Now 8 straight wins in this Postseason, and 18 wins in it’s last 20 games. This team is NOT winning by Luck. They have won every way possible and tonight get to finally play a World Series Home game in D.C., and you can be assure the atmosphere will be as loud, crazy and wild as you will ever see. I was at the Knights/Capitols games a few years ago in DC, and after the games the streets were filled like a Title had already been Won. The DC fans are getting no love from the Redskins, so they are now all in rooting in the Nats, quite possibly one of the best Baseball stories ever told. Left for dead after 50 games, they’ve just won and won and won. This is a train steamrolling ahead and the Astros better wake up fast or else this will be one gigantic wasted 107 win season.
So far in these two games the Nats have scored 17 runs and the Astros just 7. The Nats balls all seem to land in a safe space, while the Astros hits simply aren’t. So far in two games, the Astros have 8 hard hit outs and the Nats only 2. But the real reason the Nats are up (2-0) is this: The Nats have only struck out 12x in 33 at bats where the Nats hitter had 2 strikes on him. They are putting the ball “in play” and the balls just seem to keep finding open land one after the other. The Nats have now scored 32 runs in their last 4 Post season games, as the entire lineup is now chipping in. The Astros on the other hand, have a lineup struggling badly. Over half the Astros runs in this Playoff season have come via long ball (26 of 48 runs by Homer). You could call the Astros lineup “Mr. October” for it’s first inning batting average of (.309), but wow the rest of the innings, 2-9, they have been ice cold hitting just (.203). The Astros are batting only (.216) in the entire Post season so they aren’t down (0-2) here by bad luck.
Tonight they need Zack Greinke, acquired at the July 31st deadline, to right a fast sinking ship. In his first 9 starts with the Astros, he went (8-1). But in this Post season so far, he has been as bad as possible, (6.43) ERA and going just (4.1), (6.0) and (3.2) innings in his 3 starts. He’s allowed (10) earned runs in those (14) innings and (5) home runs too. He’s falling behind in counts often and just looks nothing like his dominating regular season self. He hopes to match his lifetime success vs. the Nats tonight, where he is (6-1), (1.27) ERA in 9 career starts. He beat the Nats (5-0) on June 13 with the D’Backs, allowing just 2 hits. For the Astros to make this a Series, he may need exactly that type of performance tonight.
Greinke will be facing Nats starter A. Sanchez, who has been a Godsend this season. He is (1-0), (0,71) ERA in this Post season, and his last outing he went 7 1/3rd before allowing his first hit. One negative note he has not pitched in 2 weeks, as that almost No-No was played October 13th. He is (4-2) vs. the Astros in his career, (3.39) ERA, in 10 starts. He has worked all his pitches to near perfection, and the Astros cold bats will have to be patient, as he will go deep in counts, as like Tom Glavine used to do, he is NOT giving you the “fat” pitch you want.
Coming back from an (0-2) deficit is a daunting task, as 17 of the last 18 teams to go up (2-0) have WON THE WORLD SERIES. In fact only 3 teams have ever won the World Series after losing the first two games.
SO YOU ARE SAYING THE ASTROS HAVE A CHANCE?
Well if you are an Astros fan, you can only look at the amazing 25 game win streak by it’s Ace Pitcher G. Cole being snapped in Game 2 to know all streaks come to an end. Houston won 107 games and aren’t trying for their first ever WS Title, so the pressure won’t be too much to overcome. The Astros need to turn that hot first inning stat into a few runs, to quiet the crowd and change the momentum, that right now is all Nationals. But one thing I’ve learned over my 31 years betting, you do NOT get in front of a Train steam rolling ahead, as if you do that all the time, you are flat broke. Greinke has been bad of late, but this dude is as calm as any player I’ve ever watched. He is Jeff Spiccoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High laid back and rarely up or down. This team made a big trade to get him, and he’s won a Cy Young. If his stuff is on, we have us a Series going forward. If he’s even half as bad as he’s been, this one could get ugly. I can’t bet the Nats due to Sanchez not pitching for two weeks, although the price is more than fair playing at Home and as Hot as the Nats are. Books will love this game tonight, as it’s Payday for most folks and really no other game worthwhile to bet on TV tonight.
Enjoy the game and may all your wagers this weekend be WINNING ones!