To the surprise of many, Houston lost game 1 at home to Washington by a score of 5-4. Despite 6 strikeouts, allowing 8 hits and 5 runs through 7 represents a poor day for pitcher Gerrit Cole. George Springer and Yuli Gurriel provided some resistance offensively, combining for all 4 of the team’s RBI. The good news is that they stay at Minute Maid Park for game 2, where they’ve won roughly 60% of games this season. Gun Justin Verlander is also expected to start, looking to build off of another outstanding season so far.
There were certainly some factors against Washington in game 1, yet they still came up with the clutch road win. Max Scherzer was solid without being spectacular, striking out 7 and allowing 2 runs in 5 innings. Left Fielder Juan Soto continued his excellent form leading the team with 3 hits and 3 RBI. The well-rested Stephen Strasburg is slated to pitch here, consistently one of the better pitchers in the league on high volume.
With 3 games in Washington on deck, this very much looks like a must-win for Houston. Minute Maid Park provides an elite home field advantage that this side has taken full advantage of. Despite coming up against Strasburg, I’d still give them a strong edge in the starting pitcher department with JV. The top 5 in their batting lineup is also as deep and versatile as you’ll find anywhere, and I expect them to break out of this minor funk. Expect a super talented team playing with maximum motivation as they take this one to Washington tied 1-1.