After 2 impressive road wins, the Nats just couldn’t keep it rolling at home, falling 4-1 in game 3. Anibal Sanchez was a noticeable drop-off at pitcher, allowing 10 hits and 4 earned runs in just over 5 innings. The offence just couldn’t finish either, racking up a few hits but ultimately scoring just a single run. It makes sense for ace Max Scherzer to start in this one, building off a truly elite post-season thus far.
The Astros entered game 3 absolutely needing a win and they dug deep to get it. Zack Greinke did just enough under Center, striking out 6 and allowing 1 earned run during 4.2 innings. Left Fielder Michael Brantley had another of his clutch offensive days, going for 2 hits and 2 RBI in the close win. I’d also expect Houston ace Gerrit Cole to pitch in this one, having been elite all year despite a minor blip in game 1.
Prediction: Astros $2
While it isn’t set in stone, I think both managers would be smart to let their best pitchers go for it here. This seems to be built into the early line, with Houston actually underdogs here with an expectation of Scherzer starting. Even so, I think he is evenly matched by the outstanding Cole, who also has an exemplary bullpen behind him. I also give Houston the offensive edge here, largely due to their strength in depth and experience. It’d be an absolute mountain to climb down 3-1, so I expect a complete performance from Houston here as they steal a second in Washington.