Houston Astros (107-55) at Washington Nationals (93-69)
MLB: Saturday, October 26th, 2019 at 8:07 pm ET (Nationals Park)
Line and Odds: Washington Nationals -107/ Houston Astros -103 Over/Under: 8.5
Free ESPN MLB Picks Washington Nationals vs. Houston Astros
The Houston Astros made a statement on Friday night by beating the Washington Nationals 4-1 in Game 3. It felt like Game 3 would be a tipping point because it is so rare to see a team come back form a 3-0 deficit in a playoff series. In fact, it’s pretty tough for any squad to make a comeback after dropping the first 2 games at home in the World Series. Now that the Astros have gotten a win, this series has become interesting.
Houston was able to grind out singular runs throughout the early stages of Game 3. They scored exactly one run in innings 2, 3, 5, and 6. The first run came from Josh Reddick singling to left to drive in Carlos Correa. The 3rd inning saw Michael Brantley hit a single to drive in Jose Altuve from 3rd base. In the 5th inning, Michael Brantley once again singled to drive Altuve in for their 3rd run. Robinson Chirinos put the game on ice with a 385-foot home run in the 6th inning to go up 4-1. After struggling in the first two games of the series with runners in scoring position, the Astros were able to go 4/10 with RISP in Game 3.
Tonight is expected to be a bullpen game for the Houston Astros. Over the course of the season, the bullpen has proven to be a strength for the Astros. Houston’s bullpen finished the year with a 3.75 ERA, ranking 2nd in the MLB in bullpen ERA. The Astros ‘pen ranked 1st with an xFIP of 4.06 and 1st with a left on base percentage of 77.6%. Their bullpen ranks 4th in strikeout percentage (26.3%) and 6th in walk percentage (8.5%). We saw how strong Houston’s ‘pen can be in Game 3. After Zack Greinke gave up 1 earned run in 4 and 2/3 innings, the bullpen finished the game without allowing a run. Jose Urquidy will be today’s opener, but he’s not expected to go very deep into the game.
On Friday night, the Washington Nationals missed a chance to effectively end the World Series with a Game 3 victory. The Nationals Park crowd was abuzz for Washington D.C.’s first World Series home game since 1933. Unfortunately for the nation’s capital, the team on the field failed to deliver.
Prior to Game 3, the Nationals had won 8 straight postseason games. That is a record streak for most games won in a row in a single postseason. The streak came to an end because of Washington’s inability to cash in with runners in scoring position. In total, the Nationals went 0-10 with runners in scoring position. They left 12 baserunners stranded on base for the night.
In addition to their struggles at the plate, the Nationals also had trouble fielding in Game 3. Juan Soto, who celebrated his 21st birthday yesterday, was charged with an error early in the game. Soto became just the 6th player in MLB history to record a World Series error on his birthday. Catcher Kurt Suzuki was also charged with an error on a bad throw. Along with the charged errors, there were many instances of Washington simply misplaying balls in the field. It was an all-around poor performance from a team that looked dominant in Games 1 and 2.
Washington will send Patrick Corbin to the mound as Game 4’s starting pitcher against the Houston Astros. Corbin’s 1st year as a National has been a successful one. He went 14-7 and pitched 202 innings on 33 regular season starts. The left-hander had a 3.25 ERA and 141 ERA+ on the year. He had a 3.49 FIP, 1.183 WHIP, and 3.40 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has given up 7.5 hits, 1.1 home runs, and 3.61 runs per 9 innings. Unfortunately for Washington, his regular season success hasn’t translated to the postseason. On 14 and 1/3 innings pitched this postseason, Corbin has a 6.91 ERA and a 1.535 WHIP. He made 1 relief appearance in this series, throwing 1 inning of shutout ball.
Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends
Houston is 13-7 SU in their last 20 games.
Houston is 2-12 SU in their last 14 games against Washington.
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Houston’s last 5 games on the road.
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Washington’s last 5 games.
Washington is 13-2 SU in their last 15 games at home.
Washington is 10-3 SU in their last 13 games when playing at home against Houston.
ESPN MLB Scores Houston Astros vs. Washington Nationals
I’m taking the Washington Nationals at -107 in this matchup. As strong as Houston’s bullpen is, I’m not sure we’re going to get their best today. Since Greinke could only go 4 and 2/3 innings last night, the Astros bullpen had a lot of heavy lifting to do yesterday. I’m not sure they have the arms to pitch half of the game yesterday and then a full game today. On the other side, I expect Corbin to finally have a dominant playoff start. Corbin’s last start against Houston came in 2017, the year Houston won the World Series. Corbin went 8 and 2/3 innings against Houston, allowing 0 runs and 4 hits. He made a strong relief appearance against Houston earlier in the series. Also, I don’t expect the Nationals to play as poorly as they did last night. Game 3 was a series of errors, misplays, and choking with RISP. It was an abnormal performance that shouldn’t be replicated tonight. I like the Nationals tonight.