The last time a team from Washington D.C. played in the Fall Classic was in 1933. The Washington Senators lost in 5 games to the New York Giants. The only time the Senators won the World Series was in 1924 defeating the New York Giants in 7 games. That team eventually became the Minnesota Twins in 1961. The Senators still played in D.C. until 1971 when they became the Texas Rangers. Currently the Washington Nationals were once the Montreal Expos who had a storied history as well. The Montreal franchise never played in a World Series, but came close in 1981 and would have contended in 1994 if not for the strike. They will go up against the Houston Astros who will play in their third Fall Classic and their second in the last three seasons. This matchup promises to be very competitive in terms of the starting pitching each team boasts and the depth of their lineups. It will most likely come down to whose bullpen pitches better and which manager outwits the other.
Washington Nationals vs. Houston Astros
They are the hottest team in the Postseason this year. After their upset victory over the Dodgers in the Division Series, they quickly eliminated the Cardinals in 4 games in the Championship Series. Howie Kendrick who was the hero against the Dodgers in Game 5 of that Series, was the NLCS MVP for Washington. He had 5 hits, 4 doubles and 4 RBI in the 4-game series. Not to mention Anthony Rendon continued to mash batting .417 against St. Louis. Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer started Games 1 and 2 respectively and each had a no-hitter going late into their starts. Stephen Strasburg also had a stellar start in Game 3. Those three combined to strikeout 28 and walk only 3 Cardinals’ hitters in 21-2/3 innings pitched. Washington’s bullpen was just as good as they surrendered only one run while striking out 8 and walking only one hitter. Juan Soto had a quiet series against St. Louis, but if he gets back to form the Nationals with the return of Victor Robles will be a tough lineup to contain if the pitching staff continues to perform like they have.
Houston got a scare from Tampa Bay in the Division Series and they were tested by the Yankees in the Championship Series, but the Astros proved that they had a deeper lineup with so many guys ready to strike when needed to. Jose Altuve was unstoppable and thus was named the ALCS MVP. He batted .348 in the series with 2 home runs and 3 RBI, but the biggest one came in walk-off fashion in Game 6 to punch their ticket to the World Series. George Springer and Carlos Correa didn’t have great batting averages, but they had crucial hits throughout the series. They combined to hit 4 home runs and drive in 9 runs. Alex Bregman was quiet, but he managed to get on base a lot with 7 walks to only 2 strikeouts. If those three start hitting more consistently this could be a quick World Series for Houston. Gerrit Cole only had 7 strikeouts in his only start in Game 3, but he did pitch a shutout in his 7 innings pitched. Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke didn’t pitch great in their two starts each, but they only lost one game with their bullpen helping them in the other two games they pitched. Will Harris was the best bullpen arm for the Astros. In the 4 games he pitched, Harris allowed only 1 hit in 3-2/3 innings pitched and struck out 4 batters. While Roberto Osuna got the win in Game 6, he can’t allow anymore runs in the 9th inning. Should Greinke and Verlander get back to form the bullpen might get some well deserved rest.
Astros in 6 games