With the Astros starting pitching and the Nationals starting pitching both being as strong as they are, much like the Yankees series I expect this series to come down to the bullpens and situational hitting. While the Astros weren’t great in the ALCS at situational hitting, or the ALDS for that matter, they were better than the two teams they were facing.
Also, the small things like baserunning and defense will be crucial. As long as the Astros can get a lead, I think our bullpen can hold off the Nats. The rotation of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin and Anibal Sanchez is tough, but as long as we can put up two or three runs in a few games I think we’ll be good.
I had a dream last night that the Astros put up a 10 spot in the third inning on Scherzer. Foreshadowing? Maybe, although I don’t expect any blowouts in this series. All in all I expect the Astros to win it in five or six games, especially with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole pitching four out of the possible seven games.
Will Harris — He’s flat out been dominant all season. The best season of his career has led him to this moment. He’s the stopper out of the pen, the concrete wall that halts all rallies. Continued dominance from him will only bode well for the Astros.
Alex Bregman — He had an incredible regular season in what could lead to an MVP award, but he hasn’t necessarily been tearing the cover off the ball this postseason. He’s made consistent hard contact, as many Astros hitters have, but has yet to see results.
Juan Soto — The dynamic young outfielder with power and all the ability in the world will be on the biggest stage of them all. It’ll be interesting to see if he can withstand the pressure.
The Nationals rotation — Many of the Astros offensive players have good numbers against numerous starters for the Nationals. It’ll be intriguing to see if the trend continues. Albeit in small sample sizes, having seen pitchers before only helps the Astros hitters.