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Stephen Strasburg Almost Goes the Distance and Helps the 2019 World Series Go the Distance

In a World Series many thought would be one of the most epic in the history of the game, it is only fitting the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals will play a winner-take-all Game 7 for the 2019 World Series crown. Six games have been played. Six times the road team has won. We even had a manger tossed; the first time a manager has been ejected from a World Series game since the ejection GOAT—Bobby Cox—was told to hit the showers in 1996.  

But the stage is set for one of the best finished to any season in ages; Game 7 will feature a former Cy Young winner against a multiple time Cy Young award winner (who is more than likely going to add another piece of hardware to his mantel). However, before we delve into our World Series Game 7 Odds preview, first we need to talk about the seesaw affair that was Game Six. 

World Series Game 7 Odds

SPREAD
Washington Nationals


+1.5

-186

+1.5
-180

+1.5
-175

+1.5
-175

+1.5
-167


+1.5

-170


Houston Astros


-1.5

+155

-1.5
+152

-1.5
+155

-1.5
+143

-1.5
+145


-1.5

+145


O/U
Over

O 7.5
-110

O 7.5
-110

O 7.5
-115

O 7.5
-115


O 7.5
-113


O 7.5

-110


Under

U 7.5
-110

U 7.5
-110

U 7.5
-105

U 7.5
-106


U 7.5
-103


U 7.5

-110


Moneyline
Washington Nationals


+120


+126


+125


+118


+123

+120

Houston Astros


-140


-144


-135


-143


-139

-140

Road, Sweet Road: How the Home Team is Now 0-for-6 Holding Court in the World Series

The Nationals jumped out to a 1-0 lead with an Anthony Rendon RBI single in the top of the first off of Justin Verlander. If the Astros fall in Game 7, there is a very good chance he will go down as the lower-g “goat.” But the Astros responded with two in the bottom of the first off of Strasburg, including a monster bomb from playoff terror Alex Bregman to put the Astros in the lead. Bregman was so infatuated with the blast he carried his bat all the way up the first baseline before finally handing it off to the first base coach and getting into his home run trot.  

Staked to the 2-1 lead, Verlander showed why he is going to be either first or second in the AL Cy Young voting. He posted goose eggs in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings. However, Strasburg retired eight straight between the second and fourth innings before walking back-to-back batter in the bottom of the fourth. No matter though for Strasburg as he struck out Carlos Correa to end the threat. That’s when the Nationals bats woke up for the first time since Game Two.  

While Trea Turner (you’ll hear more about him in a bit) fouled out to start the frame, Adam Eaton walloped a hanging breaking ball to right to tie the game. After an Anthony Rendon flyout to right, Juan Soto took a high fastball and obliterated it to right, finding the upper decks for a 3-2 Nationals lead. Soto responded in kind to Alex Bregman’s bat carry and hoisted his own piece of lumber all the way down the first baseline before he finally relinquished the bat to his own first base coach. Strasburg and Verlander traded zeroes in their respective six frame before the fireworks started in the 7th. 

The Wild 7th: An Ejection and the Righteous Anger of the Baseball gods

Yan Gomes got things started for the Nationals in the top of the 7th with a single. Then Turner hit a swinging bunt down the first baseline. New Astros pitcher Brad Peacock fielded the ball and fired a barehanded toss to first. It was slightly up the line and got past Yuri Gurriel, putting runners at second and third. However, Turner was eventually called out on review for runner interference, sending Gomes back to first and giving the Astros the first out of the inning. After a lengthy argument from Dave Martinez the game resumed with Will Harris replacing Peacock. 

While Harris induced a popout from Eaton, he offered up a juicy two-seamer right down the pipe, which Rendon slugged to left for a 5-2 Nationals lead. Despite the good feelings that must have given Martinez, the Nationals manager was still livid from the interference call and got ejected arguing between the inning change, becoming the first manager since the illustriously tossable Bobby Cox was sent home early in the 1996 World Series.  

However, Martinez did not need to worry as his right-handed workhorse was in a groove. Strasburg retired the final three batters he faced in the 6th, retired the side in order in the 7th, and needed just five pitches to do the same in the 8th. Rendon added two more on a double in the top of the ninth, allowing Strasburg to come back out in the 9th, After he got Gurriel to line out on a comebacker, he handed the ball to Sean Doolittle to try and finish off the Astros in Game Six. Despite some hard hit balls, he did just that as the Nationals prevailed 7-2. 

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World Series Game 7 Odds Preview: Max Scherzer vs. Zach Greinke 

Now it all comes down to this. In a series replete with some of the best pitching matchups available, we get a great one for the winner-take-all Game 7. Max Scherzer will toe the rubber for the Nationals for the first time Since Game Two due to getting scratched with neck spasms prior to Game Five. It may have been a stroke of luck for the Nationals because—for the first time this series—they appear to have the upper hand in the pitching matchup.  

Scherzer’s counterpart will be Zach Greinke, acquired via trade at midseason. Greinke has struggled this postseason but kept the Nationals off balance enough in Game Four to go 4.2 innings while allowing just one run despite three walks and six strikeouts. Although Scherzer has dominated all season, including the postseason, he had to slog his way through five innings in Game One, needing 112 pitches while giving up a pair of runs. The question for Game 7 is, “which one of these pitchers will be in Cy Young Form? Scherzer? Greinke? Both? NONE? 

According to the sportsbook, the answer is Greinke and the Astros. For every game this World Series, the Astros have been the favorite and it is not changing in Game 7. The Game 7 World Series odds are pegging the Astros as slight favorites, with most sportsbooks having them go off at -140. The Nationals are once again the underdogs for Game 7 of the World Series; the Nationals World Series odds sit at +120.  

Once again with a game featuring pitchers of such magnitude, the over/under is set at 7.5. If you are thinking about Over/Under bets for Game 7 of the World Series, that number has been surpassed in all but one of the games (the Astros Game Three 4-1 victory where Greinke started). We don’t know who is going to win this one, but one thing is for certain; after tonight, somebody is going to be lifting the World Series trophy. You can bet on that.