With a win Tuesday night at stunning Minute Maid Park, the Houston Astros will be crowned World Series champions for the second time in three years.
Standing in their way is the Washington Nationals, who are hoping to fly a World Series flag in the city since the Senators won their only championship in 1924.
Tuesday’s pitching matchup, just as it was in Game 2, should be electric as Houston’s Justin Verlander squares off against Washington’s Stephen Strasburg.
The latter got the better of the former in the second game of the series, which just so happens to be the last time the Nationals won a game in this World Series.
That was six days ago and a lot has changed since then.
Washington won Games 1 and 2 by a combined score of 17-7, but Houston has rattled off three straight wins and has outscored the Nats 19-3 in those outings.
So why the sudden U-turn?
Zack Greinke and five relievers were dominant in Game 3, Alex Bregman’s five RBI’s and a stingy string of relievers helped claim Game 4, and Gerrit Cole was virtually unhittable in Game 5 — all giving the ‘Stros an opportunity to reclaim their spot atop Major League Baseball.
Strasburg was sensational for the Nationals in Game 2 and has to be just as good if Washington has any hope of forcing a Game 7, because I get the sense that Verlander is going to rip the monkey off his back.
In six World Series starts, Verlander is 0-5 with a 5.73 earned run average.
But for a big game hurler who is coming off a 21-win, 300 strikeout regular season, and who will be pitching in front of a fervent hometown crowd, Verlander is due for a huge outing and Game 6 might just be his moment.