It’s the two greatest words in sports: Game 7. Yup, it is the final baseball game of the season as the winner of tonight’s matchup between the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros will be crowned World Series champions, and the Nats will get a big boost on the mound.
Max Scherzer said, “I’m good,” as he walked off the field Tuesday after a full warm up prior to the Nationals 7-2 victory in Game 6. Scherzer was scratched from his Game 5 start with neck and back stiffness, and he will see just how much he has recovered as he toes the rubber against Zack Greinke. From the first pitch to the final out, we break down the best ways to wager the odds for Game 7 of the World Series.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS AT HOUSTON ASTROS (-130, 7.5)
Starters are creatures of habit, and not only is Scherzer not an exception to the rule, he’s one of the reasons they made the rule. Scherzer loves his routine and with these neck and back issues, you can throw his routine out the window. Heck, after that warm up before last night’s game, he then warmed up during the game and was ready to come in.
Schezer is also the type of pitcher that needs to get settled in sometimes. Between innings one and six, the right-hander had his worst ERA in the first inning this season and has allowed a first inning run in three of his four postseason starts this year.
And you’re really not sure what you’re going to get with Greinke going on the other side. He could look unhittable one minute and out of the game the next. Look for Game 7 to start off with a bang.
Pick: Run in First Inning – Yes (+100)
FIRST FIVE INNINGS
If not for the incredible postseason Stephen Strasburg is having, we would probably be talking about Scherzer more. The veteran fireballer has a 2.16 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, is limiting opponents to a .161 batting average and has struck out 34 batters in 25 postseason innings. That’s pretty good.
Meanwhile, Greinke has been more inconsistent with a 5.30 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP this postseason and while he gave up just one run in Game 3, the Nats got to him for seven hits and three walks in 4.2 innings.
Pick: Nationals Five Inning RL +0.5 (-130)
Juan Soto has been an absolute monster this postseason. The 21-year-old smashed his fifth home run of the postseason and third of the World Series to the second deck of Minute Maid Park last night. He’s now hitting .304 in the Fall Classic with a 1.190 OPS. His total bases total is set at an interesting 0.5 tonight instead of 1.5 and is juiced quite a bit. That’s probably because Soto went 0-2 with a walk against Greinke in Game three. But the guy is so hot, the juice doesn’t matter. He’s going to have an impact on this game, take the Over.
Pick: Juan Soto Over 0.5 Total Bases (-165)
FULL GAME TOTAL
The first six games of the World Series have gone 4-1-1 in favor of the Over and it’s not crazy to think Game 7 will go Over as well. The number is low. Scherzer has some issues settling in and who know what you’ll get from Greinke, and both teams are hitting fairly well right now. The Astros are now hitting .274 in the series scoring 4.7 runs per game, while the Nats are hitting .237 and scoring 4.5 runs per game. This one feels like there will be some scoring early, then the starters will get in a groove, and then more scoring late, as both bullpens bot have question marks.
Pick: Over 7.5
FULL GAME SIDE
Nationals manager Dave Martinez said there will be no limits on the right-hander. "Max will pitch until his neck decides he can't pitch anymore," he said in a press conference. And that’s probably because Scherzer would yell at him to get back in the dugout. But this is a difficult game to call. It could go almost anyway possible. You can expect it will be all hands on deck for all pitchers not named Verlander or Strasburg. Heck, the home team is 0-6 so far in the series. So, anything can happen. It’s Game 7. But if Scherzer is healthy enough to be good Scherzer in this game, the Nationals have the edge. And with the added value of him being an underdog, that’s the side we’re taking. The Nations will claim their first World Series title in franchise history.
Pick: Nationals +120