Astros vs. Phillies, Game 5, 8:03 ET
Well, one way to win a game is not to let the other team get anything going offensively. Like, literally anything. The Astros threw a no-hitter yesterday but you know what I was most impressed by? There was no over-the-top celebration. They realized it doesn’t mean a damn thing if they don’t win the series. That was yesterday, today they have to get a good start out of Justin Verlander if they want to win this.
There has been a ton of talk about Verlander and how he has failed over and over in the World Series. I think it speaks to the success of Verlander that he has been able to get so many starts there and be on this many successful teams. I have a feeling tonight is the night that Verlander breaks through. Maybe he doesn’t record a win, but he should be able to keep the Phillies at bay better than the series’ first game. In Game 1, the Phillies hammered Verlander for five runs in five innings. They didn’t do it with the long ball either. There really is no indication for why I would feel this way though. In the postseason, Verlander has allowed 12 earned runs in 15 innings. In the regular season, he allowed 34 earned runs in 175 innings. Maybe it will help that he’s on the road and the change of scenery will give him a little comfort. He doesn’t quite have his back against the wall either, so there shouldn’t be the same type of pressure.
The Phillies are sending out Zack Wheeler… wait, what? They are sending Noah Syndergaard to the mound in a really important Game 5? Why? Of all the decisions made that people need to question this has to be number one for me. Going to Houston down 3-2 is really tough. Maybe the assumption is they can use Wheeler in Game 6 to save the season or to win, but then he almost certainly has no chance of pitching in Game 7. Syndergaard is familiar enough with the Astros, but he isn’t great and hasn’t been for years – mostly due to injury. This will essentially be a bullpen game for the Phillies, and while they have a solid enough ‘pen, they had to use a bunch of arms last night.
It has not been a pretty World Series for me. I was down slightly going into this, but I haven’t hit a single game yet. I thought we were good last night but then the Astros scored five in the fifth and ruined the bet. I almost never do this, but I’m going to take the Astros at -155. I am playing it with the listed pitchers options meaning that Syndergaard and Verlander must start for the play to happen. If they decide to throw Wheeler this is a completely different analysis.
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