The Houston Astros are right back in the World Series after a 4-1 win Friday night to shrink the Nationals series lead to 2-1. The story of this game was the Astros pitching, particularly the bullpen, as Zack Greinke went 4.2 innings and gave up just one run and then the bullpen came in and fired 4.1 shutout innings giving up just two hits and striking seven in those 4.1 innings. The Nationals bullpen did what they could to keep Washington in the game, as they threw 3.2 shutout innings giving up just one hit, but the offense could not make up for Anibal Sanchez’s poor performance. Sanchez was able to go 5.1 innings, but the righty gave up 10 hits, walked one and gave up four runs during his outing.
Offensively there was no explosions, but the Astros were able to put up one run in the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th innings to get the key Game Three win. Josh Reddick started the scoring with a RBI single in the 2nd and Michael Brantley tacked onto that in the 3rd with an infield single to score Jose Altuve. The Nationals got one run back in the 4th thanks to a RBI triple by Victor Robles, but that was all the Astros pitching staff would give up on the night. Houston tacked on two more runs thanks to another RBI single by Brantley to score Altuve, in the 5th, and a Robinson Chirinos solo home run in the 6th.
After the Astros win on Friday the current odds for the World Series winner is the Washington Nationals at -116 and the Houston Astros at -104.
Below is my pick for Game Four of the 2019 World Series. All lines are from FanDuel Sportsbook.
(Wash leads 2-1): Houston Astros (+104) at Washington Nationals (-120): O/U 8.5 runs (-106/-116)
The Houston Astros will be turning to a rookie making his first postseason start, and just his 8th career big league start, when Jose Urquidy takes the mound Saturday night. Urquidy has appeared in two postseason games, but has not pitched more than 2.2 innings in either appearance. In his ALDS appearance Urquidy threw 1.2 shutout innings against the Tampa Bay Rays and in the ALCS the rookie gave up one run, in 2.2 innings, against the New York Yankees. This will most likely be a bullpen game for the Astros, but manager AJ Hinch did say he will leave Urquidy in as long as the rookie is pitching effectively.
The Washington Nationals will be turning to the very often used Patrick Corbin who will be starting his third postseason game and appearing in his 7th total game this postseason. Corbin has either been really good in his appearances or really bad and out early. The lefty has given up 10 total runs in two of his appearances (5.2 innings), one against the Dodgers and one against the Cardinals, but has given up just one total run in his other four appearances (8.2 total innings). The Nationals will obviously need the good Corbin to show up Saturday night.
Game Four Pitching Matchup: Jose Urquidy (2.08 ERA in 4.1 playoff innings) vs Patrick Corbin (6.91 ERA in 14.1 playoff innings)
Game Four Prediction: I still think the Astros win the World Series, so they almost have to win the game Saturday night. I am back Houston at +104 in Game Four.
MLB Playoffs Record: 18-13