With Game 1 set to get underway on Tuesday night, we take a look at three ways the Washington Nationals can win the World Series.
Game 1 of the 2019 World Series is set to get underway on Tuesday in Houston as the Washington Nationals take on the heavily favored Astros.
Not many people are giving the Washington Nationals much of a chance in this series, but if anyone can match up with the starting rotation and lineup of the Astros, it’s the Nationals.
I’m not trying to discredit the Astros and say the hype surrounding them isn’t deserved, but the Nats have just as good of a starting rotation, and at least in the postseason, they’ve had the better offense.
This is going to be a hard-fought series, and it very well could come down to who does the little things well.
I haven’t watched a ton of Astros baseball outside of the postseason, but I know they are very sound defensively.
In the regular season, the Houston Astros ranked 10th in defensive WAR, according to FanGraphs, with a score of 9.9, while the Nationals ranked just 17th at 0.9.
But both teams ranked in the top 10 in terms of fewest errors made, and the Nats were just outside the top 10 in fielding percentage.
I’m expecting these games to be very tight, so the Nats will need to make sure they make all the plays on defense and not give the Astros anything.
And then, of course, they’ll need that surprise player to step up and make a huge contribution just like Steve Pearce did for the Boston Red Sox last year.
Howie Kendrick seems like the obvious choice there, but he’s been so good that you just kind of expect great things from him at this point.
But outside of those two keys, there are three others in this series that I think will be critical in order for the Nationals to win.