You could almost say the Washington Nationals have the Houston Astros right where they want them.
The National League champs have perennial all-star pitcher Max Scherzer starting the deciding World Series contest and Wednesday night’s Game 7 is for the Nationals a road contest.
Washington’s three series victories have all come at Houston’s Minute Maid Park, and one more win will mean that for the first time the Fall Classic was decided when the road team won each game.
And the road team winning the World Series decider is a recent trend; the past five events were won on the road.
“It’s weird, really. I mean, we can’t explain it,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Tuesday after Game 6. “I know we were trying to win games at home and just couldn’t do it.”
Scherzer was supposed to pitch Game 5 in Washington but couldn’t because of back and neck spasms. He was the winner in Game 2 when he pitched six innings and allowed two runs. The Nationals won when they scored 10 runs in the final three innings.
The Astros are still confident in their chances. Right-hander Zack Greinke will start and he was good in a short Game 3 stint. He only gave up one run but pitched just 4 2/3 innings.
Being the last game of the season, at least one other Astros starter, Gerrit Cole, should be available to pitch in relief.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch said he hopes home-field advantage will be back for his team, which won the most games during the regular season.
“We worked really hard to get home-field and we’re happy to play at home,” he told reporters. “We have no problem playing at home. This place will be rocking Wednesday night. We’ve won a ton of games in this ballpark. This series has been very weird.
The first pitch for the game, which airs on Fox, should be thrown at 7:08 p.m. CT (8:08 p.m. ET).