Either the Los Angeles Dodgers will end a 29-year title drought or the Houston Astros will celebrate their first World Series championship when the teams compete in Game 7 at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday. The wild series that has featured a record 24 homers was extended to a seventh game Tuesday as the Dodgers posted a 3-1 victory.
Los Angeles solved Astros ace Justin Verlander in Game 6 and looks to ride the momentum when Yu Darvish takes the mound against Houston’s Lance McCullers Jr. “You’ve got the two best teams in baseball going head-to-head,” Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts told reporters after Game 6. “Like we’ve talked about from the beginning, these two teams mirror one another. But we worked all year long to have home-field advantage, and here we are.” The Astros hope a second chance will deliver the outcome they crave after seeing their offense get shut down on Tuesday. “Now it feels like we need to play seven,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch told reporters after the setback. “I’m glad the series isn’t over in their favor. But this series has been back and forth - and two incredible teams trying to get to the finish line.”
TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, FOX
PITCHING MATCHUP: Astros RH Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0, 2.95 ERA) vs. Dodgers RH Yu Darvish (2-1, 4.15)
McCullers was on hold for possible relief duty in Game 6, so he did his day-before throwing in right field following the conclusion of Tuesday’s contest. The 24-year-old defeated the Dodgers in Game 3, when he gave up three runs and four hits with four walks over 5 1/3 innings. “I just have to stick with my game plan and execute a little bit better than last time in certain spots and just be a competitor out there,” McCullers told reporters after Game 6.
Darvish was dreadful when matched against McCullers in Game 3 as he gave up four runs and six hits - including a homer by Yuli Gurriel - while lasting just 1 2/3 innings. “I can’t pay that much attention to what happened last time,” the Japanese Darvish said through his interpreter at a press conference. “Just focus on (Wednesday’s) outing and have a good game.” Darvish has served up seven homers in 24 2/3 career postseason innings, which includes his tenure with Texas.
1. This will be the first Game 7 between two 100-win clubs since the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Philadelphia Athletics in 1931.
2. Houston RF George Springer (9-for-24, five walks) hit his fourth homer of the series on Tuesday and is one shy of the World Series record shared by Reggie Jackson (1977) and Chase Utley (2009).
3. Los Angeles LF Joc Pederson, who batted .212 in the regular season, is 5-for-14 with a franchise record-tying three homers in the series.
PREDICTION: Dodgers 5, Astros 4