Hashing out some of the particulars for tonight’s Game 7 in a series that has been light on late-inning drama, but heavy on intrigue outside the lines.
Before we get into handicapper Vegas Vic’s pick, here’s a quick synopsis.
What: World Series, Game 7
Who: Washington at Houston
When: Wednesday, 8:08 p.m. (Fox)
Washington pitcher: RHP Max Scherzer (3-0, 2.16 ERA this postseason). Had to be scratched from his Game 5 start because of neck spasms, but says he’s ready to go. Briefly tossed in the bullpen during Game 6 on Tuesday, before the Nationals pulled away. ... Gave up two runs in five innings to earn the win in Game 1 in Houston. The two runs came in the first inning on Yuli Gurriel’s two-out double. Hasn’t pitched in seven days. ... Astros outfielder Michael Brantley is 16-47 (.340) in his career off Scherzer.
Houston pitcher: RHP Zack Greinke (0-2, 5.30 ERA this postseason). Gave up one run in 4.2 innings in Game 3. Threw 95 pitches before being taken out following Asdrubal Cabrera’s double made it second-and-third. Josh James put out the fire and the Astros went on to win their first game of the series. ... Greinke was acquired at the trade deadline from Arizona. ... Cabrera is a career .450 hitter off Greinke (18-40).
“We don’t know if [Scherzer’s] healthy or not. We’re going to find out in the first inning.”
Vegas Vic’s pick
In-game betting could be the GREATEST thing since, well, three-team 10-point teasers. For those who were not with me, I took a prop last night, the “Double Result”, and cashed a sweet ticket.
My original bet was the Nationals to score first (which they did) and the Astros to win the game (which they did not). Shopped around and managed to find a sportsbook that was offering 8-1 odds.
Then, when Washington tied the game at 2-2 in the 5th inning, hedged half my action, and bought back the Nats to win the game at -$120. So, my win was cut in half, but still, 4-1 ain’t too shabby.
What to do in Game 7? Man, if Mad Max Scherzer was totally healthy, I would drop my chips on Washington, especially if I can find them at +$130. Just don’t know. But I would like to know what was in the cortisone shot. Max couldn’t dress himself on Sunday, yet he was throwing bombs in the outfield then warming up in the bullpen last night ready to come in. Wow!
And not at all impressed with Zack Greinke who has not won a game in the playoffs, while allowing 11 earned runs and 22 hits in just 18 innings. That’s OVER a hit per inning and a BLOATED 5.50 ERA. So, gonna try the same prop again, and take the Nationals to score first and the Astros to win at 6-1. They dropped the odds from 8-1 because they knew that Double V was gonna hit ‘em with both hands. Once the game starts, I’ll be on my phone apps to see who has the best price on the Nats buyback, if they score first.
Also, if you would like to step out on a crazy limb with Vic, maybe a little taste of the “Winning Margin” prop. You can take back 10-1 on either team winning by exactly three runs. And I direct your attention to Game 3, a 4-1 final. And guess who pitched? Yea, Greinke. Just sayin’.
Odds and trends
♦ The road team has won all six games, the first time that’s happened in a series in the three major sports.
♦ Even though each team has won three games, bettors who took the Astros in every game -- based on $100 wagers and closing odds at VegasInsider.com -- would be -$245 for the series. Those who were on the Nationals for every game would be +$195.
♦ Washington is 7-1 on the road this postseason. Houston is 5-4 at home.
♦ Over is 4-1-1 in the six games this World Series. Over/under tonight is 7.5.
♦ Road teams have won the last three World Series’ Game 7s and are 20-19 overall. Many of these same Astros won the title two years ago by taking Game 7 at Dodger Stadium.
♦ FanDuel’s line on number of strikeouts by Scherzer is 7.5. For Greinke, it’s 4.5.
Sampling of odds from area sportsbooks:
Note: Lines were sampled at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday. They’ll change throughout the day.