2019 World Series Odds, Schedule: Nationals vs. Astros Trends, Stats & Pitching Notes
Geoff Burke, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Sean Doolittle
- The Astros are -220 favorites to win the World Series over the Washington Nationals.
- Check out the odds, schedule, pitching notes and more for the 2019 World Series.
2019 World Series Odds & Schedule: Washington Nationals vs. Houston Astros
- Nationals World Series odds: +180
- Astros World Series odds: -220
- Game 1 date: Tuesday, October 22 in Houston
- Nationals Game 1 odds: +179
- Astros Game 1 odds: -200
The Houston Astros and Washington Nationals will meet in the 115th edition of the World Series, beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 22, in Houston.
This is the Astros’ third World Series appearance, including their 2017 championship, while the Nats are playing in the Fall Classic for the first time.
This is how the World Series schedule breaks down:
- Game 1: Tuesday, Oct. 22: WSH at HOU, 8:08 p.m. ET on FOX
- Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 23: WSH at HOU, 8:07 p.m. ET on FOX
- Game 3: Friday, Oct. 25: HOU at WSH, 8:07 p.m. ET on FOX
- Game 4: Saturday, Oct. 26: HOU at WSH, 8:07 p.m. ET on FOX
- Game 5: Sunday, Oct. 27: HOU at WSH, 8:07 p.m. ET on FOX (if necessary)
- Game 6: Tuesday, Oct. 29: WSH at HOU, 8:07 p.m. ET on FOX (if necessary)
- Game 7: Wednesday, Oct. 30: WSH at HOU, 8:08 p.m. ET on FOX (if necessary)
How The Astros and Nationals Got Here
With a 50-22 record (.694), the Astros played at a 112-win pace in the second half, netting a +189 run differential after the All-Star break and finishing with the best scoring margin in MLB (+280).
The Astros went the distance in the ALDS, eliminating the Rays in Game 5 as they won three of the four games started by Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander to advance out of that series.
The duo is tough to score against, limiting the Rays and Yankees to eight runs scored in 43.1 innings (1.67 ERA).
The Astros offense has only scored 3.54 runs per game in the playoffs – almost two runs below their season average – with a team OPS around .650.
Houston has a team strikeout rate higher than 26% in the playoffs after recording an MLB-best 18.2% strikeout rate this season.
Meanwhile, the Nationals won 93 games overall and played at a 101-win pace in the second half, despite posting a 24-33 record through May.
They finished with 12 more wins than the Philadelphia Phillies, who signed Bryce Harper from the Nats in the most significant splash move last winter.
On May 23, the Nats were tied with the Marlins for last place in the NL East and had one more loss than the Tigers – a team that finished at 47-114.
In the NL Wild Card Game, Washington scored three runs with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning off of Josh Hader – one of the most dominant relievers in baseball – to advance to the NLDS against the Dodgers.
Against the NL Pennant favorite, the Nats rallied from a 2-1 series deficit and overcame a three-run Dodgers’ lead in the deciding Game 5 to advance to their first NLCS in franchise history, where they swept the Cardinals in four games by a combined score of 20-6.
The Nationals pitching has been dominant in the playoffs, allowing a 2.90 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP while striking out 12.3 batters per nine innings.
On the season, the Astros bullpen ranks 11th in FIP, first in xFIP, and first in K-BB%. By the same metrics, the Nationals rank 26th, 29th, and 23rd.
If the Astros can get into the Nationals’ bullpen frequently, as no other team has done in the playoffs, they can exploit a significant edge in this series.
Projected Pitching Matchups
Both teams will have their starters lined up on full rest in the World Series.
Stephen Strasburg (1.64 ERA, 33:1 strikeout to walk ratio) has been slightly sharper than Scherzer (1.80 ERA, 27:8 strikeout to walk ratio) in the playoffs – after Scherzer pitched through some late-season injuries.
Scherzer had a better FIP (2.45 vs. 3.25) and xFIP (2.88 vs. 3.17) in the regular season, but putting Strasburg in Game 2 also lines him up for Game 6 – and essentially prevents a Game 7 relief appearance which would now go to Scherzer.
As a result, here are the expected pitching matchups:
- Game 1: Max Scherzer at Gerrit Cole
- Game 2: Stephen Strasburg at Justin Verlander
- Game 3: Zack Greinke at Patrick Corbin
- Game 4: Astros’ Bullpen at Anibal Sanchez
- Game 5: Gerrit Cole at Max Scherzer (if necessary)
- Game 6: Stephen Strasburg at Justin Verlander (if necessary)
- Game 7: Patrick Corbin at Zack Greinke
The Astros could start Brad Peacock (4.64 xFIP) or Jose Urquidy (4.30 xFIP) on their anticipated bullpen day in Game 4.
Trends to Know
The American League owns a 66-48 head to head record against the National League in the World Series.
Home teams are 44-33 (57.1%) in World Series Games since 2005. Home favorites are 35-21 (62.5%), while home underdogs are 9-12 (42.8%).
Over the same period, home favorites are 16-3 (84.2%) in Games 1 and 2 of the World Series, winning by an average margin of 2.47 runs.
Totals are split down the middle, at 37-37-3 in World Series play, but overs are 9-5 (64.3%) in Game 1 since 2005.
Projected Series Price
I projected the Astros as a -186 favorite in this series, with an implied win probability of 65%.
As a result, I see three percent in series moneyline value on the Astros at odds of -163 (implied 62%), or on the Nationals at odds of +213 (implied 32%).
If the Astros win Game 1, I will move their fair odds to -335 (implied 77%), but with a loss, I would drop them to +113 (implied 47%); as I project Houston as a favorite in every game in the World Series.