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2017 World Series Game 6 Preview: Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

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Can the Astros finish the job tonight?

World Series - Houston Astros v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Two Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

2017 World Series, Game 6

Houston Astros (3-2) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (2-3), Oct. 31, 2017, 7:20 p.m. CDT

Location: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
TV: FOX
Radio: Streaming on MLB At Bat app, 790 KBME AM, ESPN Deportes 1230, ESPN Radio
Online: MLB.TV, Fox Sports Go
Dodgers SBNation Blog: True Blue LA


Pitching Matchup

RHP Justin Verlander (4-0, 2.05 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, .219 BABIP, 4.52 xFIP) vs. LHP Rich Hill(0-0, 2.77 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, .259 BABIP, 3.85 XFIP)


Preview

MLB.com’s Astros beat writer Brian McTaggart had his greatest tidbit of all time on Tuesday:

The Houston Astros can, in fact, win the franchise's first World Series victory on Tuesday night in game 6. The Astros in their second trip to the World Series in 55 regular seasons, can give the City of Houston it’s ninth professional sports championship and the first since the Houston Dynamo won the 2007 MLS Cup.

I say that to be inclusive but honestly, this Houston Astros championship will be on par with only the two championships for the Houston Rockets.

The Astros will head into game six back in L.A. with the pitcher best equipped to make the start, Justin Verlander.

Pitching trends

Justin Verlander is 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA in five playoff performances including four starts. He allowed three earned runs over six innings in Game 2 of the Astros-Dodgers series, both were home runs. He is 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) during his short career with the Astros.

Again it is only the second start for Verlander at Dodger Stadium, both have come in the World Series. Somehow. Rich Hill again counters Justin Verlander as he did in Game 2. Hill exited game four after four innings. He allowed one run on three hits, he walked three and struck out seven.

Rich’s groundball/flyball out ratio for that game was 0.25, far higher than the season average of 0.75 GO/GO in 2017. It is an extremely small sample size but the Astros were able to get the ball in the air against Hill. The game could come down to how long Rich Hill can go and how hard the right-handed bats of the Astros hit him.

Hitting trends

The Dodgers as a team are batting .213 during the World Series. Counting the players that have over 10-plus at-bats, only three are batting .250 and over: Corey Seager (.250), Logan Forsythe (.308), and Joc Pederson (.364). Pederson has gone from coming off the bench to being one of the best weapons in three games in Houston.

Dodgers 2017 World Series Stats

Player Pos G AB▼ R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
Player Pos G AB▼ R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
Puig, Y RF 5 21 2 3 0 0 2 4 0 5 0.143 0.143 0.429 0.571
Bellinger, C 1B 5 20 4 4 2 1 1 5 1 10 0.200 0.238 0.550 0.788
Seager, C SS 5 20 4 5 1 0 1 3 2 6 0.250 0.318 0.450 0.768
Turner, J 3B 5 20 4 3 2 0 1 2 3 3 0.150 0.261 0.400 0.661
Taylor, C LF 5 18 4 4 0 0 1 2 4 3 0.222 0.391 0.389 0.780
Barnes, A C 5 16 1 3 1 0 0 2 0 4 0.188 0.222 0.250 0.472
Forsythe, L 2B 5 13 3 4 1 0 0 3 3 3 0.308 0.438 0.385 0.822
Hernandez, E CF 5 13 2 3 0 0 0 1 2 3 0.231 0.333 0.231 0.564
Pederson, J LF 4 11 4 4 2 0 2 4 2 5 0.364 0.462 1.091 1.552
Utley, C 2B 2 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Culberson, C SS 4 4 2 2 0 0 1 1 0 1 0.500 0.500 1.250 1.750
Ethier, A RF 3 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.333 0.500 0.333 0.833
Grandal, Y C 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000

Five Astros have battered over .250 with 17 or more at-bats: Carlos Correa (.333), George Springer (.333), Jose Altuve (.250), Alex Bregman (.273), and Yuli Gurriel (.250). The top of the Astros lineup has been killing in the World Series and all five are right-handed bats facing left-handed Rich Hill.

Astros 2017 World Series Stats

Player Pos G AB▼ R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
Player Pos G AB▼ R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
Altuve, J 2B 5 24 4 6 2 0 2 5 0 6 0.250 0.250 0.583 0.833
Bregman, A 3B 5 22 5 6 1 0 2 5 2 1 0.273 0.320 0.591 0.911
Correa, C SS 5 21 3 7 1 0 2 5 1 3 0.333 0.364 0.667 1.030
Springer, G CF 5 21 5 7 2 0 3 4 4 6 0.333 0.440 0.857 1.297
Gurriel, Y 1B 5 20 2 5 3 0 2 4 1 4 0.250 0.286 0.700 0.986
McCann, B C 5 19 1 4 0 0 1 2 0 5 0.211 0.250 0.368 0.618
Reddick, J RF 5 19 3 4 1 0 0 0 1 3 0.211 0.250 0.263 0.513
Gonzalez, M LF 5 17 2 2 0 0 1 2 3 5 0.118 0.250 0.294 0.544
Gattis, E C 4 9 1 3 0 0 0 0 4 0 0.333 0.538 0.333 0.872
Beltran, C DH 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Keuchel, D P 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Maybin, C LF 2 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000 1.000 1.000 2.000
Verlander, J P 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000

3 Keys to Game 5

Pitch count

Justin Verlander has averaged right around 100 pitches through his four playoff start. Verlander is 3-0 in those start so far. During the Regular season, Verlander during the regular season has averaged 107 pitches per start over 33 starts.

Verlander may need to go 7-8-9 innings to secure the win. His season high in 2017 is 124 pitches over nine innings against the Yankees in the ALCS. Can Verlander do the same in World Series?

George Springer

George Springer has found it swing again. Springer struggled mightily at Dodger Stadium before his two-run home run in game two. Can he continue that magic in game six at the top of the line up and spark the offense?

Ken Giles

I believe we will see Ken Giles tonight. Will we get Kenneth or Ken tonight? That will probably decide if Houston will lift they trophy tonight?