The Houston Astros find themselves in the toughest of World Series predicaments--down 1-0, on the road. Losing game one is already tough enough, with only 36% of game one losers going on to win the World Series. Since 1999, only three of the 18 would-be World Series champs lost game one and only one of those three winners lost game one on the road. That was the 2016 Cubs.
It's an uphill battle already for the Astros, and a loss tonight would only make that climb steeper. There have been just 10 teams in the history of the World Series to climb out of a 0-2 hole and go on to be champions.
The Astros will task ALCS MVP Justin Verlander with taking home field advantage back to Houston and you would think Houston feels pretty confident with that.
In his two ALCS starts, Verlander notched a 0.56 ERA in two victories, striking out 21 and walking just two in his 16 innings of work. His first start was vintage Verlander, as he threw a complete game on 124-pitches, routinely getting his fastballs into the mid-90's over the last several innings.
Verlander will be opposed by Rich Hill, whose boasts of a similar career resurgence to Verlander. Just over two years ago, Hill was taking the mound for the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League. He hadn't started a Major League game since 2009. Now, he is the third best pitcher in a stacked Dodgers pitching rotation and is striking out more batters per nine innings than just about anybody in the National League.
He is making his first career World Series start, while Verlander will be making his third.
Here are your lineups: