After Thursday off, the World Series resumes tonight, this time at Minute Maid Park in Houston for Game 3.
Houston hasn’t lost a game at home this postseason but the Dodgers are 3–1 in their four games away from Dodgers Stadium in October. It’s a best-of-five series now.
The Astros didn’t have to win Game 2 but had they lost, their only real hope of winning the series would have been sweeping these next three games in Houston.
Had Houston gone down 0–2, it would have to either 1) sweep these next three at home, which would including beating Clayton Kershaw in Game 5 or 2) win Games 6 and 7 in LA. Neither of those scenarios are ideal. But with its win in Game 2, Houston won’t necessarily have to beat Kershaw, nor win two games in LA to take the series.
The Astros’ path to victory is clearer now than it would have been had they lost in Game 2. But the path undoubtedly begins with a win tonight in Game 3 — just as the Dodgers made a statement in their first home game of the series on Tuesday night. If the ‘Stros take this one tonight and win again tomorrow, they will have a chance to clinch against Kershaw on Sunday. If they can’t do that, there are still two more chances out West, where they have already won once.
But if Houston loses tonight, it’s right back where it would have been had it lost Game 2, facing must-wins in Games 4 and 5, when Kershaw comes back on full rest. I would argue Los Angeles seizes greater control of the series with a win tonight than Houston.
The Dodgers’ secret weapon is on the mound too. When Yu Darvish came over in the trade with Texas right before the deadline, I thought it was all over, a second ace to go along with Kershaw and whatever you consider Rich Hill and Alex Wood. And while Darvish has pitched well, he’s run under the radar; some of it may have to do with Dave Roberts using him as the third starter and not the second right behind Kershaw. It would appear the Dodgers’ front office made the move for the right guy. Darvish pitched against the Astros 14 times from his days in the same division and has dominated, striking out one out of every three batters he sees and holding the ‘Stros as a team to a .199 batting average.
Lance McCullers was brilliant in a four-inning save in Game 7 of the ALCS but, for me, it’s about who I trust more in a game like this and I love Darvish in the road spot. The +125 payout only sweetens the deal.
Free Pick: Los Angeles +125