The Houston Astros look to close out the 2019 World Series against the Washington Nationals in Game 6 Tuesday at 8:07 p.m. ET at Minute Maid Park. Houston holds a 3-2 lead after sweeping all three games in D.C. over the weekend, quickly erasing the underdog Nationals’ 2-0 series lead. Here, we make our Astros vs. Nationals Game 6 picks for the moneyline, spread (run line) and over/under at DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. Astros RHP Justin Verlander matches up against Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg with the series on the line for the first time. The pitching matchup is a rematch of Game 2, which was won 12-3 by the Nationals at Minute Maid.
The Nationals were dealt a serious blow just a few hours ahead of the first pitch of Sunday’s Game 5, as projected starter Max Scherzer was ruled out due to neck spasms. RHP Joe Ross was thrust into the starting spot against Astros ace Gerrit Cole. Houston would score two runs off of Ross in each of the second and fourth innings, before adding three runs late against the Washington bullpen to ice a 7-1 victory and take its first lead of the series. Cole pitched a masterful seven innings with just two walks, three hits and one run allowed while striking out nine. Houston now looks to secure its second World Series title in three years, this time with the chance to do it in front of a home crowd.
Be sure to check out TheLines for a full breakdown of Tuesday’s pitching matchup and notes on both teams.
Astros vs. Nationals moneyline
The Astros return home for Game 6 and a potential Game 7 as landslide betting favorites to win the World Series. They’re listed at -900 at FanDuel and -1000 at DraftKings to win one of the next two games. Verlander looks to avenge his Game 2 start in which he allowed four earned runs off of seven hits, three walks and one homer over six-plus innings. Strasburg was excellent in guiding his team to a 2-0 series lead. The 31-year-old righty struck out seven while giving up seven hits, one walk and two earned runs over his six innings.
Verlander has lost each of his last two postseason starts and is just 1-3 in the 2019 playoffs. The Cy Young-contender went 21-6 over 34 regular-season starts. He didn’t lose consecutive outings all year, and he hasn’t lost three straight decisions since June 25-July 15 2018. The 36-year-old future Hall of Famer will be keen to capture the moment after taking the loss in Game 6 against the Dodgers in 2017. He gave up just two runs over six innings but dropped the pitchers’ duel against Dodgers LHP Rich Hill.
Strasburg is a perfect 4-0 in the playoffs with a 1.93 ERA. He took a no-decision while giving up three runs over six innings in his NLDS start against the Dodgers. Even if Strasburg is able to replicate his Game 2 performance, he’ll need run support. The Nationals have been held to just one run in each of their three consecutive losses. Back the home team behind the experienced Verlander who’s looking to add to an already dominant legacy.
The Pick: Astros -180 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Astros vs. Nationals run line
The 2019 World Series hasn’t been the epic-low scoring pitching battle it was begged to be at the beginning. Four of five games have been decided by run margins of three-to-nine runs. With the series tied at two games apiece heading into Sunday’s Game 5, we were robbed of what should have been a battle of the aces between Cole and Scherzer. Tuesday’s Game 6 has the potential to be just that for bettors and baseball fans. The first meeting between Verlander and Strasburg this series ended in the largest run gap of the first five games. The road team covered in each of the first five but the Astros return home having won each of the last three by no less than three runs. Houston outscored Washington 19-3 over that span.
The low moneyline odds on the Astros help to create a reasonable profit margin for the Nationals to cover the line of +1.5. DraftKings opened the Nats at -141 with FanDuel giving the visitors -140 odds of keeping it a one-run loss or winning outright. Both bullpens have been worked plenty this series, and both have been exposed at times. The day off between Games 5 and 6 will help both starters go deeper and help the managers re-align their top relievers. Expect Game 6 to be the game for which we’ve all be waiting. The Astros will come out on top, but the Nationals take it down to the wire in a one-run game.
Astros vs. Nationals over/under
The last three games in the series have gone 1-1-1 against the closing numbers on the Over/Under. The first two each topped the projected number. Tuesday’s total dropped to 7.5as a reflection of the pitching matchup. We’re going to follow suit of our picks above and back the UNDER in a 3-2 or 4-3 Astros win.
The Under is 7-0 in umpire Sam Holbrook’s last seven games behind home plate. The lower number is 6-0 in Holbrook’s last six games calling balls and strikes with Strasburg on the mound. It’s 6-1 in his last seven games behind the dish in games featuring the Astros. Verlander’s first four games of the postseason went 3-1 against Tuesday’s projected number while Strasburg’s first three starts went 1-2.
The Pick: UNDER 7.5 (-122 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
World Series Game 6 best bet
Alternate Run Line: HOU Astros -2.5 (+205 at DraftKings Sportsbook)
The value on the alternate spread is worth at least a small wager. The overall series trend of multi-run victories is being offered plus money. The recent struggles of the Washington offense and Verlander’s motivation to clinch the World Series could easily follow that trend. It’s a much more profitable number than the -129 odds for Houston to cover -1 and even the +123 to cover -1.5 and win by two or more.