You might need some extra peanuts and cracker jacks.
The 2019 World Series begins tonight in the Lone Star State (8:08 p.m. ET, Fox) and it promises to be a good one. Houston's Astros will seek their second title in three seasons, while the Artists Formerly Known as the Montreal Expos play their first Fall Classic under the Washington Nationals moniker.
After two, or, in Washington's case, three, rounds of playoff action, we've seen the typical heroes rise to the occasion, as Jose Altuve, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Justin Verlander have each made their impact felt across the postseason. However, this World Series could bring about heroes and happenings you never saw coming...
Jake Marisnick Will Get a Big Hit At Some Point
If anyone's feeling upset about the Astros' thrilling ALCS victory, it's the outfielder Marisnick. He was, and remains, a big talking point in the game's fateful ninth inning, despite never stepping into the batter's box, as some analysts have advocated that the New York Yankees should've walked Altuve to get to him. Altuve, of course, crushed the winning two-run shot.
Having had to listen to 72 hours of sports talk dictate that he wouldn't have gotten an equally clutch winning hit, Marisnick will no doubt be eager to prove himself to the baseball public. Adding to his fuel is the fact he missed the entirety of the Astros' 2017 World Series run with an injury. Vindication and baseball collaborate in mysterious ways. Marisnick could well go down as the latest hero off the bench, a trademark of the Fall Classic.
Washington Takes Game 1 on Long Rest
No one probably celebrated the Astros' win over the Yankees, a sixth game clincher, more than the Nationals. They were about to go full 2007 Colorado Rockies. Everyone knows you never go full 2007 Colorado Rockies. To recap, Colorado coasted through wins in the NLDS and NLCS in seven games after taking a Game 163 from San Diego. Their own dominance might've been their undoing. Faced with nine days off after the Boston Red Sox's matchup with Cleveland went seven games, the rusty Rockies were swept in four games by an AL opponent in a winning groove.
The Nationals, off for seven days, are in a good spot heading into the game with Scherzer taking the hill. A strong rotation, one set to see Strasburg go later this week, could be the true difference between they and previous iterations of NL champs like those Rockies. Batting against Gerrit Cole will be tough, but Scherzer, eager to shed a mediocre postseason label, could be the ultimate difference maker.
The Series Goes At Least Six
Some believe the thriller between Houston and New York was the true World Series, leaving Washington to play for a participation trophy on the World Series field. Heck, the relatively long layoff of one week have some already putting the series rings on Houston's fingers.
But with two teams so evenly matched, especially on the pitcher's mound, it's hard to envision this one ending so quickly. The Nationals have been through a lot of playoff heartbreak and have successfully killed the narrative that they're playoff chokers. Taking down a dynasty of destiny could be a lot to ask for, but there might be no better team up for the challenge.