World Series Game 6 Preview: facts and storylines for Astros vs. Phillies

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David J Phillip/AP/Shutterstock (13554306bq) Houston Astros’ Alex Bregman celebrates his two-run homerun with Yordan Alvarez during the fifth inning in Game 2 of baseball’s World Series between the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies, in Houston World Series Phillies Astros Baseball, Houston, United States – 29 Oct 2022

World Series Game 6 Preview: facts and storylines for Astros vs. Phillies

When the World Series went 2-2 in the first four games, it set the stage for an exciting finish, with the winner of Game 5 in the driver’s seat going forward. After the no-hitter in Game 4, Houston kept the momentum in their favor, coming out victorious in a tightly-contested Game 5 to take two of three in Philadelphia and bring things back to Minute Maid Park with the Astros on the cusp of a championship and the Phillies on the brink of elimination.

Can Houston finish things, or will Philadelphia extend the series to a winner-take-all Game 7? Here’s what’s in store for Game 6:

Game Facts

 When: Saturday, 11/05/2022, 7:03 p.m. CT

Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston

TV/Streaming: FOX / FOX Sports App

Pitching Matchup: Framber Valdez (17-6, 2.82 ERA) vs. Zack Wheeler (12-7, 2.82 ERA)

Series: HOU leads 3-2

Series Schedule

Date & Time (Central)LocationPitching Matchup
Game 1PHI 6, HOU 5Minute Maid Park, HoustonVerlander vs. Nola
Game 2HOU 5, PHI 2Minute Maid Park, HoustonValdez vs. Wheeler
Game 3PHI 7, HOU 0Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia McCullers Jr. vs. Suárez
Game 4HOU 5, PHI 0Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia Javier vs. Nola
Game 5HOU 3, PHI 2Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia Verlander vs. Syndergaard
Game 6Sat 11/5, 7:03 p.m.Minute Maid Park, HoustonValdez vs. Wheeler
Game 7*Sun 11/6, 7:03 p.m.Minute Maid Park, HoustonTBD
* If necessary.
^ Projected starters

Treat it like a Game 7 to avoid one

While the Astros benefit from needing only one win over two games, they should not treat it as such. Houston has proved to be the better team in this series thus far, but when you have two clubs pushing all their chips in for one final game to decide it all, anything can and will happen, and not in the ways expected.

Due to that, even though they can’t fire all their bullets, so to speak, Dusty Baker and the Astros should be willing to do whatever is necessary within reason to try and win Game 6 to avoid extending Philadelphia’s season. This could mean having nearly everyone in the bullpen ready to get warm if the right opportunity arises, like the game being within a couple of runs late and the usual bullpen arms having struggles.

Keep the pressure on Philadelphia

On the other hand, the Phillies absolutely have to put everything on the line in Game 6 because it’s an elimination game for them. It presents a crucial chance for the Astros to squash any momentum Philly could try and grab because if Houston can take some of the Phillies’ best punches to the chin and still be ahead, it could spell the end of the series in Game 6 or put the Astros in even better shape for Game 7 should Philadelphia find a way to prevail. 

That will start with the Astros’ offense having some success against Zack Wheeler. They’ll look to replicate what they did in Game 2 against him, where they jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first and never looked back en route to their 5-2 win. The first step will be trying to get to Wheeler early, and if they can’t, try to at least work him out of the game as early as possible and get to what has proven to be a somewhat vulnerable Phillies bullpen late in the series.

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