It all comes down to this. For the second straight year, the World Series will go the distance. The Dodgers and Astros will fight one last time on Wednesday night. To the victor goes the championship. The Astros are looking for their first ever championship. The Dodgers are looking for their first since 1988 and seventh overall (sixth since moving to Los Angeles).
Yu Darvish will start for the Dodgers and Lance McCullers will take the hill for the Astros, but all hands will be on deck for Game 7. The leashes will be short. Clayton Kershaw (who pitched 4 2/3 innings in Game 5) and Dallas Keuchel (3 2/3 innings in Game 5) will be available out of the bullpen, as will Game 4 starters Alex Wood and Charlie Morton. Game 6 starters Justin Verlander and Rich Hill could conceivably be used if necessary as well.
Darvish and McCullers last matched up in Game 3. Darvish couldn’t finish the second inning, ultimately on the hook for four runs in 1 2/3 innings. McCullers pitched into the sixth and ended up yielding three runs in 5 1/3 innings. The Astros went on to win 5-3.
Last year, in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, the Cubs used starter Jon Lester out of the bullpen in relief of Kyle Hendricks. The Indians used Trevor Bauer to get the last two outs of the top of the 10th inning. That provides a bit of a preview as to how managers A.J. Hinch and Dave Roberts could utilize their pitchers.
Baseball Reference notes that tomorrow’s game will be the 43rd World Series Game 7. The home team has gone 20-22 in those games.