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Countdown 2 first pitch of game 7

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Houston – We have waited patiently all day for tonight's Game 7 between the Astros and Nationals.  Now it's time to play ball!

This World Series has been all about the road teams who have won each of the first six games which is a first in MLB history of the Fall Classic.

 

What needs to happen for an Astros win?

This lineup is the same as game six.  A.J. Hinch believes this group can be productive.  We are talking about Springer, Altuve, Brantley, Bregman, Gurriel, Alvarez, Correa, Chirinos and Reddick facing Nationals ace Max Scherzer.  The Astros need to set the tone and attack Scherzer early and strike first in the opening inning. Send a message you have been here before and be relentness at the plate.  Zack Greinke will get the start and needs to go to the 5th or 6th inning for it to be a productive night. If he's out in the 3rd or 4th then it could be a long night.  I trust the bullpen but Greinke needs to deliver.

 

What needs to happen for a Nationals victory?

They need to play relaxed just like they did in game six that produced a win and evened this World Series at three games a piece. Anthony Rendon, who had been held in check in the series, broke out with a huge 5 RBI night to set the pace.  They need Trea Turner to produce in the leadoff spot and rely on guys like Rendon, Soto, and Zimmerman to get after Greinke early in the game.  They will see a lot of offspeed stuff from Greinke and will need to be patient and attack.

 

Who are the X-Factors for each team tonight?

For the Astros I am going with guys like Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman and Michael Brantley to deliver. I didn't list Altuve because he's always a lock to produce when the pressure is on. That also goes for George Springer who has a knack of hitting home runs and making diving catches in the big games. 

For the Nationals I will go with Soto, Robles, Zimmerman and Rendon as guys that need to deliver RBI's and I'll also throw in Adam Eaton as well. They know they can win here at Minute Maid Park and all they need is one more to "Finish the Fight."