A nine-month journey that began in February is finally ending Wednesday night in Houston. A 7-2 Nationals win in World Series Game 6 means we'll reach the do-or-die Game 7 for the fifth time this decade, opposing former Cy Young winners Zack Greinke and Max Scherzer.
This is when baseball is at its best. So who has the edge in the season's final game? SI's MLB staff weighs in below.
Stephanie Apstein: Astros 5, Nationals 3
Max Scherzer’s dramatic return is marred by a George Springer home run, and eventually the bullpen gives up the lead.
Emma Baccellieri: Nationals 5, Astros 3
No team has ever won four road games in a World Series. But no team has ever had Max Scherzer start Game 7. After being forced to miss Game 5, Scherzer is by all accounts completely ready to go as deep as needed on Wednesday. Couple that with the fact that the Nationals' bats were able to get going again off Justin Verlander, and they'll be up against a starter who may be easier to crack in Zack Greinke, and—crazy as it may have sounded in May, or July, or most of October—Washington should be in a good spot to win the World Series.
Connor Grossman: Astros 7, Nationals 6
Forget the idea of a pitching duel. Max Scherzer and Zack Greinke will spot the opposing team a few runs in the first half of the game, with most of the scoring coming late against the bullpens. Gerrit Cole will walk the tightrope in the ninth, securing the Astros second title in three years as the Nationals leave the World Series-winning runs on base. Why shouldn't we hope for an instant classic?
Matt Martell: Nationals 5, Astros 2
The moment Anthony Rendon hit that two-run homer after Trea Turner was called out for interference, the Nationals had this World Series won. Max Scherzer was warming up in the bullpen, and a fiery Dave Martinez would soon be ejected for arguing the interference call.
The momentum shifted in the seventh inning of Game 6, the scene that will be the subject of 50 thousand oral histories for the remainder of time. Now, in Game 7, Mad Max will return to the mound full of life—grunting, snorting and stomping, as always—write the final chapter of the season-long redemption story of the team that was left for dead.
Michael Shapiro: Astros 6, Nationals 4
Houston may not have the starting pitching edge on Wednesday, but expect the Astros to cobble together enough arms to get the job done down the stretch. Alex Bregman and George Springer are heating up at the right time. Expect another October moment from Houston's impressive collection of bats.