Home on the Road: Nationals Need to Extend Road Domination to Win World Series
Five games into the World Series and the home teams are 0-5. Now the Series moves to Houston for its conclusion.
The Astros, after sweeping the three games in Washington, hold a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
There has never been a World Series in which the road team won every game.
Could this be the outlier?
The Nationals did sweep the first two games in the World Series at Minute Maid Park, and are 6-1 on the road this post-season, the sixth-best road winning percentage since the expansion of the post-season to include the Wild Card in 1995. Only two teams have even won more road games -- the 1996 Yankees, who went 8-0 on the road, and the 2018 Red Sox, who went 7-1. Both claimed world championships.
Anthony Rendon (.250-.125) and Victor Robles (.200-.143) are the only Nationals position players with a higher average at home in the World Series. As a team, the Nationals hit .151 higher in the two games at Minute Maid Park than they did in the last three games at Nationals Park.
Juan Soto, in particular, has blossomed in Houston, where he hit .571 in the first two games, which the Nationals won, compared to .182 at home, where the Nationals were outscored 17-3, and never led for an inning in losing all three games.
It is not just the World Series where the Nationals have excelled on the road. They have been a road warrior the entire post-season.
But then Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole, in what is most likely his final appearance for Houston in light of pending free agency, enjoys pitching on the road himself. With seven innings, in which allowed one run, Cole is 8-0 in his last nine road starts, dating back to July 17. Not only that, he has a .089 ERA, having allowed six earned runs in 61 innings, striking out 87 while allowing 55 base runners -- 35 hits, 19 walks and a hit batter.