The Houston Astros came close to losing the series before Framber Valdez made a successful attempt to bring a tie against the Philadelphia Phillies. Valdez has a responsibility to replicate the performance in Game 6, which will be in their backyard. Assuming Houston clinches the victory, the side will inch closer to lifting the second World Series title right in front of their resident fans.
Game 5 saw Justin Verlander leave a mark on his MLB resume by getting the first-ever victory for Houston, a side that is now the favorite to win the series and lift the title.
The Phillies did push their opponents to the wall with a 1-0 lead; however, a shocking fight brought the excitement back despite going down 2-1 after the previous loss. Houston has been in the same position before. One can remember the 2019 World Series, where Houston was up for yet another win after having three wins already to its name.
The Washington Nationals won Games 6 and 7 without allowing Houston to take the lead. The 107-win season may have gone without getting its hands on the title, but the 106-win season still has a chance to shine on Saturday. Sunday could be a winner-take-all night, but that is something that will be decided on Saturday.
The Astros remain the favorites to win the series purely because the Phillies could not control Valdez in Game 2. Furthermore, Cristian Javier in Game 4 and Verlander in Game 5 both had sweet moments to rekindle fan hopes. Wheeler looks to be struggling to leave an empty spot that can be claimed by anyone to their advantage.
Valdez allowed just 4 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, and 9 stuck out in 6.1 innings. Wheeler will have to soak up some inspiration to repeat his Game 1 at St. Louis and Game 1 at San Diego.
Can the Phillies be written off? A straight no is the answer. The team has a lot to offer despite coming off two consecutive losses. They could go against Wheeler, who gave up 5 runs, 3 walks, and 6 hits in 5 innings. Only Ranger Suarez has delivered a positive note in Game 3 by pitching five shutout innings.
The Phillies would want to push for Game 7 to have the title. Houston plays at their home in front of the fans. They do not want to have a minor window to let things go for disappointment. A bitter experience can still park itself at any moment, given the key players run off the field without leaving a mark.
The Astros have had three successful starts, and the Phillies have only one. Pushing for Game 7 could be difficult not only because the Astros are the favorites but also because they are currently dominant.