On Tuesday night, the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros will kick off the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park. The host Astros held their media availability on Monday afternoon, during which manager A.J. Hinch revealed his rotation plans.
As expected, Gerrit Cole will start Game 1. Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke will then follow in Games 2 and 3. Hinch didn't name Brad Peacock the Game 4 starter, in part because he didn't name a Game 4 starter. Rather, the Astros will take a "read-and-react" approach, adjusting as need be to whatever situation they're in after three games.
Cole has been Houston's best pitcher this postseason. In three starts, he's accumulated 22 innings and has allowed just one run. He's also fanned 32 of the 84 batters he's faced. Verlander has made four postseason starts, and has a 3.70 ERA to go with his 3.63 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Comparatively, Greinke hasn't fared as well: he has a 6.43 ERA and 3.20 strikeout-to-walk ratio in three starts.
Peacock started Houston's bullpen night in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series, facing eight batters and allowing a run before departing. The Astros could use Peacock in tandem with Jose Urquidy again, should they choose. Alternatively, Houston could bring back Cole on short rest if they find themselves in a 1-2 or 0-3 hole.
The Nationals have not yet announced their rotation plans, though the only question is the order. It's clear manager Davey Martinez will be calling upon some combination of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, and Anibal Sanchez.
The Astros also announced that Brian McCann will throw out the ceremonial first pitch to Evan Gattis. Both were catchers on the 2017 championship squad (McCann recently announced his retirement from the game). Additionally, Houston Texans defender JJ Watt will make the "play ball" declaration.