World Series G6 FAQ, lineups (Live, FOX)
HOUSTON -- The unopened cases of champagne and beer sat wrapped on pallets in the bowels of Truist Park early Monday morning preparing for takeoff. A World Series the Braves had a chance to clinch at home in Sunday's Game 5 will instead continue where it began, at Minute Maid Park, where the Astros will try to continue their recovery in Game 6 on Tuesday night.
For the Braves to win their first title since 1995, they’ll have to shake off the frustration of what transpired in Game 5, when early leads of 4-0 and 5-4 were frittered away against a pesky and productive Astros offense. Houston’s 9-5 victory cut Atlanta's edge in the best-of-seven to 3-2. The Braves still hold the lead, but as they head on the road again, are they feeling the pressure?
“We're playing for it all,” Braves outfielder Adam Duvall said. “We're playing for everything right now. We're playing for the dreams that we've had as a little kid. It's not going to be easy. This time of the year, all throughout the postseason, it's not going to be easy. You've got guys that are willing to run through walls for a win.”
Mathematically, the Astros are still behind.
“The pressure's still on us because they've got the lead,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “They've got to win one, and we've got to win two.”
But emotionally, the awakening of the offense in Game 5 is a big lift for the Astros. Now, they’ll need help from a compromised pitching staff. After summoning Game 2 starter Jose Urquidy for a brief relief outing in Game 5, Baker will call upon rookie Luis Garcia on short rest for the Game 6 start. Garcia allowed one run on three hits with four walks and six strikeouts in only 3 2/3 innings in Game 3 on Friday.
It's a simpler setup for the Braves, who had to utilize their entire bullpen in Games 4 and 5 but now have Max Fried on full rest. Fried had a shaky outing in Game 2, giving up five runs in the game’s first two innings. But much of the damage against him came on ground-ball singles through the holes, and he settled in as the game evolved.
This Series has already featured several emotional turns and has proven momentum doesn’t matter. So what will it be in Game 6? Will the champagne be summoned, or will the Astros endure?
When is the game and how can I watch it?
The game will air on FOX at 8 p.m. ET/7 CT on Tuesday. It is also available to stream on MLB.TV with authentication.
What are the starting lineups?
Braves: With the Astros starting a right-hander, Eddie Rosario is back atop the lineup. Ozzie Albies, who has gone 3-for-18 in five games against the Astros in the Fall Classic, was moved down to the seventh in the order, with Jorge Soler slotted in the two-hole as the designated hitter. Joc Pederson returns to the starting lineup in right field.
- Eddie Rosario, LF
- Jorge Soler, DH
- Freddie Freeman, 1B
- Austin Riley, 3B
- Adam Duvall, CF
- Joc Pederson, RF
- Ozzie Albies, 2B
- Travis d’Arnaud, C
- Dansby Swanson, SS
Astros: The return of the designated hitter at Minute Maid Park means Yordan Alvarez is back at DH, which improves the Astros' outfield defense. And having an extra batter -- Jose Siri in center field -- means their lineup is back to full strength, too. Baker left Alex Bregman, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI in Game 5, in the No. 7 hole for Game 6.
- Jose Altuve, 2B
- Michael Brantley, LF
- Carlos Correa, SS
- Yordan Alvarez, DH
- Yuli Gurriel, 1B
- Kyle Tucker, RF
- Alex Bregman, 3B
- Jose Siri, CF
- Martín Maldonado, C
Who are the starting pitchers?
Braves: Fried (1-2, 5.40 ERA) will attempt to get back on track after surrendering six earned runs over five innings against the Astros in Game 2. The lefty was damaged by some well-placed soft-contact hits during a four-run second inning. Still, he is entering this important outing coming off two bad starts.
When Fried allowed the Dodgers five runs in 4 2/3 innings in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series, he rushed his delivery and seemed to be adversely affected by his emotions. He struggled like this early in the season and then posted an MLB-best 1.74 ERA after the All-Star break.
Astros: Garcia (1-2, 7.62 ERA) will start on three days of rest in Game 6. Garcia threw 72 pitches in Game 3 and might get one time through the order before the Astros turn it over to a bullpen that’s posted a 1.75 ERA in 25 2/3 innings this Series.
How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Braves: It’s no secret that the Braves want to get at least five innings from Fried and then allow A.J. Minter, Tyler Matzek, Luke Jackson and Will Smith to cover the final four. Minter was the only member of this group to pitch in Game 5. But with a day off on Monday, each of them will be available.
Astros: Garcia isn’t expected to pitch deep into the game, so the bullpen will play a key role once again. What else is new? The good news for Houston is long relievers Cristian Javier and Jake Odorizzi didn’t pitch in Game 5, so they’ll be rested for Game 6. Phil Maton, Ryne Stanek, Kendall Graveman and Ryan Pressly have carried the bullpen, with Maton throwing in four of the first five games, including 17 pitches in Game 4 and 29 in Game 5. Still, with an off-day on Monday, he should be available in Game 6. Graveman threw 37 pitches in Game 5, but he will also benefit from the off-day. The Astros didn’t use Pressly in Game 5 after he threw 33 pitches in Game 4.
Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Braves: Everyone should be available.
Astros: Everyone should be available.
Any injuries of note?
Braves: Charlie Morton fractured his right fibula during Tuesday’s Game 1 and will miss the remainder of the Fall Classic. So will Huascar Ynoa, who was removed from the NLCS roster with right shoulder inflammation.
Astros: Backup catcher Jason Castro was placed on the COVID-19 injured list prior to Game 4 and was replaced by Garrett Stubbs. Baker said Monday he probably wouldn't return before the end of the World Series.
Who is hot and who is not?
Braves: Riley is 8-for-21 with three doubles in the World Series. Soler has hit two homers and produced a 1.074 OPS through five games against the Astros. d’Arnaud has hit two homers and produced a 1.050 OPS during the Fall Classic. Rosario has hit .411 with a 1.137 OPS this postseason.
Astros: Gurriel (6-for-18), Tucker (6-for-18) and Brantley (6-for-20) are pacing the Astros’ offense in the World Series. Correa’s three hits in Game 5 pushed his batting average to .263 (5-for-19). Altuve is hitting .217 (5-for-23), Maldonado is hitting .200 (3-for-15), Bregman is hitting .111 (2-for-18) and Alvarez is 1-for-16.
Anything else fans might want to know?
The Astros are trying to become the 15th team to rally from a 3-1 deficit to win a best-of-seven postseason series. Of the 90 previous teams to fall behind 3-1, only about half (46) won Game 5 to stay alive. Of those, 20 (43%) then won Game 6 to force a winner-take-all Game 7.
Tuesday will mark the 70th Game 6 in World Series history.
Altuve has scored 21 runs this postseason, tying him with Carlos Beltran (2004 with Houston) for the most in a single postseason.
Correa and Bregman are atop the leaderboard in both extra-base hits and RBIs in postseason history among players 28 years old and younger.