Houston Astros and Washington Nationals: How they stack up for the World Series

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 19: George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros reacts after winning the AL pennant with a 6-4 win in Game 6 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, October 19, 2019 in Houston, Texas.(Photo by Cooper Neill/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 19: George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros reacts after winning the AL pennant with a 6-4 win in Game 6 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, October 19, 2019 in Houston, Texas.(Photo by Cooper Neill/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Cooper Neill/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Cooper Neill/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Postseason

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So far, most of the numbers we’ve looked at favor Houston, as would be expected.

But that analysis is stood on its head if only post-season numbers are considered. For those who believe in recency bias, Washington is an attractive World Series pick, especially at the current odds.

In post-season play, the Nationals’ .243 batting average maybe 22 percentage points below its regular-season standard, but it’s still far superior to Houston’s .208. The Washington Nationals also have big leads in post-season on-base average (.311 to .284) and slugging average (.382 to .358).

Looking purely at post-season games, Washington is out-scoring its opponents by 5.1 runs to 2.5. And that discrepancy is only engorged when the two post-season defeats – both by margins of six runs to the Dodgers – are factored out. In their eight post-season wins, the Washington Nationals have won by average scores of 5.9 to 1.1.

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Since post-season play began, the Houston  Astros have not yet displayed quite the same tendency to bury teams. The average score of a Houston post-season game in 2019 is 3.7 to 3.5. The Astros’ seven wins have been more decisive, but the average margin in those games of 5 to 2 still falls about two runs short of Washington’s average winning margin.