Phillies vs. Astros: How World Series Game 3 rainout affects both teams’ pitching plans

Phillies vs. Astros: How World Series Game 3 rainout affects both teams’ pitching plans

PHILADELPHIA – For the first time since Games 6 and 7 were moved up a day in 2011, the World Series has been delayed. Game 3 was scheduled to be played at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park on Monday, but with rain expected for much of the night, Major League Baseball decided it was best to move everything back a day.

Instead of cramming into other scheduled matches, MLB decided to go on a trip on Friday on his day off. The series could end in Philly, of course, but if both teams win at least one game in Philly, the series will return to Houston, with Game 6 now set for Saturday and a potential Game 7 for Sunday.

As for how this affects each team, eyes immediately turn to a team with a pair of aces and only a small handful of others they’d like to use in high-leverage spots. Rain, in theory and on paper, helps Phillies. Obviously, it doesn’t hurt the Astros, but they have enough pitching depth that a streak without days off would benefit them by hurting the Phillies.

Ranger Suarez, who pitched in relief in Game 1, is now set to start Game 3 on Tuesday. Not only that, but a rookie in the first game Aaron Nola now he can play game 4 on regular vacation. Noah Syndergaard (originally slated to start Monday in Game 3) will likely be the starter in Game 5, paving the way for Zack Wheeler go into game 6 on extra rest. If there is a Game 7, they would have Suarez ready and Nola available to help.

In the bullpen, the Phillies would love to lean on José Alvarado and Seranthony Domínguez with some Zach Eflin and David Robertson The relievers will be able to rely almost exclusively on these four relievers now with Suárez and Wheeler getting an extra day along with Nola who will be able to pitch Game 4.

Of course, Phillies manager Rob Thomson said it’s possible they’ll use Syndergaard in relief in Game(s) 3 and/or 4, in which case Kyle Gibson is the option to start Game 5.

On the Astros side, they are so deep they don’t move the needle a ton. They are sticking with Lance McCullers Jr. in Game 3 and, according to Dusty Baker, “probably” Cristian Javier in Game 4. That leaves Justin Verlander for Game 5 on extra rest and Framber Valdez for Game 6 on extra rest. Game 7 would probably be McCullers then, if we make it that far.

The Astros have such a deep bullpen that, as noted, this day off doesn’t really help them, while it gives the Phillies additional ways to rest their relievers and manipulate the rotation to their advantage.

We have a long way to go, and this was probably too much in the weeds before we see how Game 3 plays out — and one of the teams could win the series in five games! — but we had nothing else to do. It is, of course, the first postponement in 11 years. Enjoy your night off and we’ll be back after it on Tuesday.

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