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What Astros fans should know about the Washington Nationals before the World Series

The series begins on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park.

HOUSTON — The Houston Astros are coming off an ALCS high after beating the Yankees in six games. And now they’ll face a team in the Nationals that come into the World Series having defied everyone’s expectations.

Editor's note: The video above is from our sister station, WUSA, in Washington D.C.

While Houston has been Major League Baseball’s juggernaut for most of the season, the Nationals’ season was left for dead after the team started 19-31.  But they turned it around and made the playoffs as a wild card, beating Milwaukee in a one-game play-in game, then upsetting the National League’s best team in the Dodgers before sweeping St. Louis out of the playoffs.

Washington, like Houston, has deep starting pitching. The Nationals haven’t announced their rotation for the World Series yet, but expect to see Max Scherzer, who is 2-0  with a 1.80 ERA this postseason, along with Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Colbin. There’s also Anibel Sanchez, who pitched a gem in Game 1 of the NLCS. The Astros counter with Gerrit Cole, who will pitch in Game 1, followed by Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke. Cole is 3-0 with a 0.40 ERA this postseason.

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While the Astros have their American League MVP candidate in Alex Bregman, the Nationals have one, too, in Anthony Rendon.  Rendon, a Houston native who played at Rice University and Lamar High School, batted .319 with 34 home runs and 126 RBIs this season.

The two teams have even more in common -- a spring training home. The Nationals and Astros share a spring training facility in West Palm.

When it comes to postseason baseball, you can throw head-to-head records out the window, but they’re still interesting to look at.  And when it comes to the Nationals, the Astros haven’t had the best of showings.  According to Astros.com, since they moved to Washington D.C. in 2005, the Nats are 36-27 against Houston.  They last played each other in 2017, when Houston lost two of three games.  Since September 11, 2011, the Astros have dropped 14 of 16 to Washington.

You can ready more about the head-to-head match-up on Astros.com.

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