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World Series MVP race not clearing up as Astros on verge of clinching

The Astros have stormed back to take a 3-2 lead over the Nationals in the World Series. The MVP race remains fairly wide open.

Gerrit Cole of the Houston Astros reacts after retiring the side in the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals in Game Five of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Houston Astros steamrolled through Washington, D.C. over the past three days, beating the Washington Nationals by a combined score of 19-3 to take a 3-2 lead in the World Series. The two teams head back to Houston for Game 6 with the Astros officially in a clinching scenario.

Max Scherzer was a late scratch due to back problems, and that left Joe Ross to try and scrape by. He looked good for stretches, but gave up a pair of two-run home runs in the first four innings. For a third straight night, the Nationals blew several opportunities, and an inconsistent strike zone across the board added to the difficulty. Daniel Hudson was thumped in the final two innings and the Astros rolled to an 7-1 victory.

The Astros can clinch on Tuesday, and the MVP race is getting more difficult to handicap. We’re back for another look at the MVP candidates with a power ranking. DraftKings Sportsbook posted World Series MVP odds prior to first pitch, and we’ll spend the remainder of this series tracking how players perform game-by-game and how it impacts the eventual MVP award. We broke down what the race looked like after Game 1, Game 2, Game 3, and Game 4.

Michael Brantley went 0-for-3, but he is still leading hitting .400 and had some big hits in Games 3 and 4. Yordan Alvarez got things going in this one with a two-run home run and finished 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored. He leads the series with a .545 batting average, but had only two pinch hitting appearances in Games 3 and 4, so it removes a little of the luster.

Robinson Chirinos did not play on Sunday, but if he comes back on Tuesday and has a big game, he would be right in the mix for MVP. Gerrit Cole had a strong performance on Sunday after struggling in Game 1. The Game 1 struggles make it hard to justify him winning the award, but he’s in the mix. But if Justin Verlander locks it down in Game 6, I think he has a better chance of winning than Cole.

The only two Nationals in the mix right now are Juan Soto and Stephen Strasburg. If the Nationals turn this around, they’ll need a big outing from Strasburg on Tuesday. And if they win the final two games, there’s a decent chance Soto has a couple big games.

1. Michael Brantley (+2000)
2. Robinson Chirinos (+8000)
3. Justin Verlander (+750)
4. Jose Altuve (+1000)
5. Gerrit Cole (+650)
6. Juan Soto (+1400)
7. Stephen Strasburg (+1400)