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World Series Daily — Rest vs. rust, the Altuve Polka and, oh yeah, Game 1

The Houston Astros and Washington Nationals meet Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park. Will Game 1 set the tone for the 2019 World Series?

What’s on tap

8:08 p.m. ET: Nationals at Astros, Game 1

The view from inside the ballpark

HOUSTON — Other than the additional media setting up shop at Minute Maid Park, it would have been hard to distinguish Monday’s pre-World Series workouts from regular-season batting practice sessions.

The Astros seemed particularly loose, but also very focused, during their round of BP, with George Springer and Jose Altuve alternating between laughing and dancing near the cage and stopping for quick conversations with younger players who are going through the process for the first time, such as Yordan Alvarez. It will be intriguing to see if having so many guys who were part of the 2017 championship run will give the Astros any edge over a Nats team with just six players who previously have appeared in a World Series. — Dan Mullen

A stat to impress your friends: The Nationals’ starters have struck out 36.1% of batters faced this postseason, the highest percentage ever through the league championship series; the Astros are right behind them on the all-time list at 31.6%.

Two questions

1. How much will the Nats’ rust and the hangover from the Astros’ weekend elation play a factor in Game 1?

Don’t buy into this storyline for the Nationals. To a man during the Nationals’ media session Monday they said the days off aren’t an issue. “We’ve been doing this for seven, eight months,” starter Patrick Corbin said. “There won’t be any rust.” As for an American League Championship Series hangover, Alex Bregman did admit to not getting any sleep Saturday night. He said he got some on Sunday — at least until his fantasy football alerts would wake him up. So if the Astros lose and Bregman struggles, blame fantasy football. — David Schoenfield

Zero. The numbers show that the whole too-many-days-off issue is more myth than reality, and Max Scherzer getting a few extra days off to rest his arm is much more important than any idea of the Nats cooling off with six days between games. As for the Astros and an ALCS hangover? Game 1 of the World Series in front of your home crowd should be a pretty good cure. — Mullen

2. What’s the best fan outfit/sign/prop/etc. you’ve seen so far in Houston?

Obviously, it has to be Polish Pete and his ode to Jose Altuve. Wait, is ode the right word? Maybe not. As a friend of mine who lives in Texas said, “We love a good polka in Texas.” So, yes, the Nationals have Gerardo Parra and his “Baby Shark” walk-up music that gets the stadium going, but the prediction here is that the Altuve Polka will soon be heard in bars all around Houston. — Schoenfield

The most excited I’ve seen anyone around Houston so far came from Justin Verlander when he found out 2017 World Series champion teammates Brian McCann and Evan Gattis will combine on the first pitch before Game 1. If the rest of Houston is as excited as JV is, it’s going to be a loud start to this Fall Classic. — Mullen


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