World Series 2019: Can Nationals Make History and Become First Team to Win Four Road Games in the Fall Classic?

The Washington Nationals have to make history if they are to bring the World Series title back to the nation's capital for the first time since 1924.

So far, home field advantage hasn't been a factor in the 115th edition of the Fall Classic, with the Nationals winning Game 1 and Game 2 in Houston, before the Astros took all three games in Washington.

While Nationals fans must be hoping the trend continues as the series returns to Texas, no team has ever won the World Series without winning at least one game at home.

FiveThirtyEight's statistical projections perfectly capture the task facing the reigning National League champions.

The Nationals' have a 19 percent chance of winning the World Series, compared to the Astros' 81 percent. When the series left Houston for Washington with the Nationals 2-0 up, it was them who had an 81 percent chance of lifting the trophy.

While the chips have been firmly stacked against Washington, nothing can ever be ruled out in baseball and the history of the World Series is littered with upsets and against-all-odds comebacks.

There are more concrete factors that suggest it may be worth holding the Nationals' obituary for a little longer yet.

Washington is a team that clearly travels well. The Nationals' only defeat on the road in this postseason came in their first game of the National League Division Series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

The Nationals were thrashed 6-0 but have won every road game since, outscoring opponents by a combined 34-13 score.

Home field advantage in baseball does not carry the same weight it does in the NFL, NBA or even in the NHL and while Minute Maid Park will be raucous for Game 6 on Tuesday night, the Nationals have shown they are more than capable to handle hostile environments.

Furthermore, while winning all four road games has never been done in the history of the World Series, the Nationals find themselves in the same scenario the Chicago Cubs faced three years ago.

The Cubs trailed the Cleveland Indians 3-2 in the 2016 World Series and had only managed to keep the series alive by winning Game 5 at Wrigley Field 3-2.

As the series moved to Ohio, Indians fans hoping to celebrate a first World Series title since 1948 were left stunned as the Cubs stormed to a 9-3 win in Game 6 and then took the decider 8-7 in the 10th inning to break a title drought that had stretched all the way back to 1908.

Washington Nationals, World Series
Washington Nationals players look on against the Houston Astros during the ninth inning in Game Five of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park on October 27 in Washington, DC. Patrick Smith/Getty

Aside from historical omens, it is clear the Nationals need their hitters to step up after scoring just one run in each of their three home games in this series.

Washington's struggles at the plate are epitomized by Trea Turner, who is hitting just .136 so far in the World Series.

Meanwhile, Anthony Rendon is hitting .200 and while that is a solid enough return, the Nationals need more from the man who led the majors in RBIs this season. Game 6 would be the perfect time for Howie Kendrick to improve on his .222 figure.

The good news for Washington is that it will not have to face Gerrit Cole for more than one or two innings and that is only if the series went all the way to Game 7.

The Astros ace delivered a dominant performance in Game 5 but aside from being called upon to pitch an inning or two of relief in a potential Game 7 he will not trouble the Nationals again.

Facing Justin Verlander, a man who has the most strikeouts in postseason history, would normally not be a prospect relished by many teams, particularly in a do-or-die scenario such as Game 6.

However, the 36-year-old gave up four runs and three walks in six innings in Game 2 and is now 0-5 in World Series starts with a 5.73 ERA.

There is every chance he will rebound as Cole did after a difficult Game 1 but the Nationals will fancy their chances, particularly if Stephen Strasburg repeats his Game 2 performance.

In his World Series debut in Game 2, the 31-year-old allowed a two-run homer to Alex Bregman in the first inning, before throwing five shutout innings. In this postseason, Strasburg is 3-0 in four starts and one relief appearance with a 1.93 ERA, 40 strikeouts and two walks in 28 innings.

The Nationals may have their back against the wall but the series is far from over.