It would be hard for Game 6 to top the drama of Game 5, but here's a couple of key questions -- one for each team -- going into this game.
For Houston .... who closes?
The Astros have it set up just the way they want it. Their best pitcher, Justin Verlander, is on the mound with a chance to secure a title. Both bullpens are taxed, so it's a huge advantage for Houston to have this right-hander on its side. Verlander is the only starting pitcher to complete a game in these playoffs.
Can Verlander go all nine innings in Game 6? Well, maybe, but that's a lot to ask. And what happens if Verlander gets through seven or eight innings with a lead, but doesn't have enough left in the tank to finish?
Where do the Astros turn when their two best relievers during the season -- Ken Giles and Chris Devenski -- have blown multi-run leads during this series and generally have been arsonists?
How about Lance McCullers? Sure, he's slated to start Game 7, if necessary. But if you're Houston manager A.J. Hinch, and you have a lead late in Game 6, perhaps you push your chips to the center of the table, go to your best option and try to close it out right then and there.
For me, the next-best option after Verlander is McCullers.
For Los Angeles ... how long can Rich Hill go?
Hill started Game 2 for the Dodgers, and he was effective. He allowed only one run over four innings, but he was given a quick hook. Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts just wanted Hill to get through the Houston batting order twice before turning it over to the bullpen, which had been dominant up until that point in the postseason.
That backfired on Roberts in Game 2. Dodgers relievers coughed up six runs in a 7-6 loss, and Houston has been proving over and over again since that it can score against the Los Angeles bullpen.
As we've noted, Kenley Jansen and Brandon Morrow have been used a lot. They probably cannot be counted upon for multiple innings in this game, even though it is a must-win for the Dodgers.
It's imperative that Hill pitch effectively into the sixth inning, and perhaps he needs to get through the sixth inning for the Dodgers to win.
Based on what I've seen, Roberts needs to stay away from Morrow in this game. Kenta Maeda and Tony Watson seem to be the best bets to form a bridge from Hill to Jansen. And, yes, despite Jansen's diminished effectiveness, I think the Dodgers should go to him in a closing situation. He's still their best option, but they probably shouldn't ask him for more than three outs.
If Los Angeles can get through this Game 6, then maybe it can go Yu Darvish to Morrow to Jansen in a Game 7 situation.