Sometimes a team just has a feel to it. You can’t always put it into words, but it’s a palpable sensation that, as a fan, has you thinking of nothing short of glory. It sends your mind racing, picturing a fantasy transform into a reality before your eyes. Full of complete bliss, the unimaginable crash that is baseball in October suddenly comes down. Come to think of it, maybe that crash is just the bat of Jose Altuve. Sorry, Yankees fans.
The Houston Astros got over dropping three straight games and won the final two at home to clinch the American League (AL) Pennant over the New York Yankees. Fueled by strong pitching, clutch hitting and protective defense, the Astros head into the World Series with momentum. Astors second baseman Jose Altuve led the postseason in home runs, and was batting .400 heading into the World Series. Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander are aces and need to win games late in the series if the Astros are going to win its first World Series in franchise history.
After capturing their first Pennant since becoming an AL team, and second in franchise history, Houston is hoping to win the last game of the season.
The Los Angeles Dodgers dethroned the reigning World Series Champions, the Chicago Cubs and are representing the National League in this year’s World Series. A historically successful franchise, the Dodgers have not won a World Series since 1988. They are looking for their seventh ring after claiming their twenty-second Pennant, twenty-one of which came before this century. Los Angeles third baseman Justin Turner has been clutch, most notably is his walk-off home run in the NLCS Game 2. Clayton Kershaw is probably the best pitcher in all of baseball, and pitcher Kenley Jansen did not allow an earned run going into the World Series.
Despite the gap in team payrolls, these teams are both extremely well-rounded and have fought their way to the World Series. The Dodgers’ total payroll is $265,149,292 a year and is the league’s highest spending team, the Astros lie around the middle, spending $149,964,163 a year. Each team won their respective divisions and finished with over 100 wins. Winning this series will come down to executing fundamentals and taking advantage of baserunners. Scrappy runs, stolen bases and untimely errors could be the storyline for this Fall Classic.
This series has all the makings for a Game 7 walk-off. With the first two games already played in Los Angeles, Game 3 will be in Houston on Friday. Darvish is slated for the Dodgers, and he has posted a 1.59 ERA so far this postseason. If the Dodgers can take an early lead it would be huge for them. The Astros have to be happy to be back in Houston, there is nothing quite like a World Series game at home.
I tend to be wrong when I predict anything, as you may have learned in Beat the Experts, so don’t be too upset, Dodgers fans. I think the Houston Astros will win the series in six games behind the arm of Justin Verlander. What a fantastic trade that was earlier in the season. Altuve has earned the rights to MVP in the regular season and the postseason as well, and the city of Houston can rejoice in all the glory of its first ring.
As for the Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw should have them back to the postseason next season with no problem.
Contact Eric Fishbin at [email protected]