AL Champion Houston Astros vs. NL Champion Los Angeles Dodgers (-165)
The 2017 World Series is set to kick off on Tuesday, October 24th and will feature a powerhouse matchup of two 100 win teams that both have star power in their starting pitching and in their lineups. The Houston Astros defeated the Red Sox in the ALDS and Yankees in the ALCS to reach their first World Series since 2005 and second overall. The Dodgers defeated the Diamondbacks in the NLDS and the defending champion Cubs in the NLCS to reach their first World Series since 1988.
The Astros got off to a flaming hot start in the first half of the season and it looked like they were going to run away with the American League regular season crown. However, they started slumping in August and it was a last second (literally 2 seconds) deadline acquisition of Justin Verlander on August 31st that turned their season around. Verlander was lights out in September and a crucial part of Houston’s postseason run with dominant performances in the playoffs. Meanwhile, AL MVP favorite Jose Altuve has been a monster throughout this postseason run as well, making his case for the best player in the American League this season. The Astros lineup isn’t limited to Altuve, however. Carlos Correa, Marwin Gonzalez, and Evan Gattis all have the ability to hit home runs and and come up with clutch RBIs. While the lineup is not in question, the pitching might be after aces Verlander and Keuchel. Lance McCullers has not been great as a starter but lights out in the bullpen. If Houston has to rely on Brad Peacock and Charlie Morton for multiple starts in this series, that may be trouble against the Dodgers vaunted lineup.
For Los Angeles, the biggest narrative in this series will be the performance of Clayton Kershaw. Known as the best regular season pitcher in the game today, Kershaw’s postseason career has been very shaky. He’ll finally have a chance to silence the haters with one or two dominant starts in the World Series. Yu Darvish, a deadline acquisition from Texas, will play a key part in this series as well. If he can maintain his dominance in this postseason, the Dodgers have a deadly one two punch to match up with Keuchel and Verlander. Kenley Jansen is the best closer in the game as well, so getting to the ninth with a lead is a done deal for Los Angeles. A big question mark for the offense is the availability of Corey Seager. The All Star shortstop is a big part of the lineup and missed the NLCS with an injury. It is currently uncertain if he will play in the World Series. However, the Dodgers have plenty of weapons on offense in his absence. Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, and Yasiel Puig are all capable of monster nights at the plate.
Although I think this will be a good matchup with some close games, the Dodgers have been the best team in baseball all year. They are loaded front to back with pitching and offense, and have incredible depth which makes them so hard to beat. I think Los Angeles wins this series in 6 games.
Let me know what your predictions are in the comments down below.