For the second consecutive season, two teams will not only be fighting for the World Series crown but also snap a prolonged championship drought. The Los Angeles Dodgers last won the World Series in 1988, which was also the last time they appeared in the Fall Classic. The Houston Astros, however, have never won it all and haven’t been to the World Series since 2005 as a member of the National League. The good news for both clubs is one game doesn’t determine the winner, but only two teams since 2000 have lost the World Series after winning Game 1. This means tonight’s winner will be heavy favorites to hoist the trophy, whether it’s for the first or the seventh time.
Pitching Matchup: Dallas Keuchel (LHP) vs Clayton Kershaw (LHP)
It’s only fitting to have the aces of both clubs square off in Game 1. It appears Kershaw has finally gotten over his postseason struggles, posting a 3.63 ERA this postseason and going 2-0. He’s also in line to win the fourth NL Cy Young Award of his career after posting a 2.31 ERA and 18-4 record during the regular season.
As for Keuchel, he put up a nice bounce-back season after his ERA in 2016 jumped over two runs. Although he suffered an injury that sidelined him for a month, he lowered his ERA to 2.90 and went 14-5, putting him in the AL Cy Young Award mix. He struggled against the Yankees in Game 5 of the ALCS, only lasting 4.2 innings but a 2.60 ERA in the postseason is nothing to scoff at.
|Houston Astros||Home Runs||AVG||OBP|
|George Springer, RF||1||.233||.327|
|Alex Bregman, 3B||1||.190||.244|
|Jose Altuve, 2B||5||.400||.500|
|Carlos Correa, SS||3||.295||.340|
|Yuli Gurriel, 1B||0||.366||.409|
|Marwin Gonzalez, LF||0||.162||.244|
|Evan Gattis, C||1||.250||.360|
|Cameron Maybin, CF||0||.250||.400|
|Dallas Keuchel, SP||0||–||–|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||Home Runs||AVG||OBP|
|Chris Taylor, CF||2||.281||.410|
|Corey Seager, SS||0||.273||.467|
|Justin Turner, 3B||3||.387||.500|
|Cody Bellinger, 1B||2||.278||.316|
|Yasiel Puig, RF||1||.414||.514|
|Logan Forsythe, 2B||0||.316||.458|
|Kike Hernandez, LF||3||.417||.533|
|Austin Barnes, C||1||.261||.370|
|Clayton Kershaw, SP||0||.167||.167|
Who’s Hot and Who’s Not
It seems as if everyone on the Dodgers is hot offensively but lately, Enrique “Kike” Hernandez has stolen the spotlight. A three-homer game in Game 5 of the NLCS helped the Dodgers punch their ticket to the Fall Classic. Justin Turner has been superb at the plate, including his walk-off home run in Game 2 which was, ironically, hit on the same day as the famous Kirk Gibson walk-off home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. The only Dodger that hasn’t been as productive is Logan Forsythe, who hit a mere .200 in the NLCS.
As for the Astros, Jose Altuve appears to be back after homering in Games 6 and 7 to help send the Astros to the World Series. Yuli Gurriel continues to slap base hits all across the diamond, hitting .366 this postseason with four doubles and a triple. Meanwhile, the lack of production from Brian McCann and Josh Reddick could lean manager A. J. Hinch towards giving the two regulars a day off with the left-handed Kershaw on the mound for tonight’s game.
Prediction: Dodgers 4, Astros 3
It all comes down to pitching. The Dodgers have dominated out of the rotation and the bullpen. Houston can hold their own with the starting rotation, but a shaky bullpen could prove costly, especially if Kershaw has another outstanding night on the mound.
Where to Watch:
First pitch is scheduled for 8:09 PM EST, 5:09 PST, on Fox.
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