The 2016 World Series was a tale of two underdogs in the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians. The 2017 World Series is looking to be a tale of two top dogs—the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros.
Ahead of the series’ first game tonight, there’s a strong chance for both teams to take home the glory in what has the potential to be a close seven-game contest. For the Dodgers, the road to this point has been a fairly predictable one. They dominated not only the National League but the MLB overall, raking in 104 wins during the regular season, largely in part to their stellar pitching team led by Clayton Kershaw, who led the league with an ERA of 2.31. Closer Kenley Jansen has been a dynamo from the Dodgers bullpen, securing a 0.0 ERA throughout the duration of the postseason.
To combat the Dodgers’ defense is Houston’s impressive offense. The Astros were not far behind LA this season, notching 101 wins off the bat of Jose Altuve, Marwin Gonzalez, and George Springer. Collectively, the AL champs earned an average of 5.53 runs per game and a .478 slug percentage, the league’s best since batting stat since the 2003 Red Sox squad.
Then there are of course the intangibles to consider. Dodger Stadium will host Games 1 and 2, and if home field advantage proves to be a success, that could be enough of an edge for the Dodgers to close out the series quickly. They have been rock solid all postseason by giving up just one game in their playoff route to the Series, and that winning momentum is sure to build drastically in the early part of the Series.
Houston had to battle in a tough, seven-game contest against the Yankees to secure the American League Championship Series, overcoming a 3-2 deficit to reach the Fall Classic. This type of fighting spirit, coupled with their city’s devastating flooding from Hurricane Harvey, certainly draws in plenty of people to root for the Astros, not to mention the fact that they’re playing for their first championship in franchise history.
Nevertheless, analysts and fans alike have pegged the Dodgers as the team to beat long before the calendar flipped to October. The Astros have proven their worth, but in the end, we’re predicting a tight Series going the Dodgers way in six must-see games.
World Series 2017 Schedule