World Series Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Houston Astros

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As another exciting year of MLB is coming to an end, only two teams remain in the mix. The Houston Astros survived from the tough competition of American League, and the Los Angeles Dodgers cruised through the division and championship series in the National League.  Both teams had over 100 wins this year in the regular season, which makes it the first World series since 1970 to feature two 100-win teams. Also, the Astros became the first team to win both ALCS and NLCS, as they were relocated to the American League only four years ago. The Astros never won a World Series in 56 seasons, and the Dodgers are making their first World Series appearance since 1988. The Dodgers, with the most wins (104) this year in the MLB, hold the home-field advantage, and will be hosting games 1, 2, 6 and 7 in Dodger Stadium.

Starting Pitcher Matchups (Projected) :

Game 1:

Clayton Kershaw (LHP) : 18-4, 2.31 ERA, 202K

Clayton Kershaw, with another Cy-young caliber year, is now seeking to establish his position among the major league legends with a world series ring. However, unlike his dominant regular season performance, his continuous struggles in the postseason has been a great concern for the Dodgers. This postseason, he is marking 2 wins with 3.63 ERA, allowing 6 HR in 17.1 innings. In order for Dodgers to win this series, he has to show more dominance on the mound and prove why he is the best pitcher in the world.

 

Dallas Keuchel (LHP) : 14-5, 2.90 ERA, 125 K

Dallas Keuchel, after winning the Cy-young award in 2015, had a tough 2016 season marking 4.55 ERA. He managed to bounce back as one of the best left handers in the league this year, despite suffering a neck injury that kept him out for two months. Keuchel’s best weapon is his sinker with exceptional movement near the home plate, along with his pinpoint accuracy. This sinker allows him to create numerous groundouts, limiting the possibility of extra base hits in key moments.

 

Game 2:

Rich Hill (LHP) : 12-8, 3.32 ERA, 166K

Hill had a solid year after signing a 3yr / 48m contract extension with the Dodgers last offseason. Hill is a well known two-pitch pitcher, only using fastball and his signature curveball in his pitching repertoire.

 

Justin Verlander (RHP) : 15-8, 3.36 ERA, 219K

Verlander completely dominated his opponents this postseason, leading the Astros to the World Series. He had 4 wins and 1.46 ERA, winning the ALCS MVP. With the exceptional fastball velocity up to 100 mph, 12-6 curve, and slider, Verlander continues to strike out batters. He has been struggling in World Series appearances, recording 3 losses with 7.20 ERA.  

 

Game 3:

 

Charlie Morton (RHP) : 14-7, 3.62 ERA, 163K

Morton had an impressive start in Game 7 of the ALCS, pitching 5 scoreless innings. He pitched much better at home this year, which will give him some confidence going into a crucial game 3.

 

Yu Darvish (RHP) : 10-12, 3.86 ERA, 209K

Darvish, traded from the Texas Rangers midseason, had shown continuous success on away games this year with a ERA of 2.44. He pitched exceptionally well in Minute Maid Park throughout his career with a 2.16 ERA in 6 starts.

 

Game 4:

 

Lance McCullers (RHP) : 7-4. 4.25 ERA, 132K

Alex Wood (LHP) : 16-3, 2.72 ERA, 151K

 

Game 5 (If necessary):

 

Dallas Keuchel (LHP) : 14-5, 2.90 ERA, 125 K

Clayton Kershaw (LHP) : 18-4, 2.31 ERA, 202K

 

Game 6 (If necessary):

 

Rich Hill (LHP) : 12-8, 3.32 ERA, 166K

Justin Verlander (RHP) : 15-8, 3.36 ERA, 219K

 

Game 7 (If necessary):

 

Yu Darvish (RHP) : 10-12, 3.86 ERA, 209K

Charlie Morton (RHP) : 14-7, 3.62 ERA, 163K

 

Bullpen Comparison :

 

LAD :

Kenley Jansen, Brandon Morrow, Kenta Maeda, Tony Watson

HOU:

Ken Giles, Chris Devenski, Joe Musgrove, Will Harris

The bullpen is an area that the Dodgers have a clear edge on the Astros. Led by Kenley Jansen, the best closer in the league with 41 saves this year in 42 save opportunities, the Dodgers bullpen completely dominated opposing batters with an ERA of 0.94 in 28.2 innings. Meanwhile, the Astros bullpen has been a huge disappointment with 5.03 ERA in the first two series.

Key Batters :

LAD :

Cody Bellinger : .267 AVG 39 HR 97 RBI bWAR 4.2

 

Justin Turner : .322 AVG 21 HR 71 RBI bWAR 5.7

 

Corey Seager : .295 AVG 22 HR 77 RBI bWAR 5.6

 

Chris Taylor : .288 AVG 21 HR 72 RBI bWAR 4.8

 

HOU:

 

Jose Altuve : .346 AVG 24 HR 81 RBI bWAR 8.3

 

Carlos Correa : .315 AVG 24 HR 84 RBI bWAR 6.3

 

George Springer : .283 AVG 34 HR 85 RBI bWAR 5.0

 

Alex Bregman : .284 AVG 19 HR 71 RBI bWAR 4.1

Team Statistics :

 

Los Angeles Dodgers Houston Astros
Batting .249 AVG (21st)

221 HR (11th)

770 R (12th)

.282 AVG (1st)

238 HR (2nd)

896 R (1st)

Pitching 3.38 ERA (2nd)

1549 SO (5th)

442 BB (2nd)

16 BSV (5th)

4.12 ERA (11th)

1593 SO (2nd)

552 BB (16th)

21 BSV (18th)

Fielding .985 FPCT (13th)

88 E (12th)

.983 FPCT (21st)

99 E (20th)

 

SportsLine Odds :

 

2017 WS In 4 In 5 In 6 In 7
LAD 7.5% 19.2% 17.6% 14.3%
HOU 4.6% 6.3% 13.9% 16.6%

Featured Image: https://i.gse.io/gse_media/112/3/astros-dodgers.jpg?h=520&p=1&q=60&w=920&c=1

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