Where do I begin? Well, let’s start by pointing out that this postseason seems to have had most of its attention shifted towards the American League. It started with the shockingly early exit of the Cleveland Indians. A team that many had pegged as the AL representative in this year’s World Series prior to the conclusion of the regular season, the Indians just never could finish the job in their showdown with the Yanks. Though, to give credit where it is due, the Baby Bombers of the Bronx absolutely battled their hairless balls off. With their backs against the wall, they were able to scratch across runs when they needed to and were able to take out the heavy favorite early.
Which brings us to our next main plot twist. Other than myself and the rest of Sox Nation, pretty much anyone who didn’t have the Indians in the World Series picked the Houston Astros to represent the AL. And rightfully so. The Houston Astros have been playing tremendous baseball for the entire season – after April 13, they were in first place for the entire season – and really turned it up in the home stretch of the regular season heading into the Postseason. The Red Sox gave them somewhat of a fight in the ALDS, but ultimately proved to be no match against the Astros lineup on the mound or trying to match the runs they put up on the offensive side of the ball. In the ALCS, they got up to an early 2-0 series lead heading to New York and many Astros fans already had their brooms ready.
*Cue the playing of chorus from ‘Empire State of Mind’-Jay Z*
Knowingly playing as underdogs and with the ‘nothing to lose mentality,’ the Baby Bombers went out and balled with their backs against the walls, winning not one, not two, but THREE straight games in the Bronx, absolutely baffling the Astros and their fans. There were two ways to look at this scenario: the first way being heading back home and having the best pitcher in baseball since the trade deadline on the hill with a chance to get his team a win closer to a game 7 do-or-die and a spot in the World Series. The second way: heading to Houston on a three-game win streak with two chances to get one win to advance to the World Series. Many people, including myself, which I hate to admit, felt the Yankees had the upper hand heading back to Houston for the remainder of the series. Nonetheless, I was wrong, and I’m very happy to admit that, because it doesn’t happen often. The Astros ultimately won Games 6 and 7 at home and found themselves ready to face a team in the World Series that has had a completely different postseason thusfar.
So we know how the Astros got there, but what about the Dodgers? I don’t need two paragraphs for this one. Dominant in the NLDS against the Wild Card winning Diamondbacks, 3-0 series sweep. Near perfect yet again in the NLCS against the reigning champion Cubs, despite letting the series get to a fifth game, they won decisively 11-1 in Game 5. No big deal, just a quick and quiet 7 wins out of 8 games. Heading into the World Series ready to rep the NL with some serious swagger, can they keep up their dominance in this year’s Postseason?
Game 1 Preview
Astros @ Dodgers
Tue. October 24, Dodger Stadium
This game will have a pitching matchup that features two of the best left-handed starters this game has to offer. Dallas Keuchel will face off against Clayton Kershaw. Two big southpaws, very different pitchers, who will come out on top in Dodger Stadium Tuesday night?
To me the answer is clear: Kershaw has finally improved his career postseason numbers this year, and has proven he can pitch in big playoff games. Unless he completely tanks and can’t find his stuff early, which, truthfully I see no chance of that happening, the Dodgers will win Game 1.
Here’s why: Dallas Keuchel is going to get off to a slow start, maybe a walk or two in the first inning due to jitters, and the young starpowered Dodger offense is going to tee off on his low to mid 90’s fastball when he is forced to throw it. Keuchel will not be in the game long and even if Houston’s bullpen can come through for them and stop the bleeding for a chunk of innings, I don’t see the Dodgers slowing down.
The ONLY thing in favor of the Astros going into Game 1, is that Kershaw and the Dodgers have had more time off between the Championship Series and the World Series. It COULD cause them to get off to a slow start, and if the Astros offense can stay hot like they did in their Games 6 and 7 wins against the Yankees, they do have a chance. But Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball and Tuesday night, I think he’s going to show everyone why that is the case.
As always, Go Sox… buuuut for this point in time, Go Dodgers…? Feels weird, but yes, Go Dodgers!
I’ll be writing articles throughout the World Series, keep an eye on my Twitter for updates, some play-by-play, or even if you just want to talk about the World Series or baseball in general with, @WTPMikeyT913.