Back up three months. Envision the World Series…
Fast forward to today, and we are exactly where we expected to be all along. The Cleveland Indians historic streak moved them into slight favorite status, and the Dodgers miserable Fall swoon put their dominance into question. But from a broader season-long vantage point, we are left with the two best teams in baseball squaring off for the World Series Championship, just as it should be.
To put this series in proper perspective, this is the first time since 1970 that a pair of 100 win teams will matchup in the World Series. Great stuff!
So, who has the edge in this series? The fierce Astros bats or the vaunted Dodgers pitching (and it’s not like either are ‘bad’ in the opposite category either). Vegas sees the Dodgers as a slight favorite, but the first two games could easily be viewed as toss-ups with dynamite starting pitching matchups pitting Kershaw vs. Kuechel and Rich Hill squaring off against Justin Verlander.
If all four aces live up to their potential, then the Dodgers bullpen could be the advantage necessary. If Kershaw or Darvish struggle, then things are going to get real interesting with the Game Three and Game Four starters, which are still not official…
For now, let’s focus on Game One and see if we can ride a perfect 5-0 NLCS to more winnings…
Today’s MLB Pick
WORLD SERIES – GAME ONE
Houston Astros +160 at Los Angeles Dodgers -170 (Total:7)
Dallas Kuechel vs. Clayton Kershaw
Much has been made over the postseason struggles of Clayton Kershaw and his 6-7 record and 4.33 ERA don’t lie. But at the same time, numbers just guide, they don’t always tell us EVERYTHING we need to know. Many of those runs came either on extremely short rest or in the late innings (particularly the seventh) while his hapless managers left him on the bump to die alone. This year, his rest has been normal, and his results have been better. Today, he is on normal rest. Bet against the best pitcher in baseball at your own peril.
Dallas Kuechel has been a postseason beast. No resume to justify or talk around; simply dynamite results. His numbers speak for themselves. He enters with a 4-1 October record and a 2.59 ERA. He took the lone loss most recently however, in the Yankees series. He is obviously excellent, but not invincible.
I expect the pitchers to reign supreme tonight in Los Angeles despite the presence of two superior offenses; especially Houston. Good pitching trumps good hitting, right? If so, then this could be an October pitching classic, as these two starters are about as good as it gets.
I’ll take the bats to remain quiet for the opening night.
Today’s MLB Pick: TOTAL UNDER 7