Game 1. Tonight. Kuechel v. Kershaw. It is going down but the real question is who is going to be on top of the baseball world after this best-of-seven series.
The Astros passed the Boston Red Sox easily and fought hard against the New York Yankees to come out on top in game seven yet they still have not faced their biggest test: the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers bullpen has a 0.94 ERA this postseason giving up only three runs in 28 and 2/3 innings while holding opponents to a .125 average. At the same time their bullpen has been lights out, their offense ,jam packed with stars from Cody Bellinger to Justin Turner, has scored 48 runs in only eight games.
Meanwhile, the Astros have done pretty well on offense thanks to the contributions of the soon-to-be American League MVP Jose Altuve. The ‘Stros have scored 44 runs in 11 games hitting 20 doubles along the way. Their starting pitching has also been better than average. Justin Verlander has been a gift from god because with out him, Aaron Judge would be jogging out to right field tonight at Dodger Stadium. Houston starters have combined for a 3.10 ERA striking out 70 in 61 innings. Pretty damn good: too bad the Dodgers are too good for them to overcome.
Top to bottom the Dodgers can match up with the Astros offensively and their pitching is just far superior to Houston’s. The starting pitching is debatable because of Clayton Kershaw’s average postseason performance but 10 times out of 10 you take the Dodgers bullpen over Houston’s. Hosuton’s relievers have a 5.10 ERA this postseason and it could be easy for the Dodgers to capitalize on the likes of closer Ken Giles who has a 7.50 ERA in six postseason innings. On the other side, Kenley Jansen is arguably the best closer in all of baseball and he has not slowed down this October. Jansen has not let up a run this postseason while striking out 12 and collecting three saves in eight innings of work.
I still believe it will be a good series over all but LA has way too much talent to not come away with a World Series ring. Just think, they have only lost one game all postseason, to the defending champs nonetheless, without one of if not their best player Corey Seager who will be back in the lineup for game 1 tonight. There are plenty of stars on Houston’s side including ,Carlos Correa and George Springer, but I think the bullpen for the Dodgers is what wins this series.
Prediction: Dodgers in 6