Fall 2021 SS Magazine

World Series Preview: Can Jose Altuve lead the Astros past Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers?

The 113th edition of the World Series is set as the Houston Astros take on the Los Angeles Dodgers. Both teams were the only two to win over 100 games in the season. The Dodgers are looking to win their first Fall Classic since 1988, while the Astros are trying to win it’s first World Series in team history.

Los Angeles Dodgers (104-58)

NLDS: Beat Arizona in 3 — NLCS: Beat Chicago in 5

Hitting

The Dodgers had the best regular-season record in the majors and have a roster lined with young and veteran stars. 1st Baseman Cody Bellinger is the lead candidate for the NL Rookie of the Year as he hit 39 homers and added two more in the postseason. He’s teamed up with Justin Turner and Yasiel Puig. The Dodgers could also see a return of short stop Corey Seager who missed the NLCS with a back injury.

Pitching

When the Dodgers are on the mound, they are led by Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw won two of his three starts in the postseason and is looking to add a World Series title to an already storied career.

“Winning the World Series is really all that we play this game for, Kershaw said to MLB.com. “All the individual stuff is great, but at the end of the day, I just want to win a World Series. If we win, I might retire, so I might just call it a career. It’s a special thing, and I know that I’m not taking that for granted.”

The Dodgers picked up Yu Darvish at the trade deadline and he’s been almost perfect in the playoffs, going 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA. Lefty Rich Hill is slated to start Game 2 and Darvish will start Game 3.

Quotes

Clayton Kershaw on eternal salvation.

“I feel like Jesus is the only true way to Heaven. There’s a lot of other things that people believe in and you’re supposed to love everybody. You’re not supposed to convert anybody, that’s God’s job. But at the same time you can be His disciple, you can live for Him and when people ask you why you are living for Him, you can show them why.”

Houston Astros (102-60)

ALDS: Beat Red Sox in 4 — ALCS: Beat Yankees in 7

Hitting

Houston’s offense starts with 2nd Basemen Jose Altuve who’s hitting .400, with a team high five home runs in the postseason. Not too bad for a guy who’s 5’6″ and weights a paltry 165 pounds. Outfielder George Springer led the team with 34 home runs during the regular season and short stop Carlos Correa led the Astros with nine RBIs in the playoffs.

The biggest issue with the Astros offense is the home and road split. At home Houston scored 31 runs, on the road they scored only 13 runs.

Pitching

Just like Los Angeles, Houston made a major pitching move at the trade deadline grabbing Justin Verlander and the move has paid off. Verlander is 4-0 with a 1.46 ERA in four playoff appearances. The ace of Houston’s staff is Dallas Keuchel who struck out a team-high 25 batters in the postseason.

Quotes

Jose Altuve on his faith in Christ

“I grew up in a family that always told me that to achieve success, we needed to have God first. To achieve success wasn’t to get to the major leagues or have the best season in the world. The best success is to live your life the way God wants you to. If you can do that, if you can be good with God, then I think you will have success in your life.”

 

World Series Schedule

Game 1: Tuesday, Oct. 24 in Los Angeles, 8 p.m. ET (Fox TV/ESPN Radio) – Dallas Keuchel (14-5) vs Clayton Kershaw (18-4)
Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 25 in Los Angeles, 8 p.m. ET (Fox TV/ESPN Radio) – Justin Verlander (15-8) vs Rich Hill (12-8)
Game 3: Friday, Oct. 27 in Houston, 8 p.m. ET (Fox TV/ESPN Radio) – Yu Darvish (10-12) vs TBD
Game 4: Saturday, Oct. 28 in Houston, 8 p.m. ET (Fox TV/ESPN Radio)
Game 5*: Sunday, Oct. 29 in Houston, 8 p.m. ET (Fox TV/ESPN Radio)
Game 6*: Tuesday, Oct. 31 in Los Angeles, 8 p.m. ET (Fox TV/ESPN Radio)
Game 7*: Wednesday, Nov. 1 in Los Angeles, 8 p.m. ET (Fox TV/ESPN Radio)
*if necessary

Sports Spectrum World Series Predictions

Jason Romano: Houston Astros in 5

Justin Adams: Los Angeles Dodgers in 6

Jon Ackerman: Los Angeles Dodgers in 7