We are coming off an ALCS that went down to the wire and it was ostensibly decided by home field advantage, but in the end the winning team was the better one. In fact, the Astros were the best team in the American League all year, even if we didn't notice. It's true that they faltered in the middle of the year -- at the same time the Indians went on a bananas run -- but much of Houston's mediocrity was due to injury. When healthy, they showed all year long how great they can be. New York, Cleveland and Boston should all be good for a long time and be back in the postseason for years to come, but the Astros are on another level and that culminated in a well-earned pennant.
Now, they'll be meeting up with the team that was the best in baseball all year, though one that went on a similarly poor stretch through the middle of the season. If you'll recall, in August and September, the Dodgers seemingly couldn't win a baseball game and it was causing mass panic in Los Angeles. That, as many expected, would turn out to be a blip on the radar. They turned it back on in time for the end of the season and they've kept that momentum going in the postseason, dominating their way into the NL pennant. These are two extremely talented teams meeting up in the World Series, and it's going to be an incredible matchup.
Seriously, just think about the matchups and narratives that we get to enjoy in this series. We have a couple of high-powered offenses led by young stars in Cody Bellinger, Yasiel Puig, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa. In Puig and Altuve, we have two of the most exciting players in baseball when they are at their best and two that won't hold back their emotions when they do something well. In Correa and Corey Seager (assuming the latter is healthy), we have arguably the two most exciting young shortstops in a league full of them. In Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander we have the best pitcher in baseball against perhaps the best postseason pitcher in the league, non-Bumgarner division. In A.J. Hinch and Dave Roberts, we have two of the better young managers in baseball. Plus, we have a couple of fanbases who aren't exactly used to World Series runs. The Astros, of course, have never won a title while the Dodgers haven't won in 29 years. This is going to be a blast of a series, and we all need that in our lives.
- Charlie Morton gave the Astros a tremendous start on Saturday night, just another strong outing in a surprising season. Where did all of this come from?
- With the score 1-0 earlier in the game, the Yankees failed to tie the game up on a key play that included a perfect throw from Alex Bregman and an incredible tag by Brian McCann.
- Justin Verlander had a couple of incredible outings in the ALCS, and that was enough for the series MVP.
- With this latest postseason run going on, Verlander is just adding to his case to eventually make the Hall of Fame.
- One striking part of this postseason is that, by and large, teams are being carried by their youth rather than their veteran talent.
- After getting eliminated, there will be some who would like to see the Yankees fire Joe Girardi. That would be a mistake.
- Corey Seager was forced to miss the entire NLCS, but if he has his way he will be out there for the World Series.
- When the Cubs were eliminated, it meant the possible end of the Jake Arrieta era in Chicago. They were an amazing pairing.
- The Nationals made a shocking, probably dumb, decision to fire Dusty Baker. Now where do they go from here?
- Speaking of surprising decisions, the Giants removed Dave Righetti from pitching coaching duties, placing him instead in the front office.