The Los Angeles Dodger and the Houston Astros are set to meet in what can be called the World Series of Sabermetrics. Two teams that were built around sabermetric strategy will meet in what should be an entertaining and exciting series.
Reasons why the Astros win.
Justin Verlander has not only been the most dominant pitcher in baseball since his trade, he has us reminiscing about the MVP Justin Verlander that took the world by storm in 2011. He has taken control of this team and with his leadership guys like Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers have shown not only great pitching ability but an intensity that is infectious to the team while they are on the mound.
Vets stepping up
Brian McCann and Evan Gattis came through in game 7. Verlander has become a leader on the mound. Carlos Beltran sits waiting for his opportunity to strike. The Astros are looked at as this young team built over years of depressing seasons but that isn’t the case. They have a solid core of veteran players that are looking for rings and they will do anything and everything to do it. At 27 years old Jose Altuve has developed into a team leader. He reminds me of Dustin Pedroia in 2011, he entered his 4th full season with the Red Sox and had developed in a vocal leader that also took care of business on the field. With Altuve’s leadership and a strong core of vets around him, this could be the year that the Astros win that first championship.
Reasons why Dodgers win.
Most managers in Major League Baseball have plans going into a game on what or who they are going to have to stop in order to be victorious. With the Dodgers you don’t have that luxury. Whether it is Austin Barnes, Kiki Hernandez, Charlie Culberson, or Justin Turner, you don’t know who is going to beat you on a given night. Dave Roberts, who was the ultimate bench player during his career seems to have the ability to know who has going to be on or not. The inability of an opposing manager to make a game plan can cause mistakes and any mistake in the World Series can mean the end of your run.
The Astros may have the hottest starter in baseball right now with with Justin Verlander but the Dodgers sport maybe the most imposing pitching staff in the MLB. With four quality starters and a bullpen that can be trusted as soon as the 6th inning, Dave Roberts will be able to be comfortable in any situation to make a move and with Kenta Maeda looking lights out so far out of the bullpen Roberts can have the added depth that he needs to eat up innings and not over use guys like Kenley Janson and Brandon Morrow. Some pitching is good, but when you have more pitching it is always better.
This is going to be a fun World Series. With exciting young players and veterans that are looking for their first ring, this world series will be full of intensity and emotion. Every fiber in my being is saying that the Astros have to much starting lineup power. They have more then one guy that can hit the long ball and a red hot started. Not to mention the most likely AL MVP. I want to see Carlos Beltran win his first ring. But it won’t happen this year. Dodgers pitching and Dave Roberts decision making will be to much for the Astros to overcome. AJ Hinch has a serious lack of confidence in his bullpen and that will cost him games.