Two teams with 100 regular-season wins have earned a spot in the World Series for the first time in 47 years.
In 1970, the Baltimore Orioles (108 wins) beat the Cincinnati Reds (102 wins) in five games to win the championship.
Two former Cy Young award winners hook up in Game 1 of the 2017 best-of-seven final series on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Clayton Kershaw (18-4, 2.31 ERA) takes the mound for L.A. against Houston’s Dallas Keuchel (14-5, 2.90 ERA).
Los Angeles is favored to win the series at -165 on the money line. Oddsmakers have Houston pegged at +145 (odds provided by bovada.lv).
Dodgers, Astros Earn Spot In Star-Studded World Series
The Dodgers had the best record in baseball this season with 104 wins. The Astros were just three wins shy of that mark with 101. Both teams come out of the western division of their respective leagues. The two teams did not meet in inter-league play this year.
Justin Verlander, who is scheduled to start in Game 2 on Wednesday night, won the American League Championship Series MVP award. The 34-year-old righthander won his two starts in the series against the New York Yankees, allowing just one run in 16 innings of work while striking out 21 batters.
“He’s one of the chosen ones,” Houston starter Charlie Morton told mlb.com of Verlander, who the Astros acquired in the last hour before the trade deadline. “He’s just a beast.” Verlander, who had spent his entire career with the Detroit Tigers, is 9-0 since joining his new club at the beginning of September.
In the National League Championship Series, Justin Turner and Chris Taylor captured the MVP honors in the Dodgers’ five-game victory over the defending World Series champions. It’s the third time in league history the award has been shared.
“All year long it’s been a different guy every night,” Taylor, who bats leadoff for the NL champs, told mlb.com. “And a total team effort.”
Dodgers Have Only Lost Once This Postseason
Let’s take a look at the numbers and see how these champions match up.
The Dodgers are 7-1 in the playoffs this season, with their only loss coming in Game 4 in Chicago. The Astros are 7-4 in the playoffs, but they are unbeaten in all six starts at home.
The Dodgers are hitting .273 in eight playoff games, while the Astros are hitting .247 in 11. L.A. finished sixth in team batting in the NL in the regular season, hitting .249 with 221 homers and 770 runs. Houston led the AL, hitting .282 with 238 homers and 896 runs.
The Dodgers have a team ERA of 2.28 in the playoffs, the Astros are 3.79. In the regular season, L.A. led the NL with a 3.38 ERA. Houston finished fifth in the AL at 4.12.
The Dodgers (57-28) had a better record at home this season than Houston (48-33). But the Astros (53-28) had a better road record than L.A. (47-34).
Dodgers’ shortstop Corey Seager, out with back pain in the NLCS, is expected to be in the lineup for Tuesday’s opening game. Seager, who usually bats second, hit .295 with 22 homers in the regular season.
Astros Have Never Won World Series In 56-Year History
The Dodgers have won six World Series titles, their last in 1988 when an injured Kirk Gibson hit his famous ninth-inning home run in Game 1 off Oakland’s Dennis Eckersley. This is the Astros second trip to the Fall Classic in their 56-year history.
They were swept by the Chicago White Sox in 2005.
Both teams have good starting pitching. Both lineups are filled with all-stars.
The Dodgers have the edge in the bullpen. And both teams have terrific records against the other league in inter-league play — Los Angeles was 16-4 versus the AL this season, Houston 15-5 against the NL.
But there is only one Jose Altuve, and the American League batting champion is the best player in this series.