The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / 2017 World Series Preview and Predictions

2017 World Series Preview and Predictions

2017 World Series

It’s World Series time again and this year we have a great match-up between two teams that each won over 100 games this season. Now since I am old this match-up seems a little weird, when I was growing up the Dodgers and Astros were battling it out in the National League west and even played a one-game playoff for the division in 1980. Both teams are strong so if you think it’s worth a shot to wager on one of these teams but don’t know how, skim through this guide here before I go over my predicted winning team.

Projected lineup, Houston Astros

    • CF George Springer
    • RF Josh Reddick (L)
    • 2B Jose Altuve
    • SS Carlos Correa
    • 1B Yuli Gurriel
    • 3B Alex Bregman
    • DH Carlos Beltran (S)
    • LF Marwin Gonzalez (S)
    • C Brian McCann (S)

The Astros were baseball’s best offensive team leading the majors in runs scored (896), team batting average (.282) and team OPS (.823).

The stud on this team is MVP candidate Jose Altuve, who has led the way in October with a ridiculous .400/.500/.775 line that includes five home runs and more walks (8) than strikeouts (7). For the Astros to win this series he needs to keep putting up these outrageous numbers.

One thing I think we could see in this series is Alex Bregman finding himself in the No. 2 spot in the batting order against the Dodgers’ lefty-heavy rotation, especially considering Josh Reddick is batting just .171 in the playoffs.

Projected lineup, Los Angeles Dodgers

    • CF Chris Taylor
    • SS Corey Seager
    • 3B Justin Turner
    • 1B Cody Bellinger (L)
    • RF Yasiel Puig
    • LF Andre Ethier (vs. RHP)/Kike Hernandez (vs. LHP)
    • 2B Chase Utley (vs. RHP)/Logan Forsythe (vs. LHP)
    • C Austin Barnes

Corey Seager’s health is the big question for the Dodgers after he was left off the National League Championship Series roster with a back injury. Seager took batting practice and ground balls at shortstop Sunday, and manager Dave Roberts is “very confident” he’ll be back in the lineup when the World Series begins Tuesday, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.

Look for Curtis Granderson to likely be in the lineup when the series shifts to Houston and the team needs a designated hitter. He has two career home runs against Justin Verlander.

Projected rotation, Houston Astros

    • Dallas Keuchel (L)
    • Justin Verlander
    • Charlie Morton
    • Lance McCullers Jr.

So far, the Astros have only announced Game 1 starter Dallas Keuchel and Game 2 starter Justin Verlander, but that is a very dangerous 1-2 punch for the Astros. The rest of the rotation is not set yet, but the Astros will go as far as Keuchel and Verlander take them. This series could well be decided in the first two games and it is paramount that the Astros at least get a split in the first two games.

Projected rotation, Los Angeles Dodgers

    • Clayton Kershaw (L)
    • Rich Hill (L)
    • Yu Darvish
    • Alex Wood (L)

This will be Clayton Kershaw’s first time pitching in the World Series, so most have no idea what to expect out of Kershaw in a new situation. I think it is safe to say that he will be very good.

Astros hitters carry a paltry .190/.249/.288 line in 163 combined at-bats against Yu Darvish, and he was dominant in his most recent start against them—allowing just one hit over seven innings of work on June 12. Rich Hill also has extensive experience pitching against the Astros, so there will be no surprises in those two matchups.

Prediction: I look for the two teams to split the first two games. I like the Dodgers to take games 3 and 4 with the Astros rebounding to win games 5 and 6. The series will come down to one game at Dodger Stadium for all the marbles and I look for the Dodgers to squeak out the game 7 victory and to win the World Series for the first time since 1988.

Prediction: Dodgers win in seven games.

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