With 2017 World Series Finally here, Who’s the Pick? L.A. or Houston?
Prior to the start of the 2017 MLB regular season, the exact matchups odds for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros meeting in the quickly approaching 2017 World Series was a whopping +5000.
If you made that wager, then good for you. There’s no doubt that you’re jumping for joy right now. However, if these two teams weren’t one of your preseason picks to reach the final series of the season, then you can still cash in nicely with a series-winning pick on the right team.
Before Game 1 gets underway on Tuesday night in Los Angeles, you should know that the Dodgers are favored to win their first championship since 1988 over an Astros team that is looking to bag the first World Series trophy in franchise history.
2017 World Series Odds
- Dodgers -170
- Houston +150
Game 1 Houston at L.A.
Tuesday, October 24 at 8:00 PM ET
Game 2 Houston at L.A.
Wednesday, October 25 at 8:00 PM ET
Game 3 L.A. at Houston
Friday, October 27 at 8:00 PM ET
Game 4 L.A. at Houston
Saturday, October 28 at 8:00 PM ET
*Game 5 L.A. at Houston
Sunday, October 29 at 8:00 PM ET
*Game 6 Houston at L.A.
Tuesday, October 31 at 8:00 PM ET
*Game 7 Houston at L.A.
Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 8:00 PM ET
(* If necessary)
On paper, Houston is the better hitting team seeing as how they ranked first in scoring (5.53 rpg) first in team batting average (.282), first in OPS (.823) and second in home runs (238). Conversely, Los Angeles ranked a modest 12th in scoring (4.75 rpg), 22nd in team batting average (.249), eighth in OPS (.771) and 11th in home runs (221). However, since the start of the postseason, there’s been a bit of a role reversal when it comes to putting runs on the board.
L.A. is averaging an insane 6.0 runs per game in sweeping Arizona and taking out the defending champion Cubs in five games. The Dodgers have scored at least five runs in five games this postseason while scoring eight runs or more three times, including putting a whopping 11 runs on the board in their Game 5 NLCS finale against Chicago.
Houston is averaging a far more modest 4.0 runs per game in 11 postseason contests after taking out Boston in four games in the ALDS and going the full seven games against the Yankees in the ALCS. While Houston opened up its playoff run with back-to-back eight-run outings against Boston and beat New York 7-1 in game 6 of the ALCS, the Astros were also been blanked once against New York in Game 5 while recording a pair of low-scoring 2-1 wins in the first two games of the ALCS.
Houston second baseman Jose Altuve is almost surely going to win the AL MVP award after his jaw-dropping season. (.346/.410/.547, 24 HR, 32 SB). Both L.A. and Houston have incredible second-year shortstops in Corey Seager and Carlos Correa, but the Dodgers could be getting a big boost seeing as how they’ve advanced this far with Seager in the lineup.
At third base, the Dodgers’ Justin Turner has turned into a superstar that had an MVP-caliber season (.322/.415/.530,). I’m thinking the Dodgers Yasiel Puig could be the difference-maker as everyone knows just how gifted a five-tool player he can be when he’s locked in and right now, he’s as locked in as ever!
Both teams will get with staff ace left-handers in Game 1 as Clayton Kershaw gets the call for L.A. opposite Houston’s Dallas Keuchel.
Kershaw had is the best performance of the postseason in the Dodgers’ Game 5 clincher against the Cubs by allowing one run in six innings on three hits while striking out five. On the flip side of the coin, Keuchel had his worst start of the playoffs the last time out in allowing four earned runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings of Houston’s 5-0 game 5 loss to New York.
Rich Hill will go for L.A. in game 2, followed by the gifted Yu Darvish in Game 3. Justin Verlander gets the call for Houston in game 2 and he’s been, by far, the best pitcher in the entire postseason. Charlie Morton will likely start Game 3 for the Astros and he’s had an up-and-down kind of postseason in allowing seven earned runs in Game 3 of the ALCS before tossing a gem in game 7.
When it comes to the bullpens, the Dodgers have a huge edge in seeing as how they had the lowest bullpen ERA in the regular season and have been phenomenal this postseason by compiling a combined 0.94 ERA with two walks and 32 strikeouts in 28.2 innings. The Dodgers bullpen was so dominant that the Cubs went 0-for-29 against their relievers at one point in the NLCS which is the longest streak of hitless at-bats by a bullpen in postseason history.
I like L.A.’s Dave Roberts a bit more than Houston A.J. Hinch, but that’s just me and I don’t necessarily think he’s a better manager. With four more wins, Roberts would join Toronto Blue Jays legend Cito Gaston as the only two black managers to win a World Series. Roberts, who’s the first black manager in Dodgers franchise history, is only the fourth, joining Gaston, Dusty Baker (2002 San Francisco Giants 2002) and Ron Washington (Texas Rangers 2010 and 2011) to ever take his team to the World Series.
2017 World Series Pick
I love both teams in the 2017 World Series and it looks like a knock-down, drag-out thriller just waiting to happen, seeing as how Houston had the most prolific offense in baseball this season and Los Angeles had the second best pitching staff in terms of team ERA (3.38).
However, since I’ve always been of the age-old mindset that good pitching beats good hitting, I’m going with the Dodgers to beat the Astros in seven games.