Would the 2017 World Series qualify as the best ever if there wasn’t a game seven? Probably not. But here we are, after six roller coaster games, we’re down to winner-take-all game seven. For the majority of the past seven months, the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers were the two best teams in baseball, posting 101 and 104 regular season wins respectively. In the six games so far, we’ve pretty much witnessed just about everything – pitchers’ duels, home runs, comebacks, and wild finishes. In game seven, the Astros will roll with Lance McCullers as their starting pitcher, with the Dodgers going with Yu Darvish. Let’s hope we’re just as entertained in this game as we’ve been all series.
Why The Astros Might Win
Although the Astros have only been 2-6 on the road this postseason, home field advantage tends to not matter as much in game sevens, with the home team going only 19-19. During the regular season, the Astros scored more runs than any team since the 2009 New York Yankees. Marwin Gonzalez, who led the team in RBI, is batting in the lower half of the order – that’s how stacked the Astros’ offense is. Additionally, the Astros’ dynamic duo of Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa have combined for 17 RBI in the Astros’ seven wins and 0 RBI in their six losses between the ALCS and World Series – it’s clear that they’ll need to step up their game if the Astros want to win game seven tonight. While the Astros have mostly been neutralized by Darvish over the past few years, with Altuve slashing .235/.350/.324 with 0 HR, 6 BB, and 6 K while Correa has slashed .188/.188/.438 with 1 HR, 0 BB, and 6 K, past performance probably won’t count as much as Darvish was rocked in his last World Series start, lasting just 1.2 innings while giving up 6 H, 4 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, and 0 K. Additionally, the Dodgers’ formidable bullpen has looked far from invincible during the World Series, with Kenley Jansen, Kenta Maeda, and Brandon Morrow having been asked to shoulder huge workloads. The Astros have faced adversity all postseason long – they’ve been well prepped for game seven.
Why The Dodgers Might Win
After Yasiel Puig guaranteed a Dodgers’ game six win, the team certainly pulled through in a big manner by limiting the Astros to just one run. Although Darvish was rocked in his last World Series start, he’s had pretty good success against the Astros in the past and the Dodgers should certainly be optimistic about this fact. Furthermore, the Dodgers are 6-1 at home so far this postseason, which should work to their advantage. While Kershaw was pretty much human in his abysmal game five start, the Dodgers will have the luxury of using him out of the bullpen if needed. The Dodgers have been the best team in all of baseball for most of the year – a game seven win will certainly cement this fact. In McCullers’ last World Series start, he went 5.1 innings while allowing 4 H, 3 ER, 0 HR, 4 BB, and 3 K. His line wasn’t spectacular, but it was enough to get the job done. However, the walks are definitely a cause for concern, and if the Dodgers can draw some early walks off McCullers, he might be in for a long night. The Dodgers have proved that they can roll with the best of them, and the Astros are no different.
In terms of historically great hitting (Astros) versus historically great pitching (Dodgers), the best hitting team has usually prevailed, and game seven should be no different. The Astros will have the luxury of not having to face Kershaw (even though he’ll be available out of the bullpen) while knowing that the Dodgers’ lights-out bullpen has been anything but during the World Series. The Astros have the entire city of Houston behind them and after the events of Hurricane Harvey, they’ll have just a little extra oomph in them to take game seven by the slimmest of margins and capture their first World Series Championship in franchise history.
Pick: Astros +153
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