One of the most exciting times of the year is upon us. The World Series. It is the climax of the baseball season. Every year, fans have hopes and aspirations that their favorite team can win a title. Now, only two teams remain. The Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros. We will break down each aspect of the team's game, as well as give you our picks for the World Series.
Starting Pitching: The Astros are coming off of a very rollercoaster series when it comes to starting pitching. They seemed like a little league team in the first three games of the series, with the longest start being just 2 2/3 innings by Framber Valdez in the only game of the first three that the Astros won.
After the first three, the pitching staff finally started to pick it up. They had 8 innings from Valdez in game 5, and 5 2/3 innings of shutout ball to close out the series from Luis Garcia. They didn't give up many runs in game 4, but they still only got an inning out of Zack Greinke.
The Braves have had solid outings from Charlie Morton throughout the entire postseason, continuing to show why he is one of the best big-game pitchers this game has seen. Max Fried has had some solid outings with one shaky start against the Dodgers that resulted in a loss. Ian Anderson has pitched exceptionally, but we haven't gotten to see him go very far into games yet. We'll see if Huscar Ynoa can make an appearance in the series, and if he does pitch, he has the ability to pitch a great game or two.
We are giving a slight nod to the Braves for their stellar outings so far and the inconsistency of the Astros' rotation thus far.
Bullpens: As we all know, in the postseason bullpens are an essential key to winning a championship. The Braves have had some very reliable arms out of the bullpen so far, like Tyler Matzek, who seemingly fears nobody. Will Smith has had some very good appearances, closing out most of the games for the Braves.
On the other hand, you have guys like Luke Jackson, who is coming off of some rough outings, the last one coming in Game 6 of the NLCS where he faced three batters and didn't record a single out. Jesse Chavez has gotten some surprise nods out of the 'pen, where he has pitched mediocre at best. His age is clearly catching up to him, and he hasn't been the same guy he used to be.
The Astros have had mostly great outings from their key pieces that they need to trust. Ryan Pressly has been the solid closer the Astros have been expecting, and Kendall Graveman has been a great arm that they have trusted and it seems to have paid off.
Once again, this couldn't be any closer, but this time the Astros have a slight advantage over the Braves. The bullpens are going to be key in the path to the trophy, so watch out for the guys who have had shaky outings and expect them to be the X-Factors in this series.
Lineups: The lineups have not disappointed so far this postseason, as we have seen some massive streaks from hitters that are going to be fun to watch. Yordan Alvarez has been on a tear lately, finishing the last two games with seven hits, even recording a rare triple. He will be a guy to watch out for as the 'Stros try to rally for a title.
Eddie Rosario has arguably been just as good as Yordan, maybe even more clutch. He pretty much singlehandedly sent the Braves to the World Series with a huge homer in Game 6 that catapulted them to their first World Series appearance in over two decades. He finished the NLCS with a record-tying 14 hits and put the nail in the coffin to send the Dodgers home.
The lineups are going to have to come alive in order to win a World Series, and we are giving the advantage this time to the Astros.
Our Pick: Astros in 6 games