The World Series starts tomorrow in Houston, with the Astros taking on the Atlanta Braves. Thank God, the Braves were able to beat the L. A. Dodgers, or what a World Series that would have been. I was already to write about the series between the highest payroll team vs. the cheaters. Who would you want to win that one, like nobody. Even with the one feel good story, of Dusty Baker, having the chance to cap off a great managerial career, with his first World Series Championship, is not enough to keep one from hoping, that the Astros get destroyed. Atlanta is an easy team to root for, with all the things, that they have had to overcome, to get to the World Series. By playing the Astros, they will have a vast majority of baseball fans pulling for them. Houston will be favored, and has the home field advantage, but Atlanta definitely has what it takes, to pull off one more upset. What does Atlanta have to do in order to win the series. This is by far one of the easiest series to analyze.
The Houston Astros have played 10 post seasons games. There has been only one game, where they did not score at least 5 runs, and in that game they scored 3. There were 7 games that they got 10 or more hits. Contrast that with the Braves who in 10 games, only scored 5 or more runs 4 times with 3 of those games being 5 on the number. They only got double digit hits in 4 games. The Astro lineup has been hitting throughout the playoffs. The simple key to this World Series, will the Astros keep on hitting. As was proven in the post season, hitting can quickly come and go. This post season has been highlighted by teams crushing the ball for one or two games, and then seeing their bats go south, for the next game or two. The only consistent hitting team, up to this point, is those cheatin Houston Astros. The Atlanta bullpen has been superb, but will it run out of gas, the way Tampa Bays did, in last years World Series. The Braves hitting has been up and down all year, but should be able to have a good DH in Jorge Soler, who does seem to be hot right now. From a statistical point of view the matchup is very even except in one area. Defensive efficiency rating, The Astros were .713, the Braves .708, a dead heat. In OPS+ the Astros were 2nd in all of baseball with 113, while the Braves were 96 which placed them 15th, giving a big edge to the Astros. In ERA+ both teams are exactly the same at 114. It is those Astros bats at the basic statistical level, that make them the favorite to win it all. During the regular season, the Astros had one stretch of 7 games where they did not score more than 4 runs per game, and once they were shut out 2 games in a row. It will boil down to how long the Astros can keep on hitting, and whether or not Atlanta can stretch the series to go 6 to 7 games, which will increase the chances, of the Astros bats, cooling off. Let’s hope the Braves can do it, to make things right in the world again. Well, I don’t know if that will make everything right in the world, but I would like to see it happen, anyway.