HOUSTON ASTROS (108-65)
at LOS ANGELES DODGERS (111-59)
World Series – Game 1 – Dodger Stadium – Los Angeles, CA
First pitch: Tuesday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Line: Houston +155, Los Angeles -165, Total: 7.0
The World Series begins with the Dodgers hosting the Astros in Game 1 on Tuesday.
Both the Astros and the Dodgers had to face some excellent teams to get to this point, as Houston beat a very good Yankees team and Los Angeles defeated the defending champion Cubs. For Houston, the series against New York was an extremely tough one. The Yankees held a 3-2 lead in that one, but the Astros were able to fight back and win a Game 7 at Minute Maid Park. They probably have some tired pitching arms from that series, but there have also been a few days for those guys to rest. One guy that should be feeling fine heading into this one is LHP Dallas Keuchel (2-1, 2.60 ERA, 25 K in postseason). Keuchel is going to be starting this game against the Dodgers, and he last pitched against the Yankees in Game 5 last Wednesday. Unfortunately for Keuchel, all the rest in the world can’t guarantee that he’ll be able to outduel Dodgers ace LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 3.63 ERA, 16 K in postseason) in this one. Kershaw is one of the greatest pitchers in the history of the game, so there is always a chance he can shut his opponents down. SS Corey Seager (Back) is on the Dodgers roster for the World Series, but it’s not exactly clear when he is going to play.
Dallas Keuchel is starting Game 1 for the Astros and that should be a comforting sight for this entire Houston team. Keuchel struggled in his Game 5 start against the Yankees, allowing four earned runs in 4.2 innings of work. He had, however, allowed just one earned run in his previous 12.2 innings of playoff baseball. The moment never seems too big for the lefty and his ability to paint corners should make things extremely tough on the Dodgers. Keuchel has a style of pitching that is perfectly suited for the postseason, and his 25 strikeouts over three playoff games certainly helps to prove that. And on offense, the Astros can definitely count on some production coming from 2B Jose Altuve in this one. Altuve is in the midst of an incredible playoff run for the Astros, as he is batting .400 with five homers and eight RBI thus far. Altuve also hit .353 in 139 at-bats against lefties during the regular season, so he should be looking forward to facing Kershaw in this one. And it’s not like Altuve is the only guy in this lineup that can contribute for Houston. There are a number of players on this Astros team that are dangerous at the plate, and one of those is star SS Carlos Correa.
The Dodgers know that this Game 1 is going to be crucial, as the Astros have not yet dropped a game in Houston in the postseason. That means that the pressure is on Los Angeles to perform at home, so Kershaw needs to bring his best stuff in this one. The lefty has a history of failing to show up in the playoffs, but he has been pretty good in his past two trips to the mound. Kershaw has allowed just three earned runs in his past 11.0 innings of work and he is going to be eager to come out and be even better in this one. He is one of the best pitchers ever and all he is missing for his legacy is a signature postseason run. This could very well be it, but he must make sure he keeps the ball down against an Astros team that hits a ton of homers. On offense, 3B Justin Turner is a guy that will need to really hit in this series. But it would also be a huge spark for Los Angeles if Corey Seager were to play at all here. It wouldn’t be shocking if he mostly plays in the games in Houston, as he could DH and not stress himself in the field.