Astros vs. Dodgers Pick
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Dodgers are a -160 favorite to win the World Series and the Astros are a +140 underdog. Los Angles is a -170 favorite to win Game 1 and Houston is a +145 underdog, while the over-under is 7.
Pitching in Game 1 for Houston will be Dallas Keuchel (14-5, 2.90 ERA), while Los Angeles counters with Clayton Kershaw (18-4, 2.31). Keuchel held a 1.12 WHIP with 125 strikeouts over 145 2/3 innings. In his last start, he allowed four earned runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts and one walk during a 5-0 loss at the Yankees in Game 5 of the ALCS. He has given up five earned runs on 14 hits with 25 strikeouts and five walks in 17 1/3 innings in three starts during the postseason. Keuchel is 8-2 with a 3.53 ERA in 74 road innings this season. Kershaw had a 0.95 WHIP with 202 strikeouts over 175 innings in the regular season. He gave up one earned run on three hits with five strikeouts and one walk over six innings in a 12-1 NLCS-clinching win at the Cubs in Game 5. Kershaw has allowed seven earned runs on 12 hits with 16 strikeouts and five walks over 17 1/3 innings in three starts during the playoffs. He is 9-2 with a 2.58 ERA in 90 2/3 innings at home this year.
The Astros' starting pitching rotation is rounded out by ALCS MVP Justin Verlander (4-0, 1.46 ERA in postseason), Charlie Morton (1-1, 6.23) and either Lance McCullers (2.08 ERA in 13 innings) or Brad Peackock (9.00 ERA in five innings). McCullers and Peacock can also serve as assets out of the bullpen. Game 2 for the Dodgers will be started by Rich Hill (3.00 in nine innings), while Game 3 will go to Yu Darvish (1-2, 1.59 ERA in 11 1/3 innings). Game 4 wil likely go to Alex Wood (5.79 ERA in 4 2/3 innings).
Houston's offense is paced by Jose Altuve (5 HRs in 40 ABs), Yuli Gurriel (.921 OPS in 41 ABs) and Carlos Correa (3 HRs, .931 OPS in 44 ABs). Los Angeles is highlighted offensively by Enrique Hernandez (3 HRs in NLCS Game 5), Cody Bellinger (2 HRs in 36 ABs), Yasiel Puig (1.169 OPS in 29 ABs) and Justin Turner (3 HRs, 12 RBIs, 1.177 OPS in 31 ABs).
The Astros advanced to the World Series via a 4-0 Game 7 home win over the Yankees in Game 7 of the ALCS. Charlie Morton threw five shutout frames, striking out five. Jose Altuve was 1-for-3 with a solo home run and a walk. Carlos Correa went 2-for-4 with a run. Evan Gattis ontributed a solo home run. Brian McCann was 1-for-2 with an RBI double and two walks. Greg Bird had a double to lead the way for the Yankees. CC Sabathia surrendered one earned run in 3 1/3 innings.
Los Angeles clinched a World Series bid for the first time since 1988 with its decisive series win at the Cubs.
While they didn't have their greatest successes off Yankees starter CC Sabathia twice in the ALCS, it is an Astros lineup that mashes left-handed pitching. Even if Los Angles takes Game 1 behind Kershaw, the Dodgers have another lefty starter in Game 2. And if the Astros walk out of Dodger Stadium with one win instead of two, they'll feel very good about where they stand in the race for the championship trophy. Houston has probably the best starting pitching rotation left in the playoffs due to Keuchel and Verlander, while its bullpen is no slouch either especially with the additions of McCullers and Peacock. We like the Astros' potent bats to carve the way to a big inning or two in a few games, while the Astros pitching will take care of the rest.
MLB WORLD SERIES PREDICTION: HOUSTON ASTROS +140