The World Series officially kicks off tonight with the Astros and Dodgers tonight at 8 p.m. ET. This is the 113th World Series and it starts tonight at Dodger Stadium! To tide you over until then, we gathered some more matchup facts to get you ready for tonight.
This is the second time the Astros have played in the World Series (also in 2005) and the 18th time for the Dodgers (1988, 1981, 1978, 1977, 1974, 1966, 1965, 1963, 1959, 1956, 1955, 1953, 1952, 1949, 1947, 1941, 1920, 1916). The Dodgers have also won the World Series six times previously (1988, 1981, 1965, 1963, 1959, 1955).
The Astros-Dodgers matchup marks the first time since World Series in 1970 between the Orioles and the Reds that the two teams each won 100-or-more games during the regular season. The Astros have 101 wins and the Dodgers lead with 104 wins. The Reds (102 wins) vs. Orioles (108 wins) matchup in 1970 came on the heels of another 100-win matchup in 1969 when the Orioles (109 wins) faced the Mets (100 wins). There have now been eight meetings between 100-win teams in the World Series.
The Dodgers led the Major Leagues this season with 104 regular-season wins. In 23 seasons during the Wild-Card era, just three times in the previous 22 seasons has a team with the most wins during the regular season gone on to win the World Series. The only three teams to win it all are the 1998 and 2009 Yankees and the 2016 Cubs.
Top 3 reasons why the Astros could win the World Series this year:
Top Hitting Team
The last four years, the team with better hitting averages ended up winning the World Series. Houston was the best hitting team all season long and also had the most home-runs scored during regular season. If they keep it up, could definitely be a big factor to getting some wins over the Dodgers.
Can Win Under Pressure
The Astros have proven they can win under intense circumstances. After scoring 7 runs on the Yankees (who have of one of the best bullpens in the league), they have proven they can win. Dodgers may have the numbers on their side, but numbers on paper mean nothing when it comes to the Astros’ motivation to win.
A Better Offense
Houston had the highest average of 5.53 runs per game in the regular season which has been the best scoring offense since the Yankees team in 2009. Another key part of their offense is their killer lineup. Jose Altuve is definitely a player to watch as the team’s leading with hits all season long. The Astros have been leading the pack with doubles and coming in only 2nd in total home runs. Those are some impressive stats. There is no doubt that their offense is the shining star in this year’s team.
Top 3 reasons why the Dodgers could win the World Series this year:
Home Field Advantage
By winning all 4 of their home games in the Postseason, hosting the World Series games should be helpful to the Dodgers. The Dodgers breezed through the Postseason so being well rested and playing at Dodger Stadium is a perk they should capitalize on. The Astros lost most of their away Postseason games, so we’ll see if they have what it takes to win away from Houston.
A Stellar Defense
The Dodgers pitching really gives them an edge, especially with their Bullpen lineup. They have the talent so they won’t have to push Kershaw, or any starters past their limits and you can tell how that’s been working in their favor all season and during their matchup with the Cubs during Postseason.
A Formidable Offense
One of the best things about L.A.s offense is some of the fresh faces in the lineup, including Cody Bellinger who has been a leader in Home Runs this season. Add that to powerhouses Turner, Seager and Puig, and more, this offense won’t go down without a fight.
So who do you think will take Game 1 of the World Series? Find the newest official World Series gear so you can cheer on your team! Let us know by tagging us @lids on Twitter!