A look at the best-of-seven World Series between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers:
Schedule: (All times EDT, televised by Fox) Game 1, Tuesday, at Los Angeles, 8:09 p.m.; Game 2, Wednesday, at Los Angeles, 8:09 p.m.; Game 3, Friday, at Houston, 8:09 p.m.; Game 4, Saturday, at Houston, 8:09 p.m.; x-Game 5, Sunday, at Houston, 8:16 p.m.; x-Game 6, Tuesday, Oct. 31, at Los Angeles, 8:09 p.m.; x-Game 7, Wednesday, Nov. 1, at Los Angeles, 8:10 p.m.
Season Series: Teams didn’t meet in 2017.
Projected Lineups (regular season statistics):
Astros: CF George Springer (.283, 34 HRs, 85 RBIs), 3B Alex Bregman (.284, 19, 71, 39 doubles), 2B Jose Altuve (.346, 24, 81, 39 doubles, 32 SBs; 204 hits to lead AL for 4th straight year, won 2nd consecutive batting title and 3rd overall), SS Carlos Correa (.315, 24, 84, 25 doubles), 1B Yuli Gurriel (.299, 18, 75, 43 doubles), C Brian McCann (.241, 18, 62), LF Marwin Gonzalez (.303, 23, 90, 34 doubles), RF Josh Reddick (.314, 13, 82, 34 doubles).
Dodgers: CF Chris Taylor (.288, 21, 72, 17 SBs), SS Corey Seager (.295, 22, 77), 3B Justin Turner (.322, 21, 71, 56 Ks, 59 BBs), 1B Cody Bellinger (.267, 39, 97), RF Yasiel Puig (.263, 28, 74, 15 SBs), 2B Logan Forsythe (.224, 6, 36) or Chase Utley (.236, 8, 34), C Austin Barnes (.289, 8, 38), LF Enrique Hernandez (.215, 11, 37).
Astros: LH Dallas Keuchel (14-5, 2.90 ERA), RH Justin Verlander (15-8, 3.36 for Detroit and Houston; 5-0, 1.06 in 5 starts with Astros), RH Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62), RH Lance McCullers Jr. (7-4, 4.25).
Dodgers: LH Clayton Kershaw (18-4, 2.31, 202 Ks, 30 BBs, 23 HRs allowed in 27 starts, 175 IP), LH Rich Hill (12-8, 3.32, 166 Ks in 25 starts, 135 2/3 IP), RH Yu Darvish (10-12, 3.86, 209 Ks, 27 HRs allowed in 31 starts with Rangers and Dodgers), LH Alex Wood (16-3, 2.72 in 27 games, 25 starts).
Astros: RH Ken Giles (1-3, 2.30, 34/38 saves), RH Chris Devenski (8-5, 2.68), RH Joe Musgrove (7-8, 4.77), RH Will Harris (3-2, 2.98), LH Francisco Liriano (6-7, 5.66 with Blue Jays and Astros), RH Luke Gregerson (2-3, 4.57), RH Brad Peacock (13-2, 3.00).
Dodgers: RH Kenley Jansen (5-0, 1.32, 41/42 saves, tied for NL lead), RH Josh Fields (5-0, 2.84, 2 saves), LH Tony Cingrani (0-0, 4.22, 52 Ks, 12 BBs, 42 2/3 IP in 47 games with Reds and Dodgers; 2.79 in 22 games with Dodgers), RH Brandon Morrow (6-0, 2.06, 2 saves), LH Tony Watson (7-4, 3.38, 10 saves in 71 games with Pirates and Dodgers; 2-1, 2.70 in 24 games with Dodgers), RH Pedro Baez (3-6, 2.95), RH Ross Stripling (3-5, 3.75, 2 saves), RH Kenta Maeda (13-6, 4.22, 1 save in 29 games, 25 starts), LH Luis Avilan (2-3, 2.93, 61 games).
The Astros and Dodgers have played over 700 times, more than any pair of teams to meet in the World Series. That’s because Houston began as a National League expansion club in 1962 and didn’t switch to the AL until 2013. The Dodgers hold a 388-323 edge – they’ve played so often, some fans say this feels more like an NL Championship Series than a World Series. … In the most meaningful game between the sides, Houston earned its first playoff spot by beating the Dodgers 7-1 in a tiebreaker for the 1980 NL West title behind pitcher Joe Niekro. … They last met in 2015, when Houston swept a three-game series at home. … Verlander beat the Dodgers in late August with eight dominant innings for Detroit, shortly before being traded to Houston. … Darvish is 5-5 lifetime vs. the Astros, including 1-1 this year before Texas sent him to the Dodgers. … Reddick spent the final two months with the Dodgers last year after being traded from Oakland. … Among the players who spent time with both clubs: Don Sutton, Jeff Kent and Jimmy Wynn, aka The Toy Cannon.
Astros: Aiming for their first World Series championship. They’ve never even won a Series game, getting swept by the White Sox in 2005 in their only previous appearance. … Manager A.J. Hinch’s team beat the Yankees 4-0 in Game 7 of the ALCS behind Morton and McCullers. The home team won every game of that matchup. … Houston led the majors in scoring this season while taking the AL West with 101 wins, then bounced Boston in the AL Division Series. … Verlander is 4-0 with a 1.46 ERA this postseason. He’s 9-0 since joining the Astros. … Altuve (.400, 5 homers), Gurriel (.366) and Correa (9 RBIs) did well in the playoffs. Bregman, Reddick, Gonzalez, McCann and Carlos Beltran all hit under .200. Beltran, hoping for his first World Series ring, could be the DH when the site shifts to Houston for Game 3. … The games in Houston figure to be emotional, with the area recovering from Hurricane Harvey. The Astros wear patches on their uniforms that have the word ”Strong,” the team logo and an outline of the state of Texas.
Dodgers: Making their first World Series appearance since 1988, when Kirk Gibson, Orel Hershiser and Tommy Lasorda helped LA beat Oakland. … Manager Dave Roberts’ team led the majors with 104 wins, swept Arizona in the NLDS and quickly dethroned the champion Cubs in the NLCS. … Turner (.387, 12 RBIs), Puig (.414) and Hernandez (3 homers in NLCS clincher) are doing well this postseason. … Seager is expected back in the lineup after missing the NLCS because of a back injury. Charlie Culberson and Taylor filled in well. Depending on how he’s moving, Seager could be the Dodgers’ DH in Houston. … Led by dominant Jansen, Dodgers relievers have thrown 23 straight scoreless innings in the postseason, dating to Game 2 against Arizona. … Have won the NL West five years in a row. Have had the biggest payroll in the majors for four straight seasons. … Kershaw is 6-7 with a 4.40 ERA in 21 postseason games. He’s gone 2-0 this October. We’ll see whether the lefty ace with three Cy Young Awards, five ERA crowns and seven All-Star selections can deliver a command performance.
– October Oven. It’s supposed to be over 100 degrees in Los Angeles on Tuesday, and this could be the steamiest World Series game ever. Put away the cool, crisp fall ball and get ready for high heat at Dodger Stadium.
– Vin-cible. Baseball fans all over would certainly enjoy hearing famed Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully back in the broadcast booth during this Series, if only for an inning. But the esteemed announcer who called Dodgers games for 67 seasons and turns 90 next month says he’s not interested in a return.
– Star Power. Magic Johnson is a part-owner of the Dodgers, so look for him, Sandy Koufax and other LA sports stars in the crowd. Nolan Ryan sits close to the field in Houston – he’s an Astros adviser and his son, Reid, is the team president.
– Triple Digits. This marks the first pairing of 100-win teams in the World Series since Baltimore and Cincinnati in 1970. The Dodgers romped to a 7-1 record in this postseason; the Astros were 6-0 at Minute Maid Park in the playoffs.
– Only One Missing. Teams from Texas have won most every major sports championship – Super Bowl, NBA and NHL crowns, college football titles, men’s and women’s college basketball champs – except the World Series. The Rangers were one strike away in 2011 before losing to St. Louis.
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