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Houston Astros World Series Preview

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The 2021 World Series is set as the Houston Astros square off against a familiar foe from the late 1990s and early 2000s in the Atlanta Braves. The last time these two teams met in the postseason was in 2005 in the National League Division Series, which ended with the Astros winning the series in a wild 18 inning slugfest in Game Four of the series.

Astros World Series Preview

Pitching

The Astros will have the advantage of opening the World Series at home for Games One and Two. With Game One set to start on Tuesday, the Astros rotation and bullpen will be well-rested after a taxing ALCS against the Boston Red Sox. With the uncertainty of Lance McCullers Jr’s status for this series, the Astros pitching rotation will undoubtedly have their hands full facing a Braves offense known to attack the zone.

As for McCullers, the Astros have been mum on his status and will more than likely continue to do so until the official roster is finalized on Tuesday. If McCullers cannot pitch in the World Series, the rotation will be the same as the ALCS. Framber Valdez is scheduled to start Game One, with Luis Garcia more than likely starting Game Two. Both Valdez and Garcia had stellar outings last time out, making this decision easy for Dusty Baker. As for the rest of the series, that remains to be determined.

The goal for the pitching staff should be simple. Just get outs. Let the defense do the work for them. It is a simple recipe, but the Braves are very disciplined at the plate, which means they will not chase bad pitches. If they can stick to this simple plan, we will be talking about another championship coming to Houston.

Hitting

Timely hitting was the key to the Astros success in the ALCS, especially with two outs. The Astros managed to score 27-runs when hitting with two outs. A lineup that should match up well against a Braves pitching staff that has Charlie Morton (Game One starter), Ian Anderson, and Tyler Matzek out of the bullpen, to name a few. The Astros will be counting on ALCS MVP Yordan Alvarez to pick up where he left off. Batting .441/.535/.794/1.329 this postseason, it is clear that Alvarez is seeing the ball.

As for the rest of this Astros lineup, they know when to kick it up a notch or two when it is needed. Carlos Correa has been struggling as of late, going 0 for 7 with four strikeouts in the final two games of the ALCS. Correa will need to turn it around as this Astros lineup will be counting on his postseason success to get them through a tough Braves pitching staff looking for any signs of struggles.

The goal for the offense is to continue to work the counts. The Astros are one of the most patient teams at the plate. Sometimes a little too patient. The top of the lineup will need to get things going. Lead-off hitter Jose Altuve will need to be patient at the plate. There were far too many times in the ALCS that Altuve would come up swinging at the first pitch only hit a pop fly to record the first out. Timely hitting will lead to success for the Astros.

Final Thoughts

This World Series has the makings to be an exciting one, although it is not the one MLB had envisioned. These two teams, for the most part, are pretty well-balanced. The Astros are the sure favorites going into this series. They have the postseason experience to guide them but do not count out this Braves team. The Astros will have all of the momentum and postseason experience to guide them to their second World Series title in five years.

World Series Schedule

  • Game 1 – 10/26 – Braves at Astros
  • Game 2 – 10.27 – Braves at Astros
  • Game 3 – 10/29 – Astros at Braves
  • Game 4 – 10/30 – Astros at Braves
  • Game 5 – 10/31 – Astros at Braves (If Necessary)
  • Game 6 11/2 – Braves at Astros (If Necessary)
  • Game 7 – 11/3 – Braves at Astros (If Necessary)

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Jeff "Rip" Griffin is a current MLB writer covering the Houston Astros. Rip is also the host of The Rip Griffin Show on Apple Podcasts. Rip holds a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology, focusing in Sports Management from the University of Houston - Victoria.