World Series Preview and Prediction

World Series Preview and Prediction

After 162 games in the regular season and a month full of high-pressure, exciting playoff baseball, it is time for the Fall Classic. The Atlanta Braves are returning to the World Series live for the first time since 1999, while the Houston Astros are making their third trip since 2017. The Braves defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS while the Astros took down the Boston Red Sox to advance.

How they got here

The Braves are certainly the underdog in these playoffs, and it is impressive that they have made it this far. They had the worst record out of any playoff team with just 88 wins during the regular season. They took down the Brewers and Dodgers in upset fashion and now have one more team to blow through.

The Astros made it to the championship by winning the AL West with a commanding lead and have made quick work of both the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox. Their series against the Red Sox didn’t look all that great after Game 3, but the ‘Stros bounced back, won two games in Boston, and closed the series out in Houston with their pitching leading the way.

The Strengths

The Braves had maybe the best pitching out of any playoff team. So far, this Atlanta squad has a team ERA of 3.41 in the postseason. They held the Dodgers to four runs or less in four of the six games in the NLCS. The back end of their bullpen is stacked with their closer Will Smith and setup man Tyler Matzek. Ian Anderson and Max Fried are two high-end starters with top-notch stuff.

For the Astros, their lineup is one that instills fear. From top to bottom, they have just one easy out which is Martin Maldonado. Houston ranks second in OPS, average and slugging and first in runs amongst offenses in the playoffs. Between Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, and Jordan Alvarez, the ‘Stros have a well-balanced and experienced playoff juggernaut.

The Managers

My favorite part of this series will be watching Brian Snitker and Dusty Baker manage against each other. In an era where players are hired right after retiring to take over ball clubs and analytics rule, we have a 66-year-old and 72-year-old dueling each other in the most important series of their lives.

Snitker has been in the Braves organization for more than 40 years. He was habitually overlooked when it came time to hire a manager at the MLB level while Baker has been the ultimate journeyman. Baker has managed in a World Series when he led the San Francisco Giants there in 2002. Nearly 20 years later, he is back and ready to claim his second World Series ring, one came as a player.


The Braves can shut down teams and isolate their offenses as we saw with Milwaukee and Los Angeles. We saw Houston show some struggles in the ALCS where their bats went cold. Without Lance McCullers Jr. and a banged-up Zach Greinke, I have more faith in this Atlanta squad to get the job done in six games.