The schedule has been set. The 2017 World Series will play out between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Fans on both sides will make their arguments for their respective team throughout the next few weeks, regardless of results. Yet it seems obvious that the Dodgers will come out victorious in the three-game series for a handful of reasons.
One of the biggest advantages for the Dodgers will be the location. The team will have the home field advantage in games one and two of the series, which they earned throughout the season on account of obtaining the better regular-season mark. Fans in every sport wait to see their team play on the home field and know the advantages location can bring, especially when it comes to big games when any extra boost helps.
The Dodgers defense is one of the best in the major league, finishing with a 2.82 park-adjusted defensive efficiency, per Baseball Prospectus.
LA also has an impressive bullpen on their side. The Dodgers finished fourth in the majors for Earned Run Average (ERA), while the Astros finished 19th.
The Dodgers pen proved they were out for blood when they essentially threw a no hitter against the Chicago Cubs in the post season.
On the other side of the field, the Astros’ best relievers, Ken Giles and Chris Devenski have had a rocky off season, not coming close to performing like they did during the regular-season.
But the Astros offense is still likely to create problems for the Dodgers. The Astros had arguably one of the best regular-seasons offensively. They had the lowest strike out rate in baseball and led the majors in runs scored and finished second in home runs.
On the flip side, the Dodgers finished second, just one point behind the Astros.
So, who will win?
It is nearly impossible to win a game without a strong defense. The Astros can try and score all they want, but I have a hard time believing Houston can come out victorious against the walls put out on the field by the Dodgers.
There is no true underdog or clear winner in this scenario on paper. The true winners of this year’s World Series matchup will be the fans. It is face offs such as this one that draw so many people from various backgrounds and various personalities into the game.
This game is going to be one where fans should sit at the edge of their seats every second for the entirety of the series.
With the two stellar teams so close in rankings, it will be interesting to watch the entirety of the games unfold.
Marisa Lloyd can be reached at arg-sports.uidaho.edu