After a couple of thrilling League Championship Series’, the teams for the 2019 Major League Baseball World Series are set! The Houston Astros will face off against the Washington Nationals, with Game 1 slated for Wednesday, the 23rd of October at 11am (AEDT).
We have a full preview and betting tips for the World Series below.
After they finished the season with the best record in Major League Baseball at 107-55, the Houston Astros will host four of the seven games in the World Series. Game 1 kicks off at 11am on Wednesday, with Game 7 (if required) scheduled for the following Thursday.
The Astros have been one of the dominant franchises in baseball for the past five years now and after winning the World Series in 2017, will be back on the biggest stage once again this season. They finished the year with the best record in all of baseball at 107-55, due to a mix of spectacular starting pitching and an extremely dynamic batting line-up.
The starting duo of Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole have arguably been the best two pitchers in the American League this season and currently sit in first and second place respectively on the Cy Young predictor. They maintained a combined 41-11 record through the regular season and both had an ERA under 2.60. With Verlander and Cole on the mound in games one, two, five and six, it’s no wonder the Astros have opened as favourites to win the series.
Closer Roberto Osuna lead the American League in saves this season and is at the head of a strong bullpen that features the likes of Jose Urquidy, Wade Miley and Ryan Pressly.
Houston’s dynamic batting line-up, led by the likes of Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yuri Gurriel and Michael Brantley averaged .274 throughout the regular season, the highest team batting average in the American League.
The Nationals have been the Cinderella story of the 2019 post-season so far and they will be looking to claim their first ever World Series title advancing through the National League bracket as a wildcard team.
The Nationals were dealt a massive blow in the off-season, when star player Bryce Harper departed for Philadelphia on a record setting contract. The loss seemed to galvanise the Nationals, however, as they finished the season with a 93-69 record.
They won a thrilling divisional round matchup in five games over the LA Dodgers before dominating the St. Louis Cardinals to book their ticket into the World Series. The starting pitching trio of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strausburg and Patrick Corbin have been fantastic throughout the post-season so far and should give the Nats a great chance at claiming their first ever World Series.
Game 1 – Wednesday October 23 (11am AEDT)
Game 2 – Thursday October 24 (11am AEDT)
Game 3 – Saturday October 26 (11am AEDT)
Game 4 – Sunday October 27 (11am AEDT)
Game 5 – Monday October 28 (11am AEDT) *if required
Game 6 – Wednesday October 30 (11am AEDT) *if required
Game 7 – Thursday October 31 (11am AEDT) *if required
The Astros start as strong $1.36 favourites to claim their second World Series title in three years. With Verlander and Cole taking the mound in the first two games at home, it would be tough to see the Nationals doing a lot of damage in those two matchups. However, we think that Washington should have the advantage in the pitching department in Game 3, as Patrick Corbin goes up against Zack Greinke at home.
That means that if the Nats can just make something special happen in one of the first two games, which isn’t out of the question given the fairytale run they have had through the post-season so far, we think it’s likely that thye can take a 2-1 lead into Game 4. From there, anything can happen.
Over the last five years, the Astros have been one of the most dominant teams in baseball, but their post-season success hasn’t really aligned with that dominance. They have won the World Series on just one occasion throughout that period and have regularly lost to inferior teams in the likes of the Royals in 2015 and the Red Sox last season.
Absolutely love the value of the Nationals here.
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