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Friday, September 21, 2018

Baseball

Roundtable: Who will win game one of World Series?


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Jose Altuve will try to continue his postseason success against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series starting tonight. | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Twenty-nine years against 52 years.

In a week’s time, one team’s championship drought will be over. The Los Angeles Dodgers have a chance to win their seventh World Series title in franchise history; the Houston Astros are going for their first.

Tonight, Dallas Keuchel will take the mound for the Astros against Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers. The Cougar’s sports staff has their predictions of who will be 1-0 in the series come Wednesday morning.

Assistant sports editor Peter Scamardo

If this game was being played at Minute Maid Park, my prediction might go a different way. As it stands, the Astros are at Dodgers Stadium facing one of the best pitchers in all of Major League Baseball.

In this postseason, the Astros have not shown themselves to be the road warriors that they were in the regular season. The Astros will get hits off Kershaw, but getting runs will be an issue. It remains to be seen if the offensive woes they suffered against the Yankees are officially gone.

Keuchel will do everything he can to keep the game close, but the Dodgers have a lineup just as talented and as hard-hitting as the Astros. It will come down to which pitcher makes the least mistakes, and that will likely be Kershaw. Expect the Dodgers to chip away at the lead and end the night with a win.

Sports editor Frank Campos

Although I wish the Cubs would have come back to beat the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series, it is still good to see the two best teams in baseball go head-to-head for the World Series title.

The Astros will quickly realize the Dodgers are nothing like the Yankees, who almost came back from a 0-2 deficit against Houston in the American League Championship Series. The club with the best record in baseball will be a much tougher opponent than the Yankees, who are still a few years away from actually competing for the World Series.

My biggest question is pitching. Kershaw will go against Keuchel to start the series, but the biggest concern is how long the Houston ace will be able to go, given that the Astros bullpen has struggled recently and need all the help they can get.

The Dodgers come into the game with a hot bullpen. They have allowed an astonishing 0.94 ERA in October after making the Cubs look silly at the plate late into each game in the NLCS.

I think the Astros will win out of necessity. They need to ensure they win the first two games at Dodgers Stadium if they want to have a shot at the title, mostly because they need to make sure they get a win with their best two pitchers and hope they can go deep into each game to give their bullpen a break.

Look for the Astros to steal a win away from the Dodgers in LA with a 2-1 victory tonight.

Assistant sports editor Reagan Earnst

The Dodgers are clearly the better team in the series.

With that said, I think that Astros have more momentum — albeit less rest — following an emotional comeback performance against the Yankees in the ALCS. Following a sweep of the Cubs, the Dodgers have enjoyed an extended lay off that could allow for rust to set in.

Scoring early in the game can give Keuchel a confidence boost in what will be the biggest start of his career. Keuchel is 4-1 with a 2.59 ERA in six career postseason appearances with the Astros.

Houston hitters will obviously have a hard time making solid contact against Kershaw, but conservative hitting with aggressive base-running could help the Astros sneak in a few runs. Kershaw has struggled at times in his postseason career and has already surrendered six home runs in this year’s playoffs.

All in all, the momentum from Saturday’s Game 7 victory will be enough to get the Astros a win in Game 1 by a score of 3-2.

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