Sports Dawgs Take Shop: World Series Preview
22 October 2019 Sports
October 22, 2019
Welcome to Sports Dawgs Take Shop. Every Monday morning Randy Woodward and Josh Henry will break down a moment or story line in sports that enthralled us from the weekend (Randy had the day off this Monday, so we pushed the release for this week). Last week, the Sports Dawgs covered penalty flags taking over the NFL season, this week the Nationals are in the World Series, welcome to the Sports Dawgs World Series Preview…
RW: What gets me excited most about this matchup (other than the fact that the Nats are in it), is the “old school” feel of this Series.
Both teams have incredible starting rotations, which remind me of the ’66 World Series between the O’s and Dodgers, with names like Jim Palmer, Don Drysdale, and Sandy Koufax; and the ’68 Series with Detroit’s Denny McLain and Mickey Lolich facing off against the Cardinal’s Bob Gibson (1.12 ERA in ’68). I’m a pitching nut, and this year’s Fall Classic reads like a “Who’s Who” of hurlers: Scherzer, Verlander, Cole, Strasburg, Corbin, etc.
The bullpens will be the difference, and we all know about the Nationals ‘pen, which by the way, has been pretty good in the postseason. I do think we’ll see tight, low-scoring games, with lots of “small ball,” which you see more of in the National League. I also like the Nats bench, and ultimately I think that all other things being equal, the latter 2 things will propel Washington to it’s first-ever World Championship in a 7-game classic over the ‘Stros.
JH: You make some great points about the fearsome pitching matchups we will see in the series, starting tonight with Scherzer v. Cole in game one. That said I’m interested in how these teams might score in these games.
Houston batted .179 as a team in the ALCS, but it didn’t stop them from mashing enough home-runs against New York to propel them to the world series, including two gorgeous walk-offs from Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve. Don’t let that batting average fool you, this team is dangerous 1-9 in the order. Of course, the Nationals are no slouches in the offense department either. We all got a nice glimpse of that when they hung 7 runs in the opening inning of game 4 in the NLCS against the hapless St. Louis Cardinals. Juan Soto has emerged as one of the youngest superstars in baseball, and Anthony Rendon is earning every bit of a soon-to-be massive contract extension coming this Winter. The Nationals will enjoy the benefit of the DH during the games in Houston, so expect to see even more of postseason hero and NLCS MVP Howie Kendrick on your screens.
Clearly this world series is a clash of titans. The Astros won 107 games in their regular season romp to the best record in baseball. The Nationals started 19-31, only to play equivalently to a 107 win team the rest of the way. I’m calling a six game series myself. I know I’m the glass-half-full guy out of the two of us, but I fear for our local NL Champions. A weird ballpark advantage, clutch hitting and possibly a few Nationals defensive mistakes will award the Houston Astros their second world series championship in 3 seasons.
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