By: Michael Porter
The World Series is upon us, and the matchup is set between the powerhouse Houston Astros and the underdog Washington Nationals. Game 1 featured two of the game’s top starting pitchers in 3 time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, and pending free agent Gerrit Cole. To the surprise of many, Washington took game 1 by a hair, winning the contest 5-4. While an early series lead is certainly covetous, there is still plenty of baseball to be played. So which team will rise to the occasion and triumphantly hoist the commissioner’s trophy when all is said and done?
Each team started their best pitcher for the series opener, well, at least Washington did. Former league MVP and future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander watched from the bench as Cole got the start in game one. Verlander is wrapping up one of the finest seasons of his illustrious career, and he appears motivated as ever to silence the Washington bats when he takes the ball for Game 2. A win from Houston in the series’ second game would be huge as a 1-1 tie is much more manageable than a 2-0 deficit. Washington, just like Houston, is also rich in starting pitching depth, as they will likely send Steven Strasburgh to the mount to face off against Verlander. Behind these aces, Washington still has $140 million man Patric Corbin looming in the clubhouse, and Houston has yet another former Cy Young award recipient in Zack Grienke.
These two teams basically even eachother out in starting pitching depth, so the difference between winning and losing is going to be on the offensive side of the ball. Washington is powered by their abundance of athletic stars like Anthony Rendon and 20 year old sensation Juan Soto while Houston boasts a lineup full of battle tested, playoff heroes such as former MVP Jose Altuve and emerging superstar Alex Bregman. This series is undoubtedly going to be a battle, but that is expected when competing for an immortal place in baseball history.