Astros @ Dodgers Oct. 24, 2017: World Series Game 1

(Via)

It’s finally here. Game 1 of the 2017 World Series pits the two best teams in baseball against one another in what should be an incredible series. The Astros (101-61, 7-4 in postseason) bring their powerful offense and strong starting staff to Los Angeles to square off with the Dodgers (104-58, 7-1 in postseason).

Astros
Dodgers
5:09 p.m. FOX
Los Angeles
CF
Springer
CF
Taylor
3B
Bregman
3B
Turner
2B
Altuve
1B
Bellinger
SS
Correa
RF
Puig
1B
Gurriel
LF
Hernandez
C
McCann
SS
Seager
LF
Gonzalez 2B Forsythe
RF
Reddick
C
Barnes
P
Keuchel (L)
P
Kershaw (L)

Like most World Series matchups, this one features two great starting pitchers in Dallas Keuchel and Clayton Kershaw. Keuchel is coming off a strong showing in the ALCS against the Yankees, which included a 7-inning, 10-strikeout performance in Game 1 in Houston. He got touched up a bit in his second appearance (4 2/3 IP, 7 H, 4 R), but he’s as quality a left-handed starter remaining in the postseason. He was the best pitcher in the regular season at inducing ground balls (66.8 percent), so expect a lot of sinkers (57.9 percent) in the 88-90 MPH range and three off-speed pitches, led by a high-70s slider (18.8 percent) and changeup (13.0 percent). He, like many pitchers these days, also throws a cutter (10.2 percent).

Kershaw draws his first World Series start, and he’s coming off a strong start in Game 5 of the NLCS against the Cubs — 6 IP, 1 R, 5 K. And while his slider isn’t as sharp as it has been in years past, there’s reason to believe it could make a comeback in this series.

The lineup gets a big boost with Corey Seager back on the roster for the Fall Classic. Charlie Culberson was great in his stead and he might even get a start or two when the series shifts to Houston. Seeing Seager in the No. 6 spot is awfully weird. I’m guessing his back (and to a lesser extent his elbow) is playing into this. It’s a little surprising, honestly.

Just easing him back in, it seems.

Yasiel Puig‘s incredible postseason has him in the hitting cleanup, against a lefty no less. Game 5 hero Enrique Hernandez hits ahead of Seager, which is something he had only done when he hit leadoff. The 7-8 spots are strong with Austin Barnes and Logan Forsythe, the latter of whom mashes lefties. On the other side, there’s a lot of thump there, especially in the top five of the Astros’ lineup. Their 6-8 is normally solid, but all three of Brian McCann, Marwin Gonzalez and Josh Reddick have struggled in October.

The World Series rosters were officially announced today, and there weren’t any changes from the ALCS for the Astros, but there was a change for the Dodgers. Other than Seager coming back, Brandon McCarthy was added to the roster while Curtis Granderson and Kyle Farmer were removed. This makes a lot of sense. The thought process must be McCarthy could help out in a Game 4 situation if Alex Wood is struggling or can’t go more than 4-5 innings (which is fine in the postseason). Having McCarthy around to eat a few innings is a much better use of a roster spot than having a third catcher who has merely been an inexperienced pinch-hitter. Dave Roberts chimed in.

Works for me. I also thought Luis Avilan might get a look, but since the Astros don’t have a ton of left-handed hitters, taking an extra long man makes sense. Granderson being left off the roster is tough because he’s such a good person, but his plate appearances this month (and during most of his Dodger tenure) haven’t been competitive. There was no justifying him being on the roster ahead of guys like Joc Pederson and an extra pitcher. Other than that, no other changes.

——

https://twitter.com/JesusQuinonezTV/status/922941471602262016

Yasiel Puig is loose. And he has blue hair, because of course he does.

https://twitter.com/YasielPuig/status/922671049317040128

Seriously, how can you not love him?

Good deal, but don’t forget about that awesome bullpen, Davey.

This is pretty cool.

——

This is the World Series. It still seems surreal. This is the best/worst — you know, just your typical feeling as a baseball fan.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin’ Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif., and has yet to be shot.