Tag: Justin Verlander

World Series Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Houston Astros

…And Then, There Were Two

The 2017 World Series will begin on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. The Los Angeles Dodgers will host the Houston Astros to kick off the best of seven series. Four wins, that is all it takes for the MLB to crown its next champion. Both teams are filled to the brim with talent. The Dodgers will have home-field advantage in the series, after winning 104 games during the regular season. It is their first trip to the WS since 1988. The Astros last went to the World Series in 2005, and got swept by the Chicago White Sox.

Houston has been riding the backs of AL-MVP favorite Jose Altuve, who has posted an astounding .400/.500/.775 line in the postseason that includes five home runs and 8 walks. They’ve also had outstanding outings from guys like Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel. Houston led the major leagues with 5.53 runs per game this year, and had a team .478 slugging percentage, which is the highest mark of any team since the 2003 Red Sox. Their lineup that scored 501 runs on the road in 2017, practically disappeared in the ALCS.

636402621254951685-verlander0905The Yankees pitching certainly quieted them down, holding them to a .181/.271/.294 slash line, averaging under three runs per game. The reason the Astros are in the World Series is because they scored 11 of their 20 runs in the series in game 6 & 7, which they both won. They will have to put up numbers like this if they want to stand a chance against the Dodgers.

On the other side, Los Angeles, has just be absolutely dominant as a whole this off-season. Led by top five NL hitter Justin Turner, mixed in with young all stars like Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger, the Dodgers have simply been almost impossible to stop. Their starting pitching has been great, what else could you expect when you see guys like Yu Darvish as their #3 starter. Clayton Kershaw continues to dominate in the postseason, but the advantage the Dodgers have in this series is their bullpen. Led by Kenley Jansen, the Dodgers bullpen has let up just two runs in 28 ⅓ innings this postseason. At times they’ve made it seem almost impossible to score runs off of them. They posteMLB NLDSd a 0.94 ERA with 32 strikeouts. They have a postseason-record 23 inning scoreless streak.

The Dodgers won 104 games this season compared to the Astros 101 games, which makes this the first time since 1970 that the World Series has two 100-win teams. The Dodgers hit their hot streak in early June, going on a ridiculous 52-9 stretch that gave them 90 wins with a week left to play in August. They also held the best record in baseball for the last 86 games of the season.

Home field advantage should play a huge factor in this series. Home teams have a 23-8 record, which stands as the best mark in the Wild Card era. The Astros are 6-0 in Houston, while the Dodgers are 4-0 in Los Angeles. They have a history of playing well at home, they had a league best 57-24 record at home, and have 165 wins at home in the last 3 seasons, 11 more than any other team.

In a series that home field advantage seems to play a huge advantage for both teams, it’s hard not to predict the dodgers to win the series. Home field aside, the Dodgers pitching staff and lineup both have a lot of firepower that will be hard for Houston to handle.

Prediction:

Dodgers in 6.

Sports News: MLB Wild Card Race, NHL Signings & Danis Zaripov, Spit balls of the week!

It’s that time of the week, school is starting soon, NFL season is officially here, the MLB wild card race is heating and the NHL is now a month away. It is Spitballs of the week time! Catch up on the latest news surrounding the NHL and MLB. Some of my own takes and some stuff to watch out for in the coming months!

MLB: The AL Wild Card race is probably the more interesting of the two, the Yankees have now dropped six of their last 10, the Twins are one game out and the Indians are on a nine-game winning streak. There’s not much to look into here the Yankees are slowly losing grips of the Wild Card, Baltimore is only a game and half back and the Yankees continue to be inconsistent. Also, the Yankees face off against the Orioles two more times before the year ends and the Twins one more time(Watch OUT!). The Orioles are 8-2 in their last ten and face off against Toronto, Cleveland, Yankees, Toronto for the next upcoming series. The Twins have been able to hold their own and see some success in big moments, the Twins play Kansas City, Tampa Bay and Toronto in the next upcoming series. As for the Twins, they have an “easier” half of the schedule compared to the other wild card teams.

The NL, of course, the Nationals and Dodgers have control over their divisions, the Cubs will more than likely win the NL Central and as far as Wild Card goes the Diamondbacks and Rockies will be the two teams in those last two spots. The Rockies have been on/off lately but the Cardinals and Brewers do not scare me too much for the Rockies sake. The Diamondbacks are 9-1 in their last ten and play San Diego, Dodgers, and the Rockies in the upcoming series. The Brewers are 1.5 games back from the Rockies and after Washington, they face off against the Reds, Cubs, Pirates, and Marlins, scheduling may favor Milwaukee, here do not sleep on them!

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Oh, Clayton Kershaw is back, after returning from the DL after a month, he shut down the Padres for 6 innings allowing no runs, 7 strikeouts and two hits. That’ll be fun come playoff time to face off against the Dodgers pitching rotation and bullpen. Nothing new Kershaw and the Dodgers just continue to dominate MLB teams and the league as a whole right now. The Dodgers have 92 wins with still a month of baseball to be played. 

Justin Verlander was sent to Houston recently, many thought Verlander was going to stay and Houston messed up by not going out to get a pitcher at the deadline. Well, those critics can be silenced now, as Houston now has a former Cy Young winner and a pitcher with 16 starts in the postseason and 380 in the regular season. Can’t hurt as the Astros were deemed for not making a move, acquiring Verlander is a big addition the Astros rotation.

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NHL: The KHL forward who was suspended from the KHL for doping is making his way over to the NHL now and a few teams have expressed interest in him. Danis Zaripov is a 36-year-old forward from the KHL, he’s played nine seasons in the KHL and has produced, 453 points and 199 goals. Two teams that have publicly expressed interest in Zaripov is Pittsburgh and the Rangers. It’s said that Malkin expressed interest in playing on the same line with Zaripov, a guy who just won the Russian most valuable player award will more than likely get another Russian forward to join him unless the Rangers offer Zaripov more money.

The Blue Jackets have locked up forward Alexander Wennberg for 6-years at $4.9 mil a year. The 22-year-old forward has shown major strides of progression in the Blue Jackets organization now, and anytime a player goes from 40 to 59 points in one season, it deserves a little looking into. Wennberg is a big, strong forward who will be a top three player on the Blue Jackets for years to come. The six years is absolutely crucial to Columbus because now he’s locked in and will be a huge drawing asset for other players looking to come to Columbus in the future.

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Thomas Vanek is back on another team for another season! The 33-year-old forward has signed a 1-year deal for $2 million with Vancouver. Vanek has played on six NHL teams and five different ones in the past four seasons. Vancouver will be Vanek’s seventh NHL club and sixth team in five seasons. Vanek scored 48 points and 16 goals with the Red Wings/Panthers last season. Vanek has struggled to stay healthy and remain consistent in line ups but at $2 million for a team like Vancouver will not hurt at all. Vanek can now play along with the Sedin brothers who may help resurge the talented goal scorers ability and get him some confidence back. Vanek is capable of being a 50-60 point player when he’s healthy, barring injuries and Vanek plays a full season, paired with the Sedin brothers would not hurt the once 40 goal scorers year.

Spitballs: Yankees, Twins take last two wild card spots, Dodgers win 115 games and probably the world series(I don’t care, they’re too good), Red Sox’s bunt again to annoy Yankee pitchers, Zaripov goes to Pittsburgh, Vanek scores 30 goals next season, Wennberg tallies 65 points next season.

Be on the look out later today for some introduction to the NFL season article!!

 

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