October 22, 2019 [LINK / comment]

Nationals & Astros begin World Series 2019

As an upstart "Cinderella" team with a history of postseason misfortune, the Washington Nationals are clearly the underdogs going up against the Houston Astros, who host Game 1 of the 2019 World Series tonight. The Astros won it all just two years ago, and they boast a starting lineup and pitching rotation that ranks very high by historical standards. For their part, the Nats "are just happy to be here," but that does not mean that they are satisfied with their first National League pennant or that they aren't worthy competitors.

Tonight Max Scherzer will go up against Gerritt Cole, who leads the American League in strikeouts (326) and ERA, and is the odds-on favorite to win the AL Cy Young Award. Tomorrow night it will be Stephen Strasburg against Mad Max's former team mate on the Detroit Tigers, Justin Verlander. And it's just possible that another former Tiger, Anibal Sanchez, will end up facing Verlander in one of the later games in this series. I predict it will go at least six games, but it's anybody's guess who will emerge victorious.

Comparing the ballparks

Just like last year, and several years before that, I present the home ballparks of the two World Series teams, for easy comparison. Also just like last year, the contrasts between the two stadiums -- Fenway Park and Dodger Stadium -- are very sharp.

Minute Maid Park Dodger Stadium
Nationals Park

Just roll your mouse over the thumbnail images to switch between the respective full-size diagrams.

Astros beat Yanks in a thriller

Game 6 of the ALCS was a real thriller, as the visiting New York Yankees came back to tie the game 4-4 in the top of the ninth inning thanks to a two-run homer by D.J. Lemahieu. Could this be another one of those miraculous postseason twists of fate? Nope. The Astros did likewise in the bottom of the ninth, as diminuitive slugger Jose Altuve hit a walk-off homer to beat the Yankees 6-4 and thereby win the series 4 games to 2. And the crowd went wild! I would have had mixed feelings about a possible Nationals vs. Yankees World Series matchup...