World Series 2017 5/5 (3)

Everywhere you look, everywhere you listen, every newscast you’ve watched has told you the same thing: That 2017 is nothing but a shit sandwich so far.
Aaron Judge Breaks MLB Rookie Record With 50th Home Run

Yankees right fielder has found his groove since hitting the rookie wall, with 13 home runs and 26 RBIs in the month of September


One month after an unpopular president took office, North Korea celebrated Donald Trump’s admission into the World Leaders Club not with fireworks but with missiles fired into the Sea of Japan. War raged in the Middle East; cholera broke out there too. Bombings in Manchester and London rocked Europe along with automobile and knife attacks in Germany and France. Ethnic cleansing, an evil 1990s throwback, cropped up again in Burma. Mass displacement continued in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, and the Congo. And as cyberattacks crippled computer systems worldwide, social media raged on as the U.S. President insulted world leaders, allies, and adversaries, daily on Twitter.

Near the American home front hurricanes hit Houston, Puerto Rico and Florida. Then October started with a mass shooting in Las Vegas that ended with the deaths of 58 innocent people and 500 more injured. Meanwhile, wildfires started burning up California.

In 2017, we’ve also lost music legends like Tom Petty, Chris Cornell, Chuck Berry, Glen Campbell, Greg Allman, as well as Chester Bennington, Grant Hart, Joni Sledge, Al Jarreau, Walter Becker and, most recently, Gord Downie. We lost who made us laugh too – like Jerry Lewis, Mary Tyler Moore, Don Rickles, Ralph May and Charlie Murphy – as well as the original Batman, Adam West, the longest on-duty James Bond, Roger Moore. Even Judge Wapner left us.

Sports was one minor method of escape. And luckily for Major League Baseball fans, the national pastime dished up the action and suspense of a Gal Gadot flick, but with storybook endings, and humor of the 1989 film Major League.

Home runs came back in style, as 2017 surpassed all other years in home run production. Just to chip in and make it all the more exciting, two rookies named Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger broke records. Bellinger erased the longstanding National League mark, first set at 38 in 1930, while Judge crushed Mark McGwire’s all-time MLB rookie year record and also led the American League in 2017 with 52.
Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger on His Perfect Swing, Thirst for Frappucinos

“I just like to go to the field every day, do my routine, talk baseball, and have as much fun with it as you can,” record-breaking rookie says

Infields looked sharp and tight as the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers dazzled at every base and turned double-plays into highlight magic. Outfielders like Judge and little-known Chicago Cubs platoon player Leonys Martin, picked off fly balls at the wall, robbing rivals of wins and home runs.

But baseball also became fun again. Players let down their hair and hit the field wearing nicknames for Players Weekend. Others like Colorado Rockies’ Gerrardo Parra rocked out colorful hair. Outside the diamond, the Cubs bullpen showed off dance moves after every home run, and other teams challenged them during rain delays. Even umpires had fun and didn’t hold back from giving players their share of sass.

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Astros vs Dodgers live 5/5 (4)

It is not often that arguably the top two teams in the regular season end up meeting in the World Series, but that is just what we have in 2017.

The Houston Astros won the American League West with a 101-61 record, while the Los Angeles Dodgers claimed the National League West with a sparkling 104-58 mark. It is historically rare that two teams of this caliber navigated this far into the postseason, per ESPN Stats and Info:

Astros vs. Dodgers: Game 1 Time, TV Info, Live Stream and More

Game 1 Schedule

When: Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. ET

Television: Fox

Live Stream: Fox Sports Go

What is not a surprise is that both teams will trot out elite starters for their Game 1 tilt. Add in a pair of elite offenses, and Tuesday should be the start of a must-watch series.

The best arm of this generation, Kershaw was outstanding again in 2017 with an 18-4 record along with a 2.31 ERA. In fact, he has posted an ERA under 2.15 in each of the last four seasons, so the Dodgers should feel pretty good about him throwing in Game 1.

Yet, his postseason play has attracted criticism, especially considering he has been roughed up for an ERA over 6.00 twice since 2009, and he allowed a pedestrian 12 earned runs in 24.1 innings in 2016.

Pitching in the playoffs is difficult as it entails besting the top lineups in baseball. While Kershaw has not been untouchable in his postseason career, he has still been very good. He allowed just three runs in 11 innings in the NLCS, and his recent play has put him alongside another pitcher known for being clutch, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi:

He has had some trouble against the current Astros lineup, though. Jose Altuve is an excellent 6-for-15 lifetime against Kershaw, including four doubles. Carlos Correa and Evan Gattis are also a combined 3-for-10 versus Kershaw.

While Kershaw could face some slight issues, he has much more room for error compared to his elite counterpart in Houston starter Dallas Keuchel.

Los Angeles’ bullpen is brilliant, having ranked fourth in MLB with a 3.38 ERA in the regular season before following up with just three runs allowed in 28.2 postseason frames.

Meanwhile, it took until Charlie Morton in Game 7 of the ALCS for any pitcher besides Keuchel and Justin Verlander to earn a win for the Astros. In the playoffs, the team’s bullpen has been tattooed for 19 runs in 34 innings, and guys like Lance McCullers Jr., who threw four scoreless innings in the aforementioned Game 7, are not going to be available in relief on Tuesday.

Keuchel and any other Astros starter has to be perfect to earn a win, especially against a juggernaut like the Dodgers. It is not like Keuchel has a ton of experience with the Los Angeles lineup to lean on, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle:

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