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2021 World Series Preview

Chicago White Sox 2005 World Series Commissioner's Trophy, American League Trophy, World Series ring, Commissioner's Plate on display

As October draws to a close, MLB fans are ready to watch the final showdown for the championship. This year’s matchup will be between the Houston Astros, representing the American League, and the Atlanta Baseball Team, representing the National League. Game 1 will be on Tuesday night at 8:08 PM ET. The last time these two franchises met in the postseason was when Houston was part of the National League, in the 2005 National League Division Series. Houston beat Atlanta three games to one and eventually advanced to the World Series, where they were swept by the Chicago White Sox.

2021 World Series Game 1

Venue: Minute Maid Park – Houston, Texas

ATL SP: Charlie Morton, RHP
Regular Season: 14-6, 3.34 ERA
Postseason: 0-1, 3.77 ERA
Last Start: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 HR, 6 BB, 5 K on October 19

HOU SP: Framber Valdez, LHP
Regular Season: 11-6, 3.14 ERA
Postseason: 1-0, 4.20 ERA
Last Start: 8.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 BB, 5 K on October 20

Valdez’s stellar performance in ALCS Game 5 lifted the Astros to a 3-2 advantage in the series. Houston will need more of the same to be successful in the Fall Classic. His previous postseason experience was during the 2020 season, when Houston fell to the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALCS. Valdez’s overall postseason record is 4-1 with a 2.77 ERA and 9.0 K9.

Morton was a member of Houston’s last World Series champion squad and also pitched for 2020’s American League champion Tampa Bay Rays. Morton’s overall postseason record is 7-4 with a 3.45 ERA and 10.2 K9.

Players to Watch

  • Eddie Rosario‘s NLCS campaign tied a record for most hits in a MLB postseason series (14).
  • Yordan Álvarez recorded the highest batting average in ALCS history (.522).
  • José Altuve ranks 3rd on the career postseason home runs leaderboard with 21. Carlos Correa is not far behind with 18. Altuve has been a three true outcomes batter in the 2021 postseason, with three home runs, seven walks and eight strikeouts in 49 plate appearances.
  • Austin Riley has stepped up in the absence of Ronald Acuña Jr. Riley finished the regular season hitting .303/.367/.531 with a .898 OPS (132 OPS+). In the postseason, he is hitting .250/.302/.450 with a .752 OPS with a walkoff single in Game 1 of the NLCS.
  • Luis Garcia is an American League Rookie of the Year candidate. He finished the regular season with a record of 11-8 and a 3.30 ERA. He has struggled in the postseason with a 9.64 ERA in 9.1 IP over three starts. Houston will be depending on him to correct course in the World Series.
  • Max Fried led MLB with two shutouts in 2021. In the postseason, he has a record of 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA in 16.2 IP. Will he post a shutout in the 2021 postseason?

Games 1 and 2 of the World Series will take place in Minute Maid Park in Houston at 8:09 PM ET. The series will move to Atlanta for Games 3 and 4, as well as Game 5, if necessary. Check for the full schedule and pitching matchups.

Featured Image: Chicago, IL, July 30, 2018 – Chicago White Sox 2005 World Series Commissioner’s Trophy, American League Trophy, World Series ring, Commissioner’s Plate on display by ChicagoPhotographer /