What a weird MLB postseason. A 107 win team facing a 106 win team in the first round. That same 106 win team being a wild card and making it to the NLCS just to lose to a 88 win team. A group of guys known for cheating more than anything else going the distance. Here we are, the Fall Classic. The Houston Astros making their 3rd World Series appearance in 5 years vs the Braves, who have made it here without their young star, Ronald Acuna Jr. Let’s break this series down.
We’ll start with the Braves. After Ronald Acuna Jr went down, not much was expected of this team. But, it wasn’t viewed as negative. They were still young and developing. Boy were we wrong. The Braves came into the playoffs as a 88 win division champion, with many expecting them to lose in the first round against the Brewers. They were able to get past those Brewers, and then face the mighty Dodgers in the NLCS. Again, they were heavily the underdog as they were facing the highest paid team in the MLB. On paper, they barely matched up with LA. But, they pulled through. Freddie Freeman raked on the road, and the heroics of former Dodger Joc Pederson (it’s Joctober for a reason) and Eddie Rosario allowed them to advance here, the big stage. To face an opponent we know all to well, the Houston Astros.
What a crazy ride for Houston. As we all know, they were found guilty of stealing opponents’ signs and cheating throughout their World Series and postseason runs a couple of years back. Much of the roster stayed given there were no player suspensions, but they rebuilt their staff and hired a man who’s arguably been the X-Factor for them during this run, head manager Dusty Baker. Baker was one of the most likable managers coaching the most hated team in baseball. But, he’s managed to rally the troops and lead them here.
Now let’s shift to the players. We all know the big names. Jose Altuve. The 2nd baseman may stand just 5’6 but boy can he swing the bat and make defensive plays when you need them. Then there’s Carlos Correa. Correa has been a man on a mission, batting over .300 throughout this postseason run. He doesn’t care what you have to say about him. He is going to go out there, and he is going to produce. Then there are the X-Factors. Yordan Alvarez gets hit when the ‘Stros need them, and veteran catcher Martin Maldonado continues to throw out would-be base stealers, a key in the postseason to maintain momentum. This team is something else and a win here in the Fall Classic could shut the haters up forever.
Now, with all that information out of the way, it is prediction time. First, let me say, this feels like Nationals vs Astros in 2019 all over again. A mighty Astros team looking unbeatable vs a team that feels like they shouldn’t be here. Heck, you could even say Acuna being out and the Braves making it is a less toned-down version of Bryce Harper leaving the Nats and them making it here. Anyway, back on track. Here is my game by game prediction, with scores, for the 2021 World Series;
Game 1: Braves Win (6-4)
Game 2: Braves Win (5-1)
Game 3: Astros Win (7-3)
Game 4: Braves Win (4-2)
Game 5: Astros Win (5-1)
Game 6: Braves Win. (3-1)
I see the Braves shocking the world once again and satisfying the baseball universe by defeating the Astros in 6 games. A big reason for this pick is the Astros high risk of not having their ace, Lance McCullers, on the mound due to injury. If he’s able to pitch, we probably see a game 7 and maybe even an Astros win. But as it stands, I see the Braves taking the championship home. Now, we prepare to witness history as the Fall Classic begins.