10 reasons the Astros will beat the Dodgers

Be prepared. Heading into the World Series and likely before every game you will be reminded how the LA Dodgers are superior in every way to the Houston Astros. You will be bombarded with everything from their better record, their dominant post season, their top-notch pitching staff, all the way to their great history (6 WS titles), their great stadium, their great weather (though hot this time around) and Vin Sculley.

But there is a second team in this post season, and while it does not have Tommy Lasorda or Sandy Koufax or Duke Snider or Maury Wills in its background, it is just as capable of winning this series, just like it has won the last two playoff series. Here are ten reasons why the Astros are bringing home the big trophy this year.

  1. Road warriors. OK the Astros have not shown this side of themselves very much in the playoffs, though they did clinch the ALDS on the road. But during the regular season, the Astros were 53-28 on the road, tied for best in the majors and 6 games better than the Dodgers. This series will not be like the Yankee series where the home team holds serve.
  2. The Stud. Sure the Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw, who is 2-0 in the playoffs thus reversing his career trend of post season crashing and burning. But no one has been as dominant as the Astros’ late season pickup, Justin Verlander. This postseason, Verlander has a 1.46 ERA in four appearances giving up 4 runs in 24.2 IP as compared to Kershaw’s 3.63 ERA allowing 7 runs in 17.1 IP. Oh and he has a recent Cy Young winner on his side in Dallas Keuchel.
  3. Taxi Tested Tough. The Dodgers won their division by 11 games, the NL best record by 7 games and all of baseball by 2 games. They swept the Diamondbacks 3-0 and murdered the Cubs 4-1. They have not had to play with their backs against the wall as the Astros so brilliantly did down 3-2 in the ALCS. The Astros have shown that they can win when the odds are against them.
  4. ‘Tuve. Jose Altuve is a special player, who is not only the best hitter in the game – leading his league 4 years in a row in hits, 3 out of 4 in batting average and all of baseball in hits for 2 of the 4 years – but he has stepped it up in the playoffs. Justin Turner is the Dodgers version of Jose Altuve and he’s a very good player, but he is not ‘Tuve.
  5. Big O. Yes, the Dodgers have been hitting way over their heads based on their regular season performance in the playoffs. But, if both teams slide towards their norm – the Astros are a much better offensive team. The Astros were 1st in the majors with 896 runs scored and .282 BA/.346 OBP/ .823 OPS. The Dodgers were 12th with 770 runs scored, tied for 21st with a .249 BA, 6th with .334 OBP and 8th with a .771 OPS.
  6. Nerd-vana. We are being told that the pointy heads with aluminum foil wrapped around their skull, sent a message to the team that they needed to throw a lot more curves to the Yankees. Eighteen innings and only one run later, the Astros are the American League champion.
  7. Strength up the Middle. It is often said that a key to a team is their strength up the middle. The following numbers are based on player stats when they played that position, though obviously the numbers come mostly from Evan Gattis, Brian McCann, Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer from the Astro’s side.
    • Catcher: Astros — 87 runs/33 HRs/103 RBIs ….Dodgers– 75 runs/29 HRs/85 RIs
    • Second Base: Astros– 117 runs/ 29 HRs/ 101 RBIs and a .353/.413/.986 slash …….Dodgers — 98 runs/18 HRs/69 RBIs and a .263/.361/.786 slash
    • Shortstop: Astros — 111 runs/27 HRs/112 RBIs and a .314 /.390/.907 slash…..Dodgers — 99 runs/25 HRs/ 88 RBIs and a .294/.376/.850
    • Centerfield: Astros — 118 runs/39 HRs/107 RBIs and a .278/.346/.870 slash…..Dodgers — 90 runs/ 21 HRs/ 71 RBIs and a .215/.305/.685 slash
  8. Home field Knowledge. Symmetric Dodger stadium is 330′ down both foul lines, 385′ in each alley and 395′ to center field. Not too hard to figure out. A handful of Dodgers played at Minute Maid and its “unusual” dimensions, mini-green monster, etc. in 2015 when they got no-hit by Mike Fiers. Yeah that Mike Fiers. Probably the only Dodger to play at MMP without Tal’s Hill would be Yu Darvish who is not likely to stray far from the pitcher’s slab, which is exactly 60′-6″ from home plate.
  9. Tandem Twins. The Astros showed they could pull off a nice pitcher combo with the Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers Jr. seventh game shut out. It is totally possible we could see a Morton / Brad Peacock and McCullers/ Collin McHugh tandem sometime in this upcoming series.
  10. Baseball gods. Houston is one of the poster children for long-suffering cities in sports. On top of that the city was inundated by Hurricane Harvey, which dumped historic amounts of rain on the city and the region. So far the baseball gods have smiled on Houston and good karma should continue to fall in their favor.

A few questions for you…

  • Do you have other reasons why the Astros will win the World Series?
  • Do you agree with the ones above?
  • Do you think anyone outside the Houston city limits will pick the Astros to win it all?

50 comments on “10 reasons the Astros will beat the Dodgers

  1. As a team, we have not hit yet. We will. Verlander is human. He’ll need some early runs this time. Giles will not be relyed on as much. (By the way, we’ll be looking for another closer this winter, likely from an unlikely source.) Our pitchers will not let Kiki Hernandez hit like Jose Altuve. Jose Altuve will hit like Jose Altuve. We are a much more athletic team than the Cubs. I think our guys were intimidated by the Yankee Stadium playoff environment, whether they want to admit it or not. That will not happen in sunny California. I also agree with Bopert that game 1 will set the tone for the series. I think Keuchel is on tonight. I don’t care if anyone picks the Astros to win. It will be much more fun that way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m anxious today – more so than against the Red Sox or Yankees. We have waited so long for another World Series after waiting forever for the first WS.
    Yes, we need DK to get a fair shake on the strike zone.
    Yes, SoCal crowd will not be a “are we going to get home to the hotel alive” crowd
    I am concerned that when we come home we will not have quite the same crowd as the first two series. Along with not letting us close the roof for the White Sox World Series, the crowd was not 43,000 screaming Astro fans – more corporate and more folks that get tickets through mlb and come from other places to be seen. Will be interesting to see how that works.
    Need to jump on Kershaw and get him thinking that he is the bad playoff Kershaw again.


  3. We swept the Dodgers there last season, and one of those against Greinke. So, who has the mystique coming in to this series? Every veteran player on their team will remind the new guys about that fact.

    Our offensive potential is not only greater, but much greater than is being reported. If there’s such a thing as being “due,” well, Springer and Reddick are definitely chomping at the bit. They are the likely candidates to break out in a big way — (Yes, even though Josh is LHH, he has incentive to deliver in LA).

    Also, I do not share the sentiment that Hill, nor Darvish will be effective in the least. We’ve already taken on some incredible relief arms … and sent them to the showers (Chapman, Kimbrel, Diaz, Robertson, Kahnle to name only a few). I can’t think of anyone but James Paxton who had their way with our lineup. And that seems like a long time ago.

    Our confidence to have advanced this far has to be reassuring that this season has nothing to do with losing in the past – the World Series drought. Everything to do with resilience, (Beltran said) “talent” and destiny. Instead, let’s see now how LA reacts to adversity from a team making winning adjustments in a tougher league!

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all to be up 2-0 coming home. Make no mistake, our house will be rocking. This city is on fire for their ‘Stros! As the late Paper Chase famed John Houseman said – We’ve eeeaaaarned this. Now, go out there and take what belongs to us all. Go out there and bring home what Ryan, Scott, Biggio Bagwell or Clemens’ teams couldn’t do.

    The x-factor we have is togetherness and love for one another. I’ve watched clubhouses all season. None more genuine, united and well-rounded. The best team will win. And it’s just the beginning.

    Prediction for MVP? Yuli Gurriel.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I HATE the Dodgers. In 1955, I HATED Johnny Podres and his “10 cent ride to immortality” from upstate New York. I HATED the “Boys of Summer.” I HATED the Dodgers for abandoning their fans at Ebbets Field. Those “Bums,” Sure there was parking for only a couple dozen cars, but LA? The Colt 45’s/Astros come along. I HATED the Dodgers. Every chance I got to come down to see the team play, I tried to make sure they were playing the Dodgers. In 1965, we had a good team. We had Aspromonte, Wynn, and a couple 21 year olds – Staub and Morgan. They would be with us for a decade. Only a fool would trade them away. The Dodgers had a few decent pitchers – Koufax, Drysdale, Osteen, Perronaski, but no hitters. Wills led the team with .286. But when a ball was hit to the glove side of an outfielder, they always took the extra base. And sure, they had 103 sac bunts, and 35 sac flies. But we were the team of the future. Fifty-two (52) years later, and I still HATE the Dodgers. We have a young nucleus that will be with us for the next decade……… (I have to go lie down) but I still HATE the Dodgers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • My father-in-law (who just turned 84) grew up in Brooklyn. That was his team. Most of the players in those day lived in the neighborhood. They moved away when he was a young man and he was not a front runner who jumped on the Yanks train. No he was nobody’s fan until the Mets showed up in 1962. He was there through the Amazin’ 1969 season and now he lives here and is a big Astros fan. I’m sure he would love nothing more than having the Astros stick it to the team who stuck it to him.


  5. Dan, I just read your “10 reasons” post and thought it was one of your best ever. It made me feel optimistic. Then, five posts down you say “I’m anxious today – more so than against the Red Sox or Yankees.” Now I’m trying to reconcile your two positions. I know you’ll explain it and I’ll feel foolish. But try to understand you’re talking to someone who is dreading tonight and maybe won’t even watch.


    • I felt that tension in the playoffs but for some odd reason I’m relaxed and looking forward to tonight.
      Our Astros are in the WORLD SERIES! I just can’t say it enough!


    • Diane – you don’t come across as a glass half full kind of person – you come across more as a someone is going to steal my glass and beat me to death with it kind of person – lol.

      To clarify – my anxiety is not tied to my confidence in this team. This team is different than any other Astro team in history in their overall attitude. This team is going to get it done.

      My anxiety is more tied to the size of the moment. To paraphrase John Candy in Rookie of the Year – this ones for the whole enchilada, all the marbles, etc. This is a franchise that’s only been there once and never won a game.

      This is our best shot in our lives so far so I’m nervous but not worried


  6. Go Stors from Western CO, Got to watch game 6 and 7 with my Folks, very fun and special. They key to us winning in my humble opinion, Springer and Reddick have to get hot for a week!


  7. In 2005, I felt as though Houston was so happy to win the NL that they forgot about playing the World Series games. I always blamed Garner for this. It was cemented in my memory by the 2006 All Star debacle.

    Verlander lost in 2006 and 2012.
    Beltran lost in 2013

    Aside from that, the closest any of our squad has come to the heartbreak was losing the ALDS to KC in 2015. I hope the veterans have everyone focused and no one is just happy to be there. It’s time to make history.


      • What happened is my memory is faulty. I *thought* the year of the tie was when Phil Garner was skipper, but it was in fact when Bob Brenly held that honor. Sorry to Phil Garner and all his fans for my mistake.


  8. For all the energy at Minute Maid when the guys finished off the Yankees in such dramatic fashion, I thought the on field celebration was relatively subdued. I don’t think anyone really forgot, even then, what the real prize is. I like the demeanor of our club going into the big event.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I noticed this too, or thought I did. But then it was confirmed by FS1 commentators. They were watching the guys in the clubhouse and basically nothing was happening. They said they wondered what was up. Then a few players put Altuve in the middle and seemed to count down until they all sprayed champagne at him, kinda like well, let’s go through the motions. I do believe they’ve been holding themselves in check.


    • OK – if I must – Mr. Puig is a true gentleman and I would like to have him as neighbor and as a babysitter for my grand daughter.

      (Though everyone said terrible things about the Rangers before each game and the Astros kicked their butts).

      (And who says that I said anything bad? Maybe I’m a closet Ranger fan.)


  9. I’m not nervous tonight, I think the first game is always so exciting! Keuchel thinks he’s the “Big Hurt” at the plate…..but I hope Hinch tells every pitcher we use to leave the bat resting on your *shoulder*!! Your hand is more important than risking your fingers getting smashed trying to bunt!! As George Springer goes, so does the rest of these guys, so COME ON SPRINGER FIND THOSE HITS!!! I’M sooo proud of this team, and sooo excited for the games to start tonight! GO…..’STROS⚾!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like this. I hope the players (sure, coaches and FO too) know how proud of them we are. Ideally we’ll be able to give them a packed parade in celebration when all is said and done.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Correa just missed tying it. George remains a mess. I hope this slump does not end next year. Keuchel is not really fooling everyone. But it’s early. How about something now!


  11. Kershaw’s performance may be the most impressive World Series pitching performance I have ever seen. No team was going to beat him last night. He had the movement. He had all his pitches working to perfection. He had the umpire in his back pocket. He had us guessing -and guessing wrong – all night. We should consider ourselves lucky we did not get no-hit.

    On to game 2. JV, sorry, but we have no choice but to ask you to match Kershaw’s performance.


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