Astros in 4
It might be a tad early, but the Houston Astros are on their way to being a dynasty, with a core that includes Jose Altuve, George Springer, Alex Bregman, and Carlos Correa. In the World Series for the second time in three years, the Astros are an overwhelming favorite after dispatching the Yankees in six games. Added to this core is a front line pitching that has been unbeatable all season as Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole could legitimately share the Cy Young. The Astros won a franchise-record 107 games in 2019 and maybe playing their best baseball as the World Series arrives.
The Washington Nationals are, without a doubt, a surprise entry from the National League. It is the franchise’s first World Series appearance. After a history of disappointment, the Nationals had the feeling the window had closed as they lost former MVP, Bryce Harper, to free agency and started 19-31. They would turn their season around and make it to the Wild Card Game, which they won. They then went on to stun the Dodgers in the Division Series to reach their first NLCS. The Nationals dominated the Cardinals in the NLCS and looked like a team capable of beating anybody, but teams that sweep the LCS often do so at their own peril as the week off seems to blunt their momentum. It happened with the Rockies in 2007 and the Mets in 2015, teams that had similar type runs to the World Series to the Nationals and lost quickly in the Fall Classic.
The Nationals do have some strong hitters, as Anthony Rendon is a capable MVP candidate in the National League, and Juan Soto is unquestionably on the verge of becoming a superstar. However, the rest of the team is good, not great, as Ryan Zimmerman now only comes up in flashes. Trea Turner is a good spark plug, and Howie Kendrick has had a great postseason, but when compared to the Astros, the Nationals offense is not in the same ballpark.
As the Yankees learned, to beat the Astros, you are going to need to get two wins against Verland and Cole and win the games they don’t start. The Nationals to have a chance must have Scherzer and Strasburg dominate. They must get strong starts again, Patrick Corbin and Anibal Sanchez, just to have a fighting chance. In the playoffs, Washington has gotten solid performances out of the bullpen, which has been a significant surprise as their pen was often their weakness. The Astros bullpen just outpitched the Yankees bullpen, and the Yankees had the best pen in majors this season.
This series is going to be no contest, maybe the Nationals win one if they are lucky, but it will be a laugher as the Astros win in four.