The Los Angeles Dodgers host the Houston Astros in the first game of the World Series on Tuesday night, Accuscore preview the clash between the American and National League champions...
"Los Angeles start the World Series with a couple of advantages - they play at home, have had a longer resting period and had easier games in the post-season. Their confidence is sky-high and it seems impossible to stop them. Dallas Keuchel could be a thorn in the Dodgers' side, but there's only so much he can do."
World Series Game One: Houston Astros @ Los Angeles Dodgers
Wednesday 24 October, 01:00 BST
The MLB World Series starts tonight with the champions from the American and National Leagues going head-to-head. The Los Angeles Dodgers, deemed by some the best team ever to field in MLB, have home advantage after finishing the regular season with a better record: 104-58 vs Astros' 101-61. It will be the first time two 100-win teams have faced each other in the World Series since 1970.
Both teams were at times unbeatable in the regular season - on either side of the ball - despite somewhat slowing down after the break. Similar trends continued in the post-season, where the Dodgers ran over their opponents, the Diamondbacks and reigning World Champions Cubs, only losing one game out of eight. The Astros had their work cut out for them after beating the Boston Red Sox comfortably in four games, as the Yankees put up a real fight and a game seven was needed to decide the AL pennant.
To start the World Series, both teams go with their respective aces on the mound. Clayton Kershaw is back better than ever, with three starts and 2-0 record with ERA of 3.63 in 17.1 innings pitched. His post-season career achievements pale in comparison to his regular season statistics however and when push comes to shove, it remains to be seen how Kershaw will handle the pressure.
The Astros go with Dallas Keuchel, whose stats are almost identical in the regular and post-season. He is 2-1 in three starts, with an ERA of 2.60 - even better than his regular season which closed out at 2.90. His ERA in five post-season starts is excellent at 1.78.
These are the two best teams in the MLB and are evenly matched in all categories. The Dodgers might have a slight edge in their bullpen strength, but Houston have already shown they're able to take on any starter - let alone relievers.
In Accuscore simulations, Los Angeles are the favorites, winning 63.0 % of the simulations. This leaves Houston with only 37%.
The Betfair Exchange currently offers odds of [1.6] for the Dodgers, indicating a favored position of 62.5%. The Astros are currently [2.58], which indicates probability of around 38.76 %. The value bets should be backing the Dodgers with odds better than [1.59] and backing the Astros when the odds reach [2.7]. There's a tiny, marginal value in the home win.
Both teams have been exceptionally productive at bat in the post-season. In simulations, they score 9.5 runs altogether, with the hosts taking the lead with 5.4 runs and Astros following suit with 4.1. Despite the aces' efforts, the bullpens are suspect in the simulations.
It seems like it'll turn out to be a battle of bats and the Dodgers have an edge at home. Corey Seager is likely to return to the lineup, but even without him the hosts are a more productive unit overall. Charlie Culberson has a productivity rating of 3.04 (hits + walks + RBI), while Chris Taylor, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger score a rating of ~2.3. The only Houston hitter to get close to those numbers is Jose Altuve, who matches the Dodgers big bats with a ~2.3 rating.
Los Angeles start the World Series with a couple of advantages - they play at home, have had a longer resting period and had easier games in the post-season. Their confidence is sky-high and it seems impossible to stop them. Dallas Keuchel could be a thorn in the Dodgers' side, but there's only so much he can do. It'll be LA to win the first one, but expect a close match with red hot batters.