So far, we have predicted correctly 3 of the 4 World Series games. The 1 game that we missed was Game 4. Who would have guessed that Morton vs Wood would be the best pitching matchup of the World Series so far. We had predicted that if any Dodgers pitcher other than Kershaw started Game 4, then the Astros would win. Kershaw did not pitch Game 4, and the Dodgers did win, so we got that wrong. However, our prediction that we made for if Kershaw pitched Game 4 was an almost exact prediction of what happened in Game 4. Here is what we predicted if Kershaw was pitching:
“He(Kershaw) will get tagged with an early homerun that will give the Astros the lead. Working with a lead, Morton will be in a groove and hold down the Dodgers offense. With a small lead going to the Astros bullpen, they will allow the runs the Dodgers need to tie the game. Turner and Bellinger will play a big role in getting the Dodgers on the board. This game may flirt with extra innings, but the Dodgers will get the go ahead run in the 9th.”
For those of you who did not watch this game, possibly busy with Halloweekend plans, here is a rundown of the actual events of the game. George Springer of the Astros hit a solo homerun off Wood in the 6th inning. Not exactly an early homerun as we predicted, but a homerun nonetheless. Morton was absolutely fantastic this game giving up just 1 hit, a homerun in the 6th inning, before coming out of the game. We predicted Astros with a lead going to the bullpen, but when the bullpen got the ball it was tied 1-1. That is how it remained until the top of the 9th when Corey Seager led off with a single followed by a walk to Justin Turner. Then Bellinger played the big role as predicted by us when he hit a double scoring the go-ahead run and advancing Turner to 3rd. 4 batters later Joc Pederson hit a 3 run homer to secure the win for the Dodgers.
So, even though we predicted Game 4 to go to the Astros due to Kershaw not pitching. Our Game 4 prediction that we made with Kershaw on the mound was almost perfect once again.
Now for Games 5 and 6:
Kuechel vs Kershaw round 2. This matchup was everything it was billed to be in Game 1 of this series. Both pitchers dominated through the first 5 innings of the game before Keuchel ran into some trouble in the 6th. Kershaw was fantastic going 7 innings and allowing just 1 run on 3 hits while striking out 11 batters.
Game 6 will likely see Verlander vs Rich Hill again. Verlander and Hill also had very dominant performances early in the game. Hill was pulled from the game after just 4 innings despite allowing just 1 run on 3 hits and striking out 7 batters. Verlander went 6 innings and allowed 3 runs on just 2 hits, both homeruns. In Game 6, Verlander is going to need to find a way to keep the ball inside the park in order to give his team a fighting chance.
Game 2 also displayed the first cracks of the Dodgers bullpen. Dave Roberts has been overusing the bullpen all postseason long and they are showing their wear now. Game 2 saw Jansen blow his first save since July, while altogether the bullpen allowed 6 runs. In Game 6, with a big lead Jansen was tagged with another homerun in the 9th. As for the Astros bullpen, they have been struggling all postseason long and have now allowed 8 runs to score after the 8th inning in this World Series.
Keuchel is still trying to regain his footing after struggling in his last 2 starts. This will be the game that he gets himself back on track and delivers a solid 6-7 inning performance. The Astros may keep him in the game a bit long as they have little faith in the bullpen now. This will lead to a late run to score off Keuchel before finally being removed. Kershaw on the other hand will get hit early, allowing 1 to 2 runs to score within the first 4 innings. Altuve will play a big role in this as he breaks out of his World Series slump. Kershaw will then shut it down until handing it over to the bullpen. The Astros bullpen will once again give up a late homerun, giving the Dodgers the runs needed to win the game.
In Game 6, Verlander will push himself to the limit. Don’t be surprised to see him pitch a complete game in this one. The bullpen has let down the Astros in 3 games now and Verlander will not trust laying the Astros season in the hands of the bullpen. He will have one rough patch in the middle innings but ultimately get out of it with minimal damage. Rich Hill of the Dodgers will do his best to match Verlander and will keep up for most of the game, but he will hit trouble in the 5th or 6th inning and allow just enough runs for the Astros to take the lead and not look back.
Ladies and gentleman, fasten your seatbelts and prepare for a wild ride as the 2017 World Series will be going to Game 7 for the second year in a row. And we cannot wait.