The 2017 World Series is set between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers have had a relatively easy road to winning the pennant, going 7-1 against the Diamondbacks and Cubs. The Astros, on the other hand, had to sweat out a seven-game series against the Yankees in the ALCS, coming back from a 3-2 deficit. Here are some quick facts about the matchup of baseball’s best:
FACT: The World Series Features the Two Best Teams*
*Okay, sort of. The Astros finished the regular season 101-61, while the Cleveland Indians won 102 games. But factor in the playoff records and the Astros accumulated more wins.
The Astros didn’t struggle in the second half of the season by any means, but their first half was exponentially better. They were 60-29 at the All-Star break, and at one point was 42-16 with a +106 run differential. They’d have a very strong case for the best team in baseball…if it weren’t for their next opponent.
The Dodgers were simply amazing this year. There’s no other way to put it. Even with Kershaw getting bit by the injury bug and a 1-16 stretch, L.A. still put up baseball’s best record at 104-58. Nearly five months into the season, they were 91-36…yeah, they’re good.
FACT: The two teams are the first 100-win teams to meet since 1970
That’s right, folks. This is the first time this has happened in almost 50 YEARS! The last time being the 108-win Baltimore Orioles vs. the 102-win Cincinnati Reds. With the aforementioned feats in the prior FACT segment, these two teams were destined to face each other from Summer’s beginning.
FACT: The Astros are the first team to make the World Series in the AL and NL
Yes, Houston used to be a member of the NL Central, and they were BAD. Baseball had a six-team NL Central and a four-team AL West, and finally made a smart decision, making two 15-team leagues with equal representation in each division. The Astros now stand atop the AL in just their sixth year in the DH league.
FACT: The two teams have met in the playoffs before
It’s been a while since 1981 – the last time these two teams met – but their history between each other shouldn’t be forgotten. In a weird and shortened 1981 season, the Astros and Dodgers faced one another in the NLDS. Behind Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan and a stud rotation, the Astros took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-5 series. But like they say, “there’s a reason why you play the game.” The Dodgers came back from 2-0 to win the series 3-2. L.A. would go on to win the World Series.
FACT: Houston rapper Bun B made a song called “Crush City” for the Astros
Bun B reps UGK and Houston until the day he dies, that’s a fact. Bun has an official Astros collaboration with New Era and a song he dropped in 2015 that has become the Astros unofficial hip-hop anthem.
BONUS FACT: This World Series means so much to the city of Houston
As the world knows, Houston was absolutely devastated by Hurricane Harvey in late August. The downpour, floods and destruction ripped the city apart and left people homeless, hungry, and grasping on for dear life. Recovery efforts are still taking place, but the Astros provide a sense of relief and togetherness for a city longing to be healed.
The 2017 World Series kicks off tonight from Dodger’s Stadium in Los Angeles. The hitting power and star power on each team should make for one of the better championship series in recent baseball history.