The stage is set. With the World Series schedule set in stone, the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers are ready to compete for the most coveted trophy in all of baseball.
Known as the Fall Classic, this series should be exactly that. The Astros and Dodgers both won over 100 games in the regular season. Additionally, both have continued that hot streak in the postseason.
Unlike postseasons past, the Dodgers have been dominant in 2017. They dispatched the Diamondbacks and the defending champion Chicago Cubs. Clayton Kershaw, Yasiel Puig and especially Justin Turner are leading the charge in LA. The Dodgers come in as slight favorites with home field advantage.
As for Houston, they impressively dispatched the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS. However, in the ALCS, the Astros were on the brink of elimination. Down 3-2, they stormed back in Houston to win Games 6 & 7. Their deep starting pitching staff and young potent line up have helped them advance this far as well.
Equally important, these stars will need to step up when it matters most. They have been prolific all season long. However, the next few games will define legacies.
Here are the leading candidates for the World Series MVP for each team.
Clayton Kershaw – Starting Pitcher, Los Angeles Dodgers
Madison Bumgarner, Cole Hamels and Josh Beckett. In the last 15 years, starting pitchers have delivered in the World Series and been named MVP. Clayton Kershaw can have that same impact and add his name to that list. He had another incredible regular season that could see him winning yet another Cy Young Award.
His 18-4 regular season is being backed by a 2-0 postseason. The stage will be set for Game 1 as he takes on Dallas Keuchel, the ace of the Houston Astros. Kershaw will likely start 2-3 games in this series and maybe even make a relief appearance if the Dodgers make it to a Game 7, a position he has found himself in before.
It is important to realize that Clayton Kershaw has had an incredible five year stretch in the MLB. He is on his way to becoming the best pitcher to ever take the mound in the MLB. One thing that will be needed to pad that résumé will be a World Series ring. His postseason struggles have been well documented, but Kershaw looks like he has matured and is ready to seize the moment.
Additional LA Dodgers MVP Candidates: Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner.
Jose Altuve – Second Baseman, Houston Astros
Next up, the smallest player in the World Series may have the biggest impact. Altuve has proved doubters wrong throughout every year of his career. Additionally, he has become the best hitter in all of baseball. He has reached the impressive milestone of 200 hits in each of the past four seasons.
Altuve is listed at a generous 5′ 6″. With this in mind, Altuve’s ability to perform at the highest level becomes that much more impressive. His .346 average and 81 RBI have him as the consensus pick for the AL MVP. He’ll want more. With Houston ravaged by Hurricane Harvey during the home stretch of the regular season, Altuve has become the emotional leader of the team.
The Astros have followed his lead, and it has gotten them this far. Now just four wins away, if Altuve can continue to do what he has done all year long, the Astros should be World Series Champions. Additionally, Altuve’s legs and leather will come in to play.
He can steal bases for the Astros, as well as make some outstanding plays for his pitching staff to get Houston out of jams.
Additional Houston Astros MVP Candidates: Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel.
The World Series stage is set for tonight. In Game 1, Clayton Kershaw takes the mound at Dodgers Stadium against Dallas Keuchel. Therefore, you can find all of your World Series tickets at TicketNetwork!
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