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Dodgers vs. Astros: Star-studded World Series will hinge on depth

6:03 PM ET

This is one Fall Classic that has a good possibility to live adult to a name. The Houston Astros will play a Los Angeles Dodgers — a initial showdown of 100-win teams given a Baltimore Orioles and Cincinnati Reds met in 1970. The Astros were innate in 1962 and have never won a World Series, so as liberation efforts in Houston continue after a extinction of Hurricane Harvey, we know what this would meant to a city.

“We came home, we wanted to do it in front of a fans,” pronounced Astros star second-baseman Jose Altuve after his group erased a 3-2 necessity to allege to a World Series. “They support us and this is because we are here.”

The Dodgers have a storied story though are finally in a World Series again after 29 years. We have dual sparkling teams with luminary power. Here’s a discerning preview:

Clayton Kershaw contra Justin Verlander

They won’t be confronting any other, as Kershaw is lined adult to start Game 1, while Verlander will substantially start Game 2, though it will be smashing play to see these dual aces in a World Series. They are arguably a dual biggest pitchers of this era — given Verlander’s rookie deteriorate in 2006, Kershaw ranks initial in WAR among pitchers and Verlander ranks second — though conjunction has a ring. Verlander has pitched in dual World Series and has left 0-3 in 3 starts with a 7.20 ERA, while Kershaw is apparently in his initial World Series.

“When you’re a kid, we usually wish we make it to a large leagues,” Kershaw pronounced after a Dodgers clinched a National League Championship Series. “So to get to contend you’re going to go play in a World Series, it’s an impossibly special moment. … You know, we have 4 some-more wins to go, obviously. But we’ve listened 1988 so prolonged in L.A., it feels good to contend that we’re removing to a World Series in 2017, and with 4 some-more wins, hopefully get to get one home.”

Verlander is entrance off dual fantastic American League Championship Series starts, holding a Yankees to one run over 16 innings and recording 21 strikeouts. Kershaw isn’t indispensably during a tip of his diversion or in rise earthy health after blank time with a behind damage over a summer, though we also get a feeling that it’s such a service for him to get here that he’ll representation though a same weight and vigour as progressing rounds. He also hasn’t had to representation on brief rest like in prior postseasons, and in his 3 starts, he threw 100, 87 and 89 pitches. Look for both to uncover because they’ve dominated a diversion over a past decade.

Dodgers’ bullpen on fire

In going 7-1 in a postseason, a Dodgers have been a one group that hasn’t had to hasten in a bullpen. Manager Dave Roberts hasn’t used starters in service — solely Kenta Maeda, who was changed to a bullpen for a postseason — and hasn’t had to extend his tip dual relievers, Kenley Jansen and Brandon Morrow. Jansen seemed in 7 of a team’s 8 games, though he surfaced out during 18 pitches and usually had to representation twice on back-to-back days. Morrow also seemed in 7 games, throwing 8⅓ innings though usually 102 pitches over a 14 days it took a Dodgers to play both series.

Collectively, a Dodgers’ bullpen has authorised 4 runs in 28⅔ innings with 32 strikeouts, dual walks and a .125 normal allowed. It didn’t concede any runs in 17 innings opposite a Chicago Cubs in a NLCS. Maeda has been a revelation, throwing harder out of a coop with 5 ideal innings so distant in a postseason.

So, how do a Astros to get to a Dodgers’ pen? Somehow, we have to get Roberts off his script. He hasn’t unequivocally had to make any tough decisions with his bullpen. His starters have usually gotten dual outs in a seventh inning in 8 games, though even that has been by design, as usually Clayton Kershaw in a Game 1 blowout in a multiplication array was extended past 90 pitches. You possibly have to get to a starters early and force Roberts to use a behind finish of his coop — Ross Stripling or lefties Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani in suboptimal matchups — or during slightest find a approach to run adult a representation depends on Maeda, Morrow and Jansen.

Chris Taylor, Justin Turner and Yasiel Puig contra Astros pitchers

The Cubs never figured a approach to get these guys out. All 3 have playoff OPS total above 1.000, and Turner and Puig have posted .500 OBPs. Yes, tiny representation distance and all that and Cubs pitchers positively had difficulty throwing strikes, though a 3 also showed a lot of fortify during a plate: