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2021 World Series bold predictions: Unlikely MVP for the Braves, record for the Astros and more

The 2021 World Sequence is about. The Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves will meet on this 12 months’s Fall Basic after knocking off the Red Sox and Dodgers in six video games within the League Championship Sequence, respectively. The World Sequence will start Tuesday night time at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Due to all these years the Astros spent within the Nationwide League, these two golf equipment do have fairly a little bit of postseason historical past. Here is a fast recap of these Astros vs. Braves postseason battles:

  • 1997 NLDS: Braves sweep 3-0
  • 1999 NLDS: Braves win 3-1
  • 2001 NLDS: Braves sweep 3-0
  • 2004 NLDS: Astros win 3-2
  • 2005 NLDS: Astros win 3-1

In fact, what occurred within the late Nineteen Nineties and early-to-mid 2000s has no bearing on what occurs in 2021. These sequence have been an eternity in the past in baseball years. There are completely different gamers now, completely different managers, completely different types of play, the works. The Astros and Braves have a postseason historical past, certain, however it’s irrelevant to the 2021 World Sequence.

Anyway, with the World Sequence set to start Tuesday night time, let’s lay out some daring predictions. Include me, will not you?

There might be a chaos recreation

Maybe this daring prediction would not qualify as daring, as a result of there appears to be at the very least one chaos recreation each World Sequence. What do I imply by chaos recreation? I imply plenty of offense and lead adjustments, memorable performs, and simply all-around leisure. The alternative of a pitchers’ duel, mainly. Some latest World Sequence chaos recreation examples:

  • 2020 World Sequence Sport 5: The Brett Phillips recreation
  • 2019 World Sequence Sport 7: The Howie Kendrick recreation
  • 2017 World Sequence Sport 5: Astros beat Dodgers 13-12 in 10 innings
  • 2016 World Sequence Sport 7: *gestures at every thing*

The 2018 World Sequence didn’t have a real chaos recreation, although it did have an 18-inning recreation, the longest World Sequence in historical past, and that is a fairly good substitute. Level is, nearly each World Sequence we will anticipate to see one really chaotic recreation with a ton of motion and lead adjustments and a memorable end.

So, predicting a chaos recreation on this 12 months’s World Sequence just isn’t essentially daring, however I will predict one anyway. Think about this extra of a hope than a prediction. Give me a loopy back-and-forth recreation. To be somewhat particular with this prediction, I am going to say Sport 5 is our chaos recreation, and we see 23 complete runs scored and eight mixed house runs. Go huge or go house, child.

Tucker will set the World Sequence stolen base file

That is the postseason of the stolen base. By means of the League Championship Sequence, runners are 38 for 42 — 38 for 42! — stealing bases, an unbelievable 90 p.c success price. One of many 4 caught stealing wasn’t even an actual caught stealing both. Rays outfielder Manuel Margot overslid the bag in ALDS Game 3. He made it safely. He simply slid too far.

The Astros weren’t a stolen base workforce through the common season. They stole solely 53 bases, the fourth fewest in baseball, and their stolen base chief was traded on the deadline (Myles Straw with 17). Houston just isn’t going to wreak havoc on the bases, however as a result of these are daring predictions, I will say an Astros units a brand new World Sequence stolen base file.

The participant: Kyle Tucker. Jose Altuve could appear to be the extra apparent alternative, however he isn’t a lot of a stolen base risk anymore (solely 5 steals in 2021), and Tucker went 14 for 16 stealing bases through the common season. The World Sequence stolen base file is seven, completed twice by a Corridor of Famer:

  1. Lou Brock, Cardinals: 7 steals vs. Pink Sox (1967 World Sequence)
  2. Lou Brock, Cardinals: 7 steals vs. Tigers (1968 World Sequence)
  3. A number of tied with 6 steals, most lately Kenny Lofton for Cleveland within the 1995 World Sequence

The 1967 and 1968 World Sequence each went seven video games, and no participant has stolen even 5 bases within the World Sequence since Omar Vizquel in 1997. The stolen base has been a dying artwork the previous couple of many years, although it has come again in a giant manner this October. Runners are going with reckless abandon this postseason and the Braves have contributed to that, although not in a great way.

Runners are 13 for 13 stealing bases towards Atlanta this postseason, so roughly one-third of all postseason stolen base makes an attempt have come towards them. Controlling the operating recreation is a weak point as a result of Atlanta has a number of pitchers who’re gradual to the plate, and since catcher Travis d’Arnaud’s arm is not nice (14 p.c caught stealing price the final two years).

The Braves have an exploitable weak point in stolen bases and the Astros are all about exploiting weaknesses. Eight stolen bases in a postseason sequence is a ton, however all it takes is one three- or four-steal recreation to present Tucker an actual probability on the file. He is been nice and might be on-base a ton. I boldly predict Brock’s World Sequence stolen base file will fall.

Additionally, I will throw in a sub-bold prediction in right here: Tyler Matzek will at the very least tie the postseason look file. He is pitched in 9 video games already and the file is 14 by Brandon Morrow in 2017 and Paul Assenmacher in 1997. Matzek pitching 5 occasions within the World Sequence appears extraordinarily doable. He may even break the file given his present tempo.

Smyly might be a pitching hero

We all know Framber Valdez and Charlie Morton will begin Sport 1. Past that, the rotations are up within the air, although issues line up in such a manner that we’ll probably see Luis Garcia vs. Max Fried in Sport 2, and José Urquidy vs. Ian Anderson in Sport 3. What occurs in Sport 4 is anybody’s guess. Might be Zack Greinke or Jake Odorizzi for Houston, and a bullpen recreation for Atlanta.

Inevitably, issues will go haywire for every workforce sooner or later within the sequence, and both somebody will are available in to place the sport again on the rails, or throw fuel on the hearth. Assume Cristian Javier with three scoreless innings in ALCS Sport 4, or Nathan Eovaldi and Martin Pérez combining to permit seven runs in a single inning in the identical recreation.

Sometimes the hero pitcher might be somebody surprising, and for this daring prediction, I will say veteran southpaw Drew Smyly comes out of the bullpen to supply a Herculean aid look sooner or later. How’s Sport 2 sound? The Astros tough up Atlanta’s starter (whomever it finally ends up being), then Smyly settles issues down with three or 4 scoreless frames.

Smyly threw 126 2/3 largely efficient innings through the common season (4.46 ERA), although he moved to the bullpen late within the 12 months, and he merely hasn’t pitched all that a lot recently. His final 4 appearances:

  • Oct. 20: 56 pitches in 3 1/3 innings (NLCS Sport 4)
  • Oct. 2: 46 pitches in three innings
  • Sept. 26: 21 pitches in 1 2/3 innings
  • Sept. 21: 37 pitches in 3 1/3 innings

In order that’s 160 pitches and 11 1/3 innings throughout 4 appearances within the final calendar month. That is not a lot work in any respect, so nobody would blame Smyly for popping out of the bullpen sooner or later and simply not having it. That is what makes this prediction daring although. The man nobody expects to make an influence is available in and makes an influence.

One factor to notice: Houston chased curveballs out of the zone greater than another pitch kind this season, and Smyly’s specialty is getting hitters to chase his curveball out of the zone. He isn’t going to blow anybody away together with his fastball at this level in his profession, however he’ll get you to supply on the curve. That is a fairly efficient solution to assault the Astros (simply do not hold it).

The Braves will iwin the World Sequence …

… and Jorge Soler would be the World Sequence MVP. Why not? Soler missed the primary 4 video games of the NLCS after testing constructive for COVID-19, and he didn’t begin Video games 5 or 6 as a result of Adam Duvall, Joc Pederson, and Eddie Rosario have been enjoying so properly. Within the World Sequence although, the Braves will have the ability to put Soler at DH in Video games 1 and a couple of, and if needed, Video games 6 and seven as properly.

Soler was wonderful after coming over from the Royals on the commerce deadline, hitting .269/.358/.524 with 14 house runs in 55 video games with the Braves. His pull energy is gigantic, and if you are going to be a pull right-handed hitter, there are worse ballparks to play than Minute Maid Park. Try Soler’s 2021 line drives and fly balls overlaid on Minute Maid Park:

Jorge Soler’s pull energy ought to play properly in Houston.
Baseball Savant

Oh yeah, the Crawford Packing containers beckon. It nearly looks as if Minute Maid Park was constructed for Soler given his potential to drag the ball within the air to left discipline. He’ll be within the lineup at DH in Video games 1 and a couple of on the very least, and it is not unprecedented for a DH to win World Sequence MVP whereas not beginning the NL video games. Hideki Matsui did it with the 2009 Yankees.

So, my ultimate daring prediction requires the Braves to win solely their second title since shifting to Atlanta in 1966, and for Soler to paved the way as World Sequence MVP. The Astros are insanely good, obnoxiously so, so I’ve this sequence going the complete seven video games. That provides Soler at the very least 4 begins at DH to make an influence, and make an influence he’ll. I am boldly predicting it.

2021 World Sequence gear now out there

The Braves and Astros will meet within the 2021 World Sequence. Present your love to your workforce by shopping the all-new 2021 World Series gear before it’s gone, including Braves and Astros commemorative hats, shirts, hoodies, and more. Shop here now.

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https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/information/2021-world-series-bold-predictions-unlikely-mvp-for-the-braves-record-for-the-astros-and-more/ | 2021 World Sequence daring predictions: Unlikely MVP for the Braves, file for the Astros and extra

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