Astros: Thoughts on the World Series

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 21: Jose Altuve
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 21: Jose Altuve /

Here’s a sentence I have only dreamed of typing: the Astros are participating in the World Series.

The last time the Astros were in the World Series, I was a junior in high school. Fast forward twelve years, and oh my, how life has changed!

Anyway, I won’t bore you with the greater details of my personal life. I’m here to write about the Astros. One of the last two teams standing in baseball. One of the two teams in the World Series. Yes, I’m not taking this experience for granted.

A notable drought of a championship-less season will end in this World Series. Obviously the Astros have not won a championship in their history, which dates back to the Colt .45’s in 1962. The Dodgers are the more storied franchises in baseball. But their last World Series appearance, and title, occurred in 1988. This took place just a few months before I was born. Needless to say, both fanbases would like to see their respective drought end in this Fall Classic.

My late grandfather had a saying the first time the Astros appeared in the World Series, “I’m just grateful to see the Astros in the World Series. Never thought I would see the day. Anything else, which includes winning the series, is just extra gravy”. This was in the fall of 2005. He would pass away in December of 2012, which was in the midst of the Astros extensive rebuild.

This World Series obviously carries a bit of emotional weight for me. And I know I’m not the only one. The Astros have been ingrained in Houston’s culture for a long time. Families and friends have bonded over the team throughout the years and decades. This thought is even more pertinent today when you consider the recent disaster with Hurricane Harvey.

Championship or not, the fact that the Astros made it to the Fall Classic is worth remembering. But let’s be real for a second: a championship parade in Houston would be freaking awesome.

Lost in all the noise today is the fact that the Astros and Dodgers were once NL West rivals back in the day. In fact, this will be the first World Series between two former division rivals.

Yes, the Astros have played in quite a few divisions.

The Astros and Dodgers were amongst the best teams in baseball this season. Houston, for example, had the best offense in terms of wRC+ at 121. Los Angeles had the third-best pitching staff in terms of FIP- at 87. Top notch hitting versus top notch pitching. And the Astros’ pitching staff and the Dodgers’ lineup are no slouches as well. Sam Miller of ESPN also had an excellent piece about why you should root for an Astros-Dodgers World Series. This “prediction” eventually became true.

Next: Astros will be without the DH in the World Series in Los Angeles

Regardless of your fandom preference, the 2017 World Series should be a fun one. Of course, it would be nice to see Houston win just one game in the Fall Classic. Everything else is just extra gravy.

**Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs**