It’s a great time to be an Astros fan. I would venture to say that it’s also a great time to be a Nationals fan.
I love that our World Series starts with our No. 2 ace, Gerrit Cole, on the mound. This means Zack Greinke will take the ball in Game Three in Washington. If you’re a fan of Greinke, then you know that makes him very happy because he loves to hit the ball, and why not? His career batting average of .225 is pretty darned good for a pitcher, and he has nine career home runs. This is one of the things he misses most about the game.
It’s a first ever in history, as two teams who share a spring training complex will meet in the 2019 Fall Classic, yet another fact for this historic season. Even though they share a complex in West Palm Beach, these two teams do not face off too much, if ever.
But there are a lot of connections between the two teams.
• Ryan Pressly and Brian Dozier were teammates on the Twins.
• Cole, George Springer and Anthony Rendon were all part of the 2011 first-round draft class.
• Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez were all part of the same Tigers rotation in 2012, 2013 and 2014, while Verlander and Scherzer were teammates from 2010-2014.
• Greinke and Patrick Corbin were both part of the rotation for the Diamondbacks from 2016 to 2018.
• Alex Bregman and Trea Turner were teammates on the collegiate national team in the summer of 2013.
• Chip Hale, the Nationals bench coach, served on staff with Hinch as the third-base coach for the Diamondbacks in 2009.
• Tim Bogar, the Nationals first base coach, was an infielder for the Astros from 1997 to 2000.
We’ll definitely have our work cut out for us in this series, which promises to be an epic duel of pitcher versus pitcher. It features three former Cy Young Award winners in Scherzer (3), Verlander (1) and Greinke (1), and the two contenders for the 2019 AL Cy Young Award in Verlander and Cole. Between the top six starters combined, there are 29 combined All-Star selections and three of them on either side have been to at least two All-Star Games.
Prediction: Astros in 6
As for predictions, that’s tough. I don’t know too much about the Nationals’ brand of baseball. I can only speak to the Astros’ brand of baseball, and we’re tough, resilient and humble. We’re ready to battle. All I can say is I hope for a clean series of well-fought baseball in which the Astros come out on top. And not trying to be cocky or anything, but I’m going to say the Astros in six games, if for no other reason than I want them to win it all here at home.
Houston fans, hang on! Grow out your nails so you have something to bite off. Get some naps because it’s going to be some long week nights. And hold on for a bumpy ride that is going to be a totally epic match-up.
This year’s Fall Classic promises to be one for the record books. Go Astros! Take It Back!