The World Series kicks off TONIGHT on Fox, with Game One between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves. Here are seven interesting facts and stats about the series:
1. The Astros are the slight betting favorite heading in. According to VegasInsider.com, the Astros are -145 to win the series, meaning it would take a $145 bet to win $100 if Houston comes out on top. The Braves are considered +120, meaning a $100 bet would pay out $120.
2. Despite MLB having a MILLION games in a season, the Astros and Braves didn’t meet this year . . . and they haven’t played each other since a four-game series back in 2017. The Astros won all four, but that’s back when they were cheating, so . . . who knows. Plus, the lineups are very different now.
But for what it’s worth, SportsLine ran 10,000 simulations . . . and the Braves won 50.5% of the time, and the Astros won 49.5%. So it could be a close one.
3. The Braves are just the FOURTH team EVER to reach the World Series after having a losing record at the All-Star break. In fact, they’re the first since . . . the 1991 Braves.
4. JOC PEDERSON is on the Braves now, after winning the World Series with the L.A. Dodgers last year. So how wild would it be if he won back-to-back years, with different teams? It’s rare.
According to MLB, only EIGHT players in history have won in back-to-back seasons with two different teams. Ben Zobrist was the last to do it. He won in 2015 with the Kansas City Royals, and then in 2016 with the Chicago Cubs.
5. YORDAN ALVAREZ of the Astros had SEVEN hits over the final two games of the ALCS last week. The entire Red Sox team had five. He’s the first, ever, to out-hit the entire opposing team over the final two games of any series in MLB postseason history.
6. Astros manager DUSTY BAKER is 72 years, 133 days old. And the only manager OLDER to lead a team to the World Series is: Jack McKeon, who was 72 years and 329 days old when he did it with the 2003 Miami Marlins.
7. Braves manager BRIAN SNITKER is guaranteed to be talking about a World Series trophy over Thanksgiving . . . even if the Braves DON’T win. That’s because his son Troy Snitker is a hitting coach for the Astros.