The World Series Shifts To Our Nation’s Capital

After two games in Houston, the Nationals are two wins away from their first ever World Series Championship. Now, the World Series shifts to Washington, DC and Nationals Park. This is a big moment for DC, who have witnessed two championships in the past few years. Both the Washington Capitals and the Mystics have won championships in DC. Now, the Nationals can be next.

For Houston, it’s officially crunch time. After aces Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander couldn’tworld series shifts stop the red hot Nats, Zack Greinke looks to stop the bleeding. As the World Series shifts to Nationals Park, the Nationals will rely on Anibal Sanchez to keep the ball rolling. After almost completing a no-hitter against the Cardinals, Sanchez looks to dominate in Game 3 on Friday night.

The World Series Shifts to DC

The Nationals look to dominate at home in Games 3 and 4 after two great wins. Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasberg took control in their respective starts in Houston, while Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander took the loses for Houston. Ryan “Mr. National” Zimmerman, who is in his 15th season with DC, took Cole deep in the 2nd inning of Game 1 to get things started. Game 1 ended with a score of 5-4. Game 2 saw a battle of the aces between Strasberg and Verlander. With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the 7th, the Nationals scored 6 runs off of Verlander. A home run by Kurt Suzuki led the way in that inning. The final score in Game 2 was 12-3.

Now, the Nationals head home to Nationals Park to try and complete the sweep. A possible Game 5 will also be held at Nationals Park. While the Nationals and Astros have named their Game 3 starters, their Game 4 starters for Saturday night have yet to be announced. For Houston, they’re looking to try and even the series. Their offense was hot in the ALCS, and it looks as though Alex Bregman is starting to find his groove, especially after hitting the two run home run off of Strasberg in the first inning.

World Series Predictions

Last time, I said that the Nationals were going to take it in seven games. After the last two games, and seeing how their offense exploded last night, I’m going with Nationals in five. Houston needs to figure out what is going on with Cole and Verlander, and hope that Greinke is up for the task of stopping DC tomorrow night. 2017 World Series MVP George Springer was off to a good start in the first game, but struggled in the second. The rest of Houston’s lineup needs to catch fire, especially now that it looks like Bregman is heating up after a slow start to the postseason.

For the Nationals, they need to stay hot. Juan Soto has been on a tear in Games 1 and 2. In Game 1, he went 3-4 with a home fun and a double. NLCS MVP Howkie Kendrick, who has been the DH the last two games, is slowly reheating. Game 1 wasn’t a good game for Kendrick, but he bounced back in Game 2, going 2-5 in the game. Pitching is also a key in the next set of games. With the next 2 or 3 games in DC, the DH is not an option, so pitchers will be batting. While DC is obviously used to this, the Astros will have to think of ways to keep their line up and bullpen intact.

If I were to pick an MVP for the series right now, I’d choose Yuli Gurriel for Houston, and Adam Eaton for the Nationals. Both players have come up big for their teams in the first two games, and I hope that they continue their success in the next games.

The 115th Edition of the Fall Classic

The 115th edition of the Fall Classic is finally set to go. For the National League, the Washington Nationals will be in their first fall classic, while the American League Champions the Houston Astros will be looking for their second championship in three years. The first game is set to take place on Tuesday night in Houston.

This series will be one nobody should miss. From dominate pitchers to the offensivefall classic abilities of both teams, this will be one to remember. While the Nationals have had about a week off before starting the fall classic, Jose Altuve walked it off against the Yankees on Saturday night. Let’s take a look at both teams before the first pitch is thrown, shall we?

Looking At The Fall Classic

The first game of the 2019 World Series is set for Tuesday night at 8:08pm at Minute Maid Park. The Nationals will have Max Scherzer going in the first game, followed by Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin. For Houston, It’ll be Gerrit Cole for game one, followed by Justin Verlander, and Zack Greinke.

For the Astros, this will be their third trip to the World Series. As a member of the National League, they lost in 2005 to the Chicago White Sox. They went back in 2017 as a member of the American League, and beat the LA Dodgers in seven games. Now, here they are once again looking for the teams next title. As for the Nationals, this is the team’s first run at the World Series since moving from Montreal. The last Washington team to win the World Series was the Washington Senators in 1924. The team was relocated to Minnesota in 1961 and became the Minnesota Twins.

The Washington Nationals Look For First Title

After sweeping the Cardinals at Nationals Park, the Washington Nationals sent DC into a playoff frenzy. Not too long ago, both the Washington Capitals and the Washington Mystics celebrated Championships. Now, the Nationals are four wins away from having another parade in the Nation’s Capitol.

Between their offense, and their talented rotation of Scherzer, Strasberg and Corbin, they will be the team to beat. They’ve overcome a lot in the postseason so far, and look to continue DC’s success at bringing home championships. The team’s first home game is on Friday, and Nationals Park will surely be packed with Nationals fans ready to sing the ever popular song, Baby Shark.

Houston’s Looking For Their Second Championship

It took all of six games to defeat the Yankees, and the Astros are four wins away from winning their second Championship in team history. After winning in 2017, they came close last year, but were defeated by the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS. Now, they look to reclaim the trophy. First, they need to beat the Nationals, who have a lot to prove.

In the offseason, they acquired Gerrit Cole, and then acquired Zack Greinke at the trade deadline. With these two acquisitions in their rotation, they have been a dominate force in the American League. After winning the World Series in 2017, they kept most of their team, and they have been producing ever since.

World Series Prediction

I have the Nationals winning in seven games. Yes, the Astros have a great core group that was there when they won in 2017. However, the stats seem to side more with DC. The Nationals weren’t supposed to make it this far. Now, after beating the Dodgers and Cardinals, here they are. It’ll be a fun and historic series, there’s no doubt about it. Still, I see a parade in DC. Sorry Houston, you may have a problem in this series.

Did Dave Dombrowski Make The Right Move?

The trade deadline came and went yesterday. As the clock struck 4pm on July 31st, Red Sox Nation learned that Boston didn’t participate in the trade deadline. While teams like Tampa Bay and Houston were dealing, Boston was silent. The question is, did Dave Dombrowski make the right move?

While the Red Sox were tied to many trade rumors, none of them panned out. As thedombrowski make clock ran down, it was obvious that many top performers were heading to other teams. For example, pitchers like Shane Greene and Mike Leake were traded to contending teams. Some of the players that Boston had on their radar stayed with their current teams. The Mets and Blue Jays held onto closers, Edwin Diaz and Ken Giles yesterday.

Did Dave Dombrowski Make The Right Move at the Deadline?

At 4:01pm, when it was evident that the Red Sox weren’t participating in the trade deadline, President Dave Dombroski held a press conference. “We had an opportunity to make a lot of trades, if we wanted to,” Dombrowski stated to reporters on Wednesday prior to the Red Sox game against the Rays. However, the question of did Dave Dombrowski make the right move by not trading anyone is still something that needs to be answered.

The players that Dombrowski offered weren’t enough, and teams wanted more for their better players. Some of these names included Andrew Benintendi and Michael Chavis. Yet, Boston stayed put.

Did Dave Dombrowski make the right move by not making one at all? It was pretty evident on Wednesday night, when Boston lost their third straight game, moving further down the standings. While Dombrowski made some good points at the press conference, many are still questioning his motives.

The Trade Deadline Around The League

While Dave Dombrowski was silent at the deadline, other teams were wheeling and dealing. The most notable trade was the one made by the Diamondbacks, as they traded All Star Zack Greinke to the Houston Astros. The Astros made a big splash yesterday, not only acquiring Greinke, but also getting Aaron Sanchez from Toronto, and Martin Maldonado from the Cubs.

A few former Red Sox pitchers were traded as well. Drew Pomeranz was traded from the Giants to the Brewers, while Roenis Elias went from the Mariners to the Nationals. Pomeranz was set to possibly pitch against the Red Sox in September. Now, it looks like the reunion will have to wait.

For the past few days, many teams were out trading to stack their rosters. Another notable trade was the three team deal that sent Trevor Bauer to Cincinnati and Yasiel Puig to Cleveland. San Diego was in on the trade as well, acquiring outfield prospect Taylor Trammel.

What Does This Mean For Boston?

After a surge that saw the Red Sox go 3-1 against the Yankees, nothing has gone right for Boston. Right now, they are 0-2 against the Rays, and are 2.5 games out of the wild card. At 10-5, Andrew Cashner looks to win his second straight Red Sox start tonight against Tampa Bay.

There are different ways to look into yesterday’s trade deadline. Only time can tell with this strategy. While there is only one deadline this season, it can turn in Boston’s favor down the road. Other teams, such as the Yankees and Cardinals didn’t make moves either. While the Yankees are in first place in the AL East, the Cardinals are tied for first with the Cubs.

Did Dombrowski and Company make the right move? We’ll see as the rest of the season continues on. While many would have loved to have seen a new arm in the bullpen or rotation, one can only wonder what the off season will look like.

2019 MLB Top Five Starting Pitchers

Pitchers do not only win Cy Young awards, they win MVPs. Two starting pitchers have been named Most Valuable Player since 2011, Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander. Some other starting pitches to win a MVP: Don Newcombe, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, and Roger Clemens. All of these players were top five starting pitchers for the majority of their respective careers.

Starting pitchers also get paid massive contracts. Both David Price (Red Sox) and ZackTop Five Starting Pitchers Greinke (Diamondbacks) signed free agent contracts in the 2016 off-season worth more than $30 million per year. Nationals ace Max Scherzer signed a 7-yr/$210 million contract a year earlier in 2015.

Starting pitchers also help teams by setting the tone. To begin last season’s World Series, Red Sox ace Chris Sale fired a strikeout on a 2-2 pitch to Dodgers second baseman Brian Dozier. The Sox went on to win the series in five games to capture their 9th World Series championship. Below is a list of 2019 MLB Top Five Starting Pitchers.

 Top Five Starting Pitchers – 5 – Corey Kluber (Cleveland Indians)

Kluber’s strengths are his high strikeout volume and durability. He has recorded at least 222 strikeouts and 203 innings pitched in five consecutive seasons. “Klubot” is a two-time Cy Young award winner and has finished in the top-3 voting of the Cy Young in four of the past five years. He is the ace of the Cleveland Indians and is under team control through 2021. The 32-year-old turns 33 in early April. He is still very much in his prime, as Kluber has won at least 18 games in three straight seasons.

Top Five Starting Pitchers – 4 – Jacob deGrom (New York Mets)

Baseball’s best pitcher in 2018 was arguably Jacob deGrom. He won his first Cy Young after leading the MLB in ERA (1.70). He also finished in the top-5 in innings pitched, strikeouts, and WHIP. Ironically deGrom and Kluber both pitched for Stetson University in Central Florida. deGrom is the ace on the Mets starting staff, a rotation that also includes Noah Syndergaard, and is set to become a free agent after next season.

Top Five Starting Pitchers – 3 – Chris Sale (Boston Red Sox)

Sale would be higher on this list had he pitched more starts last season. He finished 2018 with 27 starts, missing time in the second half due to a nagging shoulder injury. His ERA (2.11), WHIP (0.86), and FIP (1.98) were career bests, however, his 158 innings were the fewest since 2012. Sale has also surprisingly never won a Cy Young, even though he has been voted an All-Star in each of the past seven seasons. He has started the past three for the American League. Sale and the Red Sox recently agreed to a five-year extension on March 23rd.

Top Five Starting Pitchers – 2 – Justin Verlander (Houston Astros)

When asked who is the best pitcher of this generation, most fans would argue Clayton Kershaw. The correct answer might actually be Verlander. The right-hander just turned 36 in February and is very much still in his prime. He has thrown at least 200 innings in 11 of the past 12 seasons. JV has finished second in Cy Young voting three times, including last year, when recorded career-highs in strikeouts (290), hits allowed, FIP, WHIP, and strikeouts per 9 innings pitched. Like Sale, Verlander was just awarded a contract extension for 2 years and became official today. Verlander has a plethora of playoff experience. He owns a 13-7 record, 3.19 ERA, and a 1.02 WHIP in 152 postseason innings.

Top Five Starting Pitchers – 1 – Max Scherzer (Washington Nationals)

“Mad Max” has been baseball’s best pitcher for the past six seasons. Since 2013, he has made the All-Star Game each season (started 3), finished in the Cy Young voting top-5 each season (won 3), and has struck out at least 240 batters in each season. In the past three years, Scherzer has led the National League in WHIP and strikeouts. The only slight on Scherzer’s resume is that he has not won a playoff start since the 2013 ALDS.

Honorable mentions: Blake Snell (Tampa Bay Rays), Aaron Nola (Philadelphia Phillies), Trevor Bauer (Cleveland Indians), Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles Dodgers), Zack Greinke (Arizona Diamondbacks)