October 27, 2021
The World Series kicked off on Tuesday night in Houston and the Braves jumped out to a 1-0 series lead behind a big Home Run from Adam Duvall and solid pitching from Charlie Morton and the Braves bullpen. The powerful Houston bats were stymied by the crafty Braves pitching staff and will look to get back on track in Game 2 at home in Houston.
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The Braves announced that they lost Charlie Morton for the rest of the World Series after he fractured his fibula in the third inning after a comeback struck him in the leg. Morton stayed in the game initially but was taken out shortly after and handed the game over to the Braves bullpen. If the series ends up going more than 5 games, Morton’s injury could be a big advantage for the Astros who will now face a fatigued Braves bullpen in Game 2.
Jorge Soler took Framber Valdez deep on the third pitch of the game to give the Braves the early 1-0 lead and helped set the tone for a big night for the rest of the lineup. Valdez struggled with location all night and only made it through 2 innings giving up 8 hits. The one positive for the Astros is that Valdez may be able to help out of the bullpen earlier in the series since he only threw two innings.
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Duvall broke the game open with his big two-run homer to left field which put the Braves up 5-0 in the third inning. While the Astros are known for their power, the Braves had more team home runs this season and Duvall put up 38 HRs this season and has come up with clutch hits throughout the postseason.
Game 1 winners in the best of seven series history have gone on to win over 60% of the World Series titles. Even if the Braves drop game two, they will head back to Atlanta feeling great about where they are in the series.
Both teams went to their bullpens early in game 1 so they will need their starters to eat up some solid innings in Game 2. Jose Urquidy is on the mound for the Astros while lefthander Max Fried gets the start for the Braves.
Fried has been solid all postseason and has a deceptive windup that could give the Astros lineup some trouble.
Urquidi has been shaky this postseason and had a rough outing against the Red Sox in the ALCS.
The big question mark in game 2 is whether the Astros bats will wake up after being on fire all postseason and only putting up 2 runs in game 1. The Braves have more of a traditional National League style of play that relies on strong pitching and great defense and this World Series could show that their style is better suited in playoff series. The Astros rely on the long ball but haven’t faced a pitching staff that has a great balance of pitchers that can move the ball in the strike zone and change speeds like the Braves pitching staffs of old.
Houston’s top hitters are too talented to put up back-to-back performances as they did in Game 1 so be on the lookout for some early home runs from the Astros lineup.
I like the Astros to get to Fried early in the game and win a slugfest that will be reminiscent of the ALCS scores. I see something like a 8-6 game where the bullpens will be relied on early and Houston’s bats will come alive before they head on the road to Atlanta.