Network heads may have preferred a World Series matchup between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees, a pairing that stands out as significant with 11 previous showdowns between them, but none since 1981.
But the Dodgers drawing the Houston Astros in the Fall Classic produces the marquee matchup for baseball fans, pitting the best team in baseball in 2017 against the team with the best chance at knocking off that team, at least according to ZiPS projection analysis. But which is which? Both the Dodgers and Astros spent the 2017 season running roughshod over their leagues, establishing insurmountable division leads before the All-Star break. They even both got significantly better with their big midseason pickups, adding Yu Darvish and Justin Verlander, two cases of the phenomenally rich becoming phenomenally richer.
Just like in 2016, one notable World Series drought will be flushed away, the Dodgers having not won a World Series since 1988 and the Houston Astros not since the Big Bang approximately 13.8 billion years ago. (In fairness, baseball didn't exist for most of that period.) Because both teams can't win, let's run down a few X factors that could significantly affect the bottom-line projections.