The Houston Astros hosted the Atlanta Braves for Game 1 of the 2021 World Series Tuesday night. The Braves are looking to take home their first World Series since 1995, while the Astros will be fighting for their second win in the last 5 years. The Gavel's sports staff weighs in on who will walk away with the trophy.
Winner: Braves in seven
MVP: Eddie Rosario
While I am not the biggest baseball fan, I know enough about baseball fans’ animosity towards the Houston Astros and their cheating scandal. Looking back on these playoffs, the Braves have put together some really impressive series wins against the Brewers and reigning-champs Dodgers. They entered as underdogs but have shown great resilience and all-around talent to make a statement that they belong in the World Series. On the other side, the Astros are led by one of the best offenses of all time, with a truly seven- or eight-deep batting order that causes headaches for any pitching rotation. If the Astros can really get going offensively, they could win this series handily. But I think that this amazing run the Braves are on will continue into this series and they will come out victorious in a thrilling seven-game series.
Winner: Astros in five
MVP: Jose Altuve
I consider myself to be a casual fan of baseball. What I mean is that I watch the games, but I generally consider myself to be a neutral fan. As a result, I would much rather see baseball fans—namely, Dodgers and Yankees fans—reacting to the Astros winning than the Braves winning. While Atlanta sports fans have suffered far too long, the end isn’t in sight any time soon. The MLB only hit the Astros with a slap on the wrist for their cheating scandal, so they still have the same talent-overloaded roster they did when they won in 2017, maybe even more talented. Yordan Alvarez has been playing at an MVP-caliber level in these playoffs, so if the headliners like Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and Michael Brantley can start hitting their stride, the Astros’ bats will be too much for the Braves to overcome.
Winner: Astros in seven
MVP: Yordan Alvarez
Neither team has gotten much mileage out of its starters this postseason, but it hasn’t turned out to be much of an issue (yet). The Braves held the Dodgers to just two runs in each of their last three games, while the Astros found a way to hold the red-hot Boston offense to a total of three runs in their last three games. My point is that the key variable in the World Series might be hitting. That’s where I’ll give the Astros the edge, but it’s close. For MVP, I’m taking the ALCS MVP Yordan Alvarez. In those last three games, he had nine hits compared to only 10 by the entire Red Sox roster. In the end, intangibles like playoff experience and home-field advantage might make the difference for the Astros, which is why I’m predicting they’ll win in seven.
Winner: Braves in six
MVP: Eddie Rosario
Eddie Rosario is playing lights-out this postseason. In his first real playoff experience, Rosario has been the best offensive player for the Braves. As long as his bat stays hot and the Braves’ pitching staff plays like it did against the Dodgers, no one can stop them.