There is no shortage of storylines as the 2017 Major League Baseball playoffs approach the World Series, and any of the possible matchups will provide intrigue and drama.
The New York Yankees are playing the role of the lovable upstart in the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros after losing the first two games and winning three straight to take the lead. This is still the franchise with 27 World Series titles, but the young core is thriving on the biggest stage for the first time together.
On the National League side, it is finally not the Chicago Cubs battling to end a championship drought. The defending champions trail 3-1 to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who haven't appeared in a World Series since 1988 and are one win away from parlaying their astounding 104-58 record into a Fall Classic berth.
With that in mind, here is a look at the World Series schedule, format and odds, as well as a prediction for the eventual matchup.
World Series Schedule
Game 1: Tuesday, Oct. 24
Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 25
Game 3: Friday, Oct. 27
Game 4: Saturday, Oct. 28
Game 5*: Sunday, Oct. 29
Game 6*: Tuesday, Oct. 31
Game 7*: Wednesday, Nov. 1
Schedule information is per MLB.com. The start times are to be determined, but all games will be televised on Fox.
World Series Format
Unfortunately for the American League representatives, the All-Star Game no longer determines home-field advantage in the World Series.
While the AL won this year's midsummer classic, the Astros or Yankees won't see the benefits of that in the World Series. Instead, the team with the best record will host Games 1 and 2, as well as Games 6 and 7, if necessary.
The rule change comes after the All-Star Game determining home-field advantage ironically worked somewhat in the Cubs favor last year despite the American League winning the game. They were able to play Kyle Schwarber—who was returning from injury and not cleared to play the outfield—four times in the designated hitter spot in the AL stadium and ultimately won the series over the Cleveland Indians.
The Dodgers (104-58) would enjoy home-field advantage against either the 101-61 Astros or the 91-71 Yankees. Chicago (92-70) would have it in a potential Cubs-Yankees matchup, while Houston would have home field if it faced its former NL Central rival.
World Series Odds
The most up-to-date World Series odds published on OddsShark on Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET are as follows:
Los Angeles Dodgers: -110 (0.9-1)
Houston Astros: +225 (2.25-1)
New York Yankees: +350 (3.5-1)
Chicago Cubs: +5,000 (50-1)
The prediction here is the Dodgers will face the Yankees in the World Series, and it comes down to their respective pitching.
That's not to say the likes of Justin Verlander, Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks are not formidable for the Astros and Cubs, but Los Angeles and New York simply have the better options at this point in the season.
The Dodgers need one win with a starting trio of Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Yu Darvish. Kershaw is arguably the best pitcher in his generation, Hill silenced the Cubs' bats in his last start by allowing one earned run while striking out eight in five innings and Darvish gave up just one run while striking out seven in 6.1 innings in his first start this series.
All Los Angeles needs is one of those starters to take the lead into the seventh, and the likes of Brandon Morrow and Kenley Jansen will close the series.
The Yankees will turn to Luis Severino in Game 6, but this postseason has been about their bullpen since the AL Wild Card Game victory over the Minnesota Twins. The bullpen combined to get every out but one in that contest, allowing the New York offense to overcome an early 3-0 deficit and advance.
It has been more of the same in this series against the Astros, as the foursome of David Robertson, Chad Green, Tommy Kahnle and Aroldis Chapman have proven too much for opposing hitters.
Kahnle sports a 0.00 ERA in the postseason, Chapman has been his typical shutdown self with just one earned run allowed in eight playoff innings, Green hasn't given up an earned run in four innings against Houston and Robertson has allowed a mere two runs in 11 postseason innings.
The group has been a weapon for manager Joe Girardi to shorten games and will hold onto a lead through the middle and late innings in one of the two potential showdowns in Houston.
Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com