Rogers Centre: Breaking Down the MLB’s Most Intense Place to Play

Baseball fans were treated to a brilliant postseason that featured the Los Angeles Dodgers dethroning the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series and the Houston Astros eliminating the New York Yankees in seven games in the American League Championship Series.

The Astros and Dodgers engaged in a memorable seven-game World Series that saw Houston win the first championship in the team's history.

Dodgers fans supported their team with unabated noise in their wins in Los Angeles, and Astros fans may have been even louder at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

A good argument can be made that either stadium is the toughest place to play in baseball. However, we are not going with the venues that are top of mind.

Instead, we will go north of the border to the Rogers Centre in Toronto as the most intense place to play in Major League Baseball.

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Rogers Centre: Breaking Down the MLB’s Most Intense Place to Play

Baseball fans were treated to a brilliant postseason that featured the Los Angeles Dodgers dethroning the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series and the Houston Astros eliminating the New York Yankees in seven games in the American League Championship Series.

The Astros and Dodgers engaged in a memorable seven-game World Series that saw Houston win the first championship in the team's history.

Dodgers fans supported their team with unabated noise in their wins in Los Angeles, and Astros fans may have been even louder at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

A good argument can be made that either stadium is the toughest place to play in baseball. However, we are not going with the venues that are top of mind.

Instead, we will go north of the border to the Rogers Centre in Toronto as the most intense place to play in Major League Baseball.

Begin Slideshow

MLB MVP 2017: Odds and Predictions for Jose Altuve, Paul Goldschmidt and More

The Houston Astros won their first World Series title a week ago, and while that triumph still reverberates throughout Major League Baseball, the sport's calendar marches on.

The Most Valuable Player Awards will be handed out for both the American and National Leagues on November 16 at 6 p.m. ET. The leagues have three nominees each.

Jose Altuve of the Astros, rookie Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees and Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians are up for the award in the American League. Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins, Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds are the NL candidates.

Nolan Arenado had a brilliant year for the Colorado Rockies but didn't receive a nomination. The third baseman belted 37 home runs, drove in 130 and had a .309 batting average.

Altuve is a huge favorite in the American League. He led all of baseball with a .346 average and hammered 24 home runs and 81 RBI. He also stole 32 bases. The second baseman is listed at 1-9, according to Oddschecker, while the home run-hitting Judge is the next choice at 9-2. Ramirez, who had a brilliant year for the Cleveland Indians, is a distant option at 33-1.

Stanton, who hammered 59 home runs, including 33 in the second half of the year, is the NL favorite at 11-10, per Oddschecker. Goldschmidt and Votto are close behind at 2-1.

In addition to the numbers mentioned above, Altuve had a .410 on-base percentage, a .547 slugging percentage and a .957 OPS.

Altuve refuses to make a claim on the award, and he told the Associated Press (via USA Today) he would support Judge if he had a vote for the award. 

However, Houston manager A.J. Hinch disagreed. "Yet another reason why Jose Altuve is a perfect player," Hinch told the AP during a mid-October interview. "He's humble in his own accomplishments and very complimentary of others. ... I will always back Jose Altuve (but) I think in this regard I've got to tell him he's wrong; Jose Altuve's the MVP."

Judge hit 52 home runs, drove in 114 and hit .284. However, he lacked Altuve's consistency as he went through a long slump in the second half of the season. He also struck out 208 times.

Ramirez hit .318 with 29 home runs and 83 RBI. He also stole 17 bases.

Stanton hit .281 and drove in 132 runs. He had a .376 on-base percentage, .631 slugging percentage and a 1.007 OPS.

Goldschmidt has been the key to the Arizona offense for years, and he hit .297 with 36 home runs and 120 RBI, while Votto had another brilliant offensive season with a .320 batting average, 36 home runs and 100 RBI.

Arizona manager Torey Lovullo has thrown his support behind Goldschmidt. "Nothing against Giancarlo, but I'm biased to one guy," Lovullo said in late September, per Fox Sports. "I think Giancarlo is a fantastic player, and he is a very worthy MVP candidate. But I am a firm believe[r] in Paul Goldschmidt."

        

Predictions

Altuve is a heavy favorite, and he should get his first AL MVP award. He was far more consistent than either of his rivals, despite Judge's late charge.

Goldschmidt has finished second twice in NL MVP voting, and he deserves the honor. The Diamondbacks made the postseason, and the 30-year-old first baseman played a huge role.

While it's hard to find fault with the way Stanton played this year, his team finished 77-85.

Goldschmidt was playing under the pressure of trying to earn a playoff spot, and he produced brilliantly. He deserves to win his first MVP Award.

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World Series 2017: Schedule and Predictions for Astros vs. Dodgers Game 7

Yu Darvish and Lance McCullers Jr. will have the ball to start Game 7 of the 2017 World Series. The question is, which pitcher will have the ball at the end of the the game when baseball's championship is decided?

The Los Angeles Dodgers forced Game 7 with a 3-1 win over the Houston Astros in Game 6. The Astros sent ace Justin Verlander to the mound in an effort to bring home Houston's first World Series title, and he took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning, courtesy of a George Springer home run.

The Dodgers scratched out two runs on an RBI double by Chris Taylor and a sacrifice fly by Corey Seager, and Joc Pederson stretched the advantage to two runs with an opposite-field home run to left in the seventh.

Closer Kenley Jansen, who had struggled in three of his previous appearances in the series, pitched the eighth and ninth innings and registered the save by retiring all six batters he faced. He closed out the game by striking out pinch hitter Carlos Beltran.

Darvish has pitched well throughout the postseason, but he struggled when he started Game 3 at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Manager Dave Roberts lifted Darvish after 1.2 innings, during which he gave up six hits and four earned runs.

That appearance is not likely to have any carry-over impact. Darvish is an accomplished pitcher who can put a poor outing behind him. It may allow him to have even better stuff than usual since his outing was so short.

McCullers was credited with the victory in Game 3, as he drew the start opposite Darvish in Game 3. While he had a better outing than the Dodgers pitcher, he still gave up three runs in 5.1 innings.

Roberts has followed a steady plan throughout the postseason. He has not hesitated to go to his bullpen after his starter has given the team four, five or six innings. While that strategy worked out well in the first two rounds of the playoffs, it has been a struggle for the Dodgers in the World Series.

Houston manager A.J. Hinch has also not been hesitant to go to his bullpen, but the Dodgers have had success against the Houston relievers.

In a series that has seen big hits on both sides, it would seem Jose Altuve would lead the way for the Astros while Justin Turner will do the same for the Dodgers. Both have risen to the occasion consistently in all three rounds of the postseason.

Houston has also gotten plenty of production from Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel and Springer. Taylor, Cody Bellinger, Seager and Pederson have supported Turner's clutch hitting for the Dodgers.

The Dodgers are minus-130 favorites (wager $130 to win $100), while the Astros are plus-120 (wager $100 to win $120) underdogs, according to OddsShark.

               

Prediction

All hands will be on deck for both teams in the seventh and decisive game of the World Series. That includes Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers, while Dallas Keuchel should be available for the Astros.

After pitching six innings on Tuesday, it doesn't seem likely that Verlander will get into the game, but if Hinch needs one key out late in the game, it maybe possible to see the Houston ace one more time.

Both teams have been able to win on the opponent's home field, but the Dodgers will benefit from playing at home.

That may not be enough. The Astros have had the best offense in baseball throughout the year, and this game should bring out their best effort. Look for a classic Game 7 that comes down to the final innings.

This World Series will rank among the best ever played, and the Astros will find a way to scratch out the winning run.

Look for Houston to celebrate on Los Angeles' home field.

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World Series 2017 Schedule: Astros vs. Dodgers Game 6 TV Info and Predictions

If the Houston Astros have their way Tuesday night, the 2017 World Series will come to a conclusion with ace pitcher Justin Verlander on the mound. 

The Astros take a 3-2 series lead into their 8:20 p.m. game at Dodger Stadium, and if Verlander can continue to pitch the way he has to this point, the Astros should have an excellent chance of wrapping up their first World Series title.

The Los Angeles Dodgers lost a painful 13-12 decision in 10 innings Sunday night, but don't expect the home team to give in at any point. 

While Verlander has been a dominant pitcher since the Astros acquired him from the Detroit Tigers late in the season, Rich Hill has been good for the Dodgers. A repeat of Sunday's action-filled, five-hour-and-17-minute marathon seems quite unlikely, even though the bullpens for both teams have run out of gas after strong showings earlier in the playoffs.

Verlander will probably have a chance to take the game for as long as he continues to be effective. He threw a complete game in the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees, and he has gone at least six innings in all of his other postseason starts.

Hill has not gone more than five innings in any of his starts since the end of the regular season.

When it comes to relief pitching, the day off between the fifth and sixth games should help both staffs. However, don't expect Houston manager A.J. Hinch to go to former closer Ken Giles at any point.

Giles has pitched 7.2 innings in the postseason and he has an 11.74 earned-run average and a 2.22 WHIP. In addition to his firestorm numbers, Giles appears to lack confidence as a result of the problems he has had.

Hinch went to Joe Musgrove to pitch the 10th inning Sunday night, and while he gave up a hit, he did not allow a run. That one inning of scoreless relief set the stage for Alex Bregman's game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the inning.

The Astros will look to second baseman Jose Altuve for continued hitting and leadership. Altuve is hitting .344 with seven homers and 13 RBI in the postseason, and he has a 1.120 OPS.

"He's the best player alive right now," Carlos Correa said, per Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. "And when he steps in the batter's box, great things are going to happen."

Justin Turner fulfills the leadership role for the Dodgers, and he is hitting .294 with four homers and 14 RBI in the postseason with a .979 OPS.

The Dodgers are -115 favorites (bet $115 to win $100) for Game 6, while the Astros are +105 (bet $100 to win $105) underdogs.

Prediction

The Astros can smell and taste the World Series championship. They have won three of four games since losing the opener, and they have their best pitcher going in Game 6.

However, as good as Verlander has been in the postseason, the Dodgers are playing at home and won't be intimidated. They are desperate to send this series to seven games, and they are going to fight and claw to scratch out two or three runs against Verlander.

If the Dodgers can avoid costly fielding errors and base-running mistakes, they will find a way to extend the series to seven games. Look for Los Angeles to win Game 6 at Dodger Stadium in front of their delirious home fans.

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World Series 2017: Astros vs. Dodgers Game 6 TV Schedule, Prediction

The Houston Astros have gained two of their three World Series wins in memorable fashion. Their 7-6 victory in Game 2 at Dodger Stadium was immediately labeled as one of the top Fall Classic games, and their remarkable 13-12 victory in Game 5 topped that one for clutch hits and drama.

But they don't crown World Series champions based on the number of exciting victories. The Astros will have to win one more game in order to get their fourth victory in the 2017 World Series and the first championship in team history

The Los Angeles Dodgers are not about to give them anything. They trail 3-2 in the World Series, but they are going home. It would be foolish to think that the Dodgers would give in at this point, knowing that two victories at home in Games 6 and 7 would give them their first championship since 1988.

The Dodgers are facing a tough task as they will have to get the best of Justin Verlander if they are going to survive Tuesday night's encounter, which will start at 8:20 p.m. and will be televised by Fox.

Verlander has a 4-0 record in the postseason, along with a 2.05 earned-run average and a 0.88 WHIP while striking out 29 hitters in 30.2 innings.

More than his numbers, Verlander has been a tower of strength for the Astros every time he has taken the mound. He has impressed with his power pitches as well as his command, and his desire to play for a World Series winner has been palpable. 

The presence of Verlander on the mound gives the Astros the confidence that they can find additional success in the potential clinching game, even if it is on the road.

"It's not an easy place to play, but we're giving the ball to Justin Verlander, and that's going to be awesome for us," George Springer said of playing in Dodger Stadium, per Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com.

Rich Hill will take the mound for the Dodgers, and he has also been effective in the postseason. He does not have a decision to his credit, but he does have a 2.77 ERA along with a 1.23 WHIP and 19 strikeouts in 13.0 innings.

Hill has a tough assignment in holding down the Houston lineup that includes Jose Altuve (seven HR, 13 RBI), Carlos Correa (five HR, 14 RBI), Yuli Gurriel (.328 batting average, eight RBI), Alex Bregman (four HR, 10 RBI) and Springer (four HR, six RBI, 10 runs scored).

The Dodgers are going to rely on Justin Turner (four HR, 14 RBI), Yasiel Puig (three HR, 10 RBI), Chris Taylor (12 runs scored, three HR), Cody Bellinger (three HR, nine RBI) and Corey Seager (seven runs scored, five RBI) for the bulk of their offense.

The odds have been shifting with some frequency for Game 6. The Dodgers were listed as favorites shortly after the conclusion of Game 5, but the Astros were shifted to the role of favorites Monday. The Dodgers are once again listed as favorites by OddsShark.

Los Angeles is -115 to win the game (wager $115 to win $100)  and force a seventh game, while the Astros are +105 underdogs (wager $100 to win $105).

 

Prediction

Verlander has been a monster since coming to the Astros, and he has been particularly sharp in the postseason.

Playing the role of the No. 1 starter for the American League champions in the most important games of the season has to be gratifying for Verlander, but that's not enough. He clearly wants to finish the job and bring the Astros the title.

However, the Dodgers have been a special team all season and they have shown that they won't be easily discouraged. 

Look for Turner, Bellinger and Seager to get the key hits as the Dodgers earn a tight Game 6 victory and force a seventh and decisive game.

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World Series 2017: Astros vs. Dodgers Pitching Outlook and Predictions

The Houston Astros are preparing for Game 6 Tuesday night and a chance to win the first World Series championship in their 56-year history.

Meanwhile, after losing 4-0 and 7-4 leads in Game 5, the Los Angeles Dodgers go home with the task of having to win Games 6 and 7 to earn their first title since 1988.

The Astros will have to accomplish their goal at Dodger Stadium, and while winning on the road will not be easy, they come in off the high of their 13-12, 10-inning victory in Game 5. The Astros' power bats keyed the triumph as Yuli Gurriel, Jose Altuve, George Springer, Carlos Correa and Brian McCann all hit home runs and Alex Bregman won the game with a two-out single in the bottom of the 10th.

Cody Bellinger and Yasiel Puig hit home runs for the Dodgers, but the Dodgers' bullpen could not hold down Houston's offense.

The Astros will send Justin Verlander to the mound Tuesday night for the crucial game, while Rich Hill will pitch for the Dodgers.

Verlander is the pitching story of the postseason with a 4-0 record, a 2.05 earned-run average, a 0.88 WHIP and 29 strikeouts in 30.2 innings.

Hill has also been effective for the Dodgers, even if he does not have a decision to his credit at this point in the postseason. He has a 2.77 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP and 19 strikeouts in 13.0 innings of work.

After their come-from-behind victory in Game 5, the Astros come into the potentially decisive game with a sense of confidence, as evidenced by Springer's remarks to Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com.

"It's not an easy place to play," about the Dodgers' home venue, "but we're giving the ball to Justin Verlander, and that's going to be awesome for us."

Puig's two-run homer in the ninth inning pulled his team within one run of the Astros, and they eventually tied it up on Chris Taylor's two-out RBI single. Puig knows his team has a tough assignment in Game 6 with the hard-throwing Verlander on the mound, but he is pledging that the Dodgers will find a way to survive that game.

"This is not going to be finished Tuesday," Puig said. "There's going to be a Game 7. ... Everybody is going to be ready for Verlander [on] Tuesday night. The best pitcher they have."

Since both Verlander and Hill have pitched well in the postseason, there appears to be a very good chance this game won't turn into the scoring fest that took place Sunday night. However, once either team gets into the other's bullpen, it appears no script can be approved without being sent to rewrite.

There's a sneaking suspicion Houston manager A.J. Hinch will let Verlander go as far as he can because he has been so effective. Verlander pitched a complete game against the New York Yankees in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series, and he has not pitched fewer than 6.0 innings in any of his other postseason starts this year.

It doesn't seem likely Roberts could follow a similar script with Hill, since he has not pitched more than 5.0 innings in any of his postseason starts.

The Dodgers were minus-120 favorites in Game 6 when the oddsmakers came out with the line following the conclusion of Game 5. However, the presence of Verlander has changed the minds of the sports books. OddsShark lists the Astros as minus-112 favorites (wager $112 to win $100) to win Game 6 while the Dodgers are plus-102 underdogs (wager $100 to win $102).

      

Prediction

The Astros are in an excellent position to win their first World Series crown as they have momentum and the postseason's best pitcher in Verlander. 

If the Astros can solve Hill, they are capable of giving Verlander a lead he can take deep into the game. However, the Dodgers have been a championship-level team all season, and they are not going to cower just because Verlander is on the mound. They should find a way to push the Houston ace to the limit.

While it may not seem logical, we don't see the Dodgers losing in six games. This is destined to be a seven-game classic, and the Dodgers will find some way to even the series with a Game 6 victory.

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World Series 2017: Latest Odds, Important Stats for Astros vs. Dodgers

The Houston Astros were clearly reeling in the fourth inning of Game 5 of the World Series. They trailed 4-0 as they came to bat in the bottom of that inning, and Los Angeles Dodgers ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw was simply dealing on the mound.

Considering the Astros had given up five runs in the top of the ninth in Game 4, which allowed Los Angeles to square the series, it appeared Houston was in trouble. It would just be a matter of time before the team would leave the field and head to Dodger Stadium while owning a 3-2 deficit in the World Series.

But the Astros had no such thoughts, as they solved Kershaw for four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning thanks in large part to a three-run homer by Yuli Gurriel. When the Dodgers responded with three more runs in the top of the fifth inning courtesy of a Cody Bellinger three-run shot, Houston went back to work in the bottom of the inning. MVP candidate Jose Altuve belted another three-run bomb, and the teams were tied at 7-7 through five innings.

The Kershaw vs. Dallas Keuchel pitching matchup that could have meant a 2-1 or 3-2 game had turned into a full-on donnybrook.

By the time it was all over, both teams' pitching staffs were bloodied and beaten. The Astros emerged with a 13-12 victory when Alex Bregman singled home Derek Fisher in the bottom of the 10th inning off closer Kenley Jansen.

In addition to the blasts by Gurriel and Altuve, Houston also received homers from George Springer, Carlos Correa and Brian McCann. Yasiel Puig joined Bellinger as a Los Angeles home run hitter.

"It's hard to put into words all the twists and turns in that game," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said, per Stats AP (h/t CBSSports.com). "These are just two really good teams, just throwing haymakers at each other, trying to outlast each other."

The Astros are one win away from capturing their first World Series title, and they will send Justin Verlander to the mound against Rich Hill Tuesday night at 8:20 p.m. ET. The game will be televised by Fox.

Verlander has been the pitching story of the postseason for the Astros. He has a 4-0 record with a 2.05 earned-run average along with 29 strikeouts in 30.2 inning. Opponents are hitting .183 off of him, and he has a 0.88 WHIP.

Hill does not have a decision in the postseason, but he has been quite effective with a 2.77 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 13.0 innings. Opponents are hitting .196 against him, and he has a 1.23 WHIP.

The Dodgers are favored in Game 6 at minus-120 (wager $120 to win $100), according to OddsShark, while the Astros are plus-110 underdogs (wager $100 to win $110).

Even though the Astros are not on the right side of the odds in Game 6, they are considered the likely winners of the World Series. With the first five games in the books, the Astros are minus-275 favorites to earn the championship, while the Dodgers are plus-225 underdogs.

If Los Angeles is going to survive Game 6 and send the Fall Classic to a decisive seventh game, it will have to find a way to contain Houston's explosive bats. The Astros have home run power up and down the lineup, and their key hitters include Altuve and Correa.

Altuve is hitting .344 with a .417 OBP, seven home runs and 13 RBI. Correa endured a fairly significant slump in the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees, but he is hitting .308 in the postseason with five home runs and 14 RBI.

The Astros have also received key offensive production from Bregman (four HRs, 10 runs scored and 10 RBI), Springer (four HRs, 10 runs scored, six RBI) and Gurriel (.328 batting average, two homers, eight RBI).

The Dodgers have also been hitting the ball well, as evidenced by the five-run rally in the ninth inning of Game 4 and the 12 runs they put on the board in Game 5.

Justin Turner is their most dominant postseason hitter with a .294 batting average, a .410 on-base percentage, four homers and 14 RBI. Bellinger has three home runs and nine RBI, Puig is hitting .300 with three homers and 10 RBI and Chris Taylor has three homers, 12 runs scored and six RBI.

The 2017 World Series has provided drama and fireworks through five games, and there's no reason to think anything will change when it heads back to Los Angeles.

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World Series 2017: Odds and Prop Bets Info for Dodgers vs. Astros Game 5

The Los Angeles Dodgers were not about to go quietly in Game 4 of the World Series, and they have a chance to regain an edge in the Fall Classic Sunday as they send their ace to the mound in Game 5.

Clayton Kershaw, who has a 3-0 record in the postseason and a 2.96 earned-run average, will try to gain his second win of the World Series from 8 p.m. ET at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Kershaw will find himself in a Game 1 rematch with Houston Astros starter Dallas Keuchel, who is 2-2 with a 3.00 since the regular season came to an end.

The Dodgers looked like they might lose their third straight game in the World Series when George Springer homered in the bottom of the sixth inning off of Alex Wood to give the Astros a 1-0 lead in the game. However, Los Angeles scratched out a run to tie the game in the top of the seventh inning and then ripped Houston closer Ken Giles in the top of the ninth and went on to score five runs.

L.A. pulled even in the series with a 6-2 victory.

Kershaw's presence on the mound has earned the Dodgers favorite status for Game 5. Even though the Astros are 7-1 at home in the postseason, the Dodgers are minus-146 favorites (wager $146 to win $100) Sunday, according to OddsShark. The Astros are plus-136 underdogs (wager $100 to win $136) to take a 3-2 edge in the series when it heads back to Los Angeles for Tuesday's sixth game.

Kershaw is considered to be among the best pitchers in baseball, but he has had issues in the postseason prior to this year. His overpowering fastball and knee-buckling breaking pitches were too much for the Astros to handle in Game 1, and solving him in Game 5 will be a major challenge for the home team.

While Houston hit the ball hard in the late innings of their Game 2 victory and in Game 3, they only managed two hits in Game 4. Now they have to get back on track against Kershaw.

The Dodgers are feeling the anxiety of the moment, as they have played all season with winning the World Series in the back of their minds. Now it is front and center.

"We've been talking about it all year, winning [this] series," said Corey Seager, per Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. "We had to win the best of seven. Then it turned into a best of five, and now it's the best of three."

The Dodgers were relieved to see a bit of an offensive turnaround from Cody Bellinger in Game 4. After striking out four times in Game 3, he smacked a pair of doubles Saturday night, including one in the ninth that drove in the go-ahead run. Joc Pederson put the game away for Los Angeles with a three-run homer.

        

Prop Bets

While prop betting is far more popular in football than it is in the national pastime, the opportunity exists during the World Series.

Oddschecker provides details of several prop bets, including the total number of runs scored in the first five innings, whether a run will be scored in the first inning or whether the game will go to extra innings.

We are interested the extra-inning prop because of its large payoff. If you believe the game will be decided in nine innings, Oddschecker reports that you have to take odds of at best 1-11 to make such a wager.

However, it you believe the Dodgers and Astros will battle into extra innings, as they did in Game 2, you can get that bet at 13-2.

This will be a tight, low-scoring game that has an excellent chance of going 10 innings or more, and we like the payoff on that wager. Go with the extra-inning prop bet.

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Dodgers vs. Astros: TV Coverage, Start Time for 2017 World Series Game 4

The Los Angeles Dodgers have some significant issues as they prepare for Game 4 of the World Series Saturday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

After asserting themselves with a series-opening win over the Houston Astros, they have dropped the next two games and are in some difficulty.

The Dodgers have to find a way to record a win in Game 4 or 5 if they are going to send the World Series back to Los Angeles, and they are sending left-hander Alex Wood to the mound to get the job done. The Astros, who have rediscovered their collective hitting stroke, will counter with Charlie Morton.

Game 4 is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox.

The Astros would seemingly have an advantage for two key reasons. Houston has won all of its games at home in the postseason, and they are confident that they can win in front of their hungry home fans. The other factor in Houston's favor is a diminished Dodgers pitching staff as a result of Yu Darvish's 1.2-inning outing in the Astros' 5-3 victory in Game 3.

Dave Roberts saw his starter give up four runs and leave the game with runners on second and third when he went to his bullpen. Kenta Maeda led a parade of five relief pitchers that covered the final 6.1 innings and held the Astros to one unearned run.

Much to Roberts' consternation, the Dodgers could not come up with enough offense to catch up in the game, and the frequent trips to the bullpen through the first three games of the series almost certainly means that Wood is going to have to go deep in Game 4 to give the Dodgers a legitimate chance to even the series.

"Alex is going to have to go deep," Roberts said, per Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times. "It's up to Alex to go out there and set the tone. We've just got to go out there and pitch well out of the gate."

Roberts has already gone to the bullpen 15 times in the first three games of the series, and Wood is the only pitcher he has not used to this point. 

Morton and the Astros don't have those kinds of worries at this point. Lance McCullers pitched 5.2 innings in Friday's victory when A.J. Hinch went to his bullpen for the only time. Brad Peacock came through with a sensational effort and pitched the final 3.2 innings without giving up a hit or a run. 

As a result, Hinch should have a rested bullpen if the manager chooses to go that route in this game. 

Wood was 16-3 in the regular season for the Dodgers with a 2.72 earned-run average, and he struck out 151 batters in 152.1 innings. However, Wood has not been effective in the postseason, with an 0-1 record and a 5.79 ERA.

While Wood will most likely try to come after the Astros with a slew of off-speed breaking pitches, Morton is much more of a hard thrower. Morton was 14-7 with a 3.62 ERA during the regular season, and he struck out 163 hitters in 146.2 innings. Morton has not been the same pitcher int he postseason, as confirmed by his 1-1 record and 6.23 ERA.

The Astros are confident that their hitters will continue to gain an edge on Los Angeles pitching. Jose Altuve is hitting .345 in the postseason and has hammered six home runs, while Carlos Correa is hitting .293 with four homers, and star center fielder George Springer has come alive with his bat as well.

Yuli Gurriel has been one of Houston's hitting stars in the postseason, and he opened the scoring in Game 3 with a long home run off of Darvish. However, after celebrating with his teammates on his way back to the dugout, Gurriel pulled his eyelids to narrow them and mouthed "Chinito," which translates to little Chinese boy, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.

Gurriel was scheduled to meet with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred (via MLB on Fox reporter Ken Rosenthal), but it was not known if the commissioner was interested in issuing a suspension.

The Dodgers need their bats to come alive against Morton. They have had clutch hitting from Justin Turner, Chris Young and Cody Bellinger throughout the postseason, but the Houston pitching has quieted the Dodgers attack through the first three game of the World Series.

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Dodgers vs. Astros: TV Coverage, Start Time for 2017 World Series Game 4

The Los Angeles Dodgers have some significant issues as they prepare for Game 4 of the World Series Saturday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

After asserting themselves with a series-opening win over the Houston Astros, they have dropped the next two games and are in some difficulty.

The Dodgers have to find a way to record a win in Game 4 or 5 if they are going to send the World Series back to Los Angeles, and they are sending left-hander Alex Wood to the mound to get the job done. The Astros, who have rediscovered their collective hitting stroke, will counter with Charlie Morton.

Game 4 is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox.

The Astros would seemingly have an advantage for two key reasons. Houston has won all of its games at home in the postseason, and they are confident that they can win in front of their hungry home fans. The other factor in Houston's favor is a diminished Dodgers pitching staff as a result of Yu Darvish's 1.2-inning outing in the Astros' 5-3 victory in Game 3.

Dave Roberts saw his starter give up four runs and leave the game with runners on second and third when he went to his bullpen. Kenta Maeda led a parade of five relief pitchers that covered the final 6.1 innings and held the Astros to one unearned run.

Much to Roberts' consternation, the Dodgers could not come up with enough offense to catch up in the game, and the frequent trips to the bullpen through the first three games of the series almost certainly means that Wood is going to have to go deep in Game 4 to give the Dodgers a legitimate chance to even the series.

"Alex is going to have to go deep," Roberts said, per Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times. "It's up to Alex to go out there and set the tone. We've just got to go out there and pitch well out of the gate."

Roberts has already gone to the bullpen 15 times in the first three games of the series, and Wood is the only pitcher he has not used to this point. 

Morton and the Astros don't have those kinds of worries at this point. Lance McCullers pitched 5.2 innings in Friday's victory when A.J. Hinch went to his bullpen for the only time. Brad Peacock came through with a sensational effort and pitched the final 3.2 innings without giving up a hit or a run. 

As a result, Hinch should have a rested bullpen if the manager chooses to go that route in this game. 

Wood was 16-3 in the regular season for the Dodgers with a 2.72 earned-run average, and he struck out 151 batters in 152.1 innings. However, Wood has not been effective in the postseason, with an 0-1 record and a 5.79 ERA.

While Wood will most likely try to come after the Astros with a slew of off-speed breaking pitches, Morton is much more of a hard thrower. Morton was 14-7 with a 3.62 ERA during the regular season, and he struck out 163 hitters in 146.2 innings. Morton has not been the same pitcher int he postseason, as confirmed by his 1-1 record and 6.23 ERA.

The Astros are confident that their hitters will continue to gain an edge on Los Angeles pitching. Jose Altuve is hitting .345 in the postseason and has hammered six home runs, while Carlos Correa is hitting .293 with four homers, and star center fielder George Springer has come alive with his bat as well.

Yuli Gurriel has been one of Houston's hitting stars in the postseason, and he opened the scoring in Game 3 with a long home run off of Darvish. However, after celebrating with his teammates on his way back to the dugout, Gurriel pulled his eyelids to narrow them and mouthed "Chinito," which translates to little Chinese boy, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.

Gurriel was scheduled to meet with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred (via MLB on Fox reporter Ken Rosenthal), but it was not known if the commissioner was interested in issuing a suspension.

The Dodgers need their bats to come alive against Morton. They have had clutch hitting from Justin Turner, Chris Young and Cody Bellinger throughout the postseason, but the Houston pitching has quieted the Dodgers attack through the first three game of the World Series.

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World Series 2017 Schedule: Dodgers vs. Astros Game 4 TV Info and Predictions

The Houston Astros have been dominant at home throughout the postseason, and they retained that edge in their first game at Minute Maid Park in the World Series.

The Astros came up with a 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 3 and have a 2-1 edge heading into Game 4 Saturday night.

The Astros jumped on Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish for four runs in the second inning to take charge, and the stunned Dodgers were never able to provide a proper answer.

Yuli Gurriel got the Astros started with a leadoff home run in that inning, and the Astros also received RBIs from Marwin Gonzalez on a base hit off the left-field wall, Alex Bregman on a sacrifice fly and Jose Altuve with a double off the left-field wall.

After Gurriel's home run, he made a racist gesture concerning Darvish that was caught by the Fox cameras. He apologized for the gesture after the game, but he is scheduled to meet with Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred prior to Game 4.

Lance McCullers Jr. came through with a solid effort as he gave the Astros 5.1 innings while allowing four hits and three runs. Houston manager A.J. Hinch went to his bullpen and tabbed Brad Peacock to come in and quiet the Dodgers' bats. 

Not only did Peacock shut down the Dodgers and get the last two outs of the sixth inning, he stayed in the game and shut the Dodgers down in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. 

Peacock recorded a 3.2-inning save and did not allow a hit during his outing.

The relief pitcher did not expect to close the game after he was given the ball.

"I never thought about saving the game," Peacock said after the game during an MLB Network interview. "I was just thinking about getting one out at a time and I felt locked in like I've never been locked in before. I trusted my slider and my heater, and I hit my spots."

Here's the remaining schedule for the World Series. (All times ET.)

Houston leads World Series, 2-1.

Saturday, October 28; Game 4: Dodgers at Astros, 8 p.m., Fox

Sunday, October 29; Game 5: Dodgers at Astros, 8 p.m., Fox

Tuesday, October 31; Game 6: Astros at Dodgers, 8 p.m., Fox, if necessary

Wednesday, November 1; Game 7: Astros at Dodgers, 8 p.m., Fox, if necessary

The Dodgers will attempt to square the World Series with left-hander Alex Wood, and the Astros will counter with Charlie Morton. Wood features boasts different breaking balls and will most likely try to attack with offspeed pitches, while Morton is a hard thrower who has been effective throughout the year.

Wood had an excellent season with a 16-3 record, a 2.72 earned-run average and 123 strikeouts in 152.1 innings. However, Wood has not seen much action in the postseason, as he has pitched just 4.2 innings and has an 0-1 record with a 5.79 ERA.

Morton was 14-7 with a 3.62 ERA during the regular season, and he fanned 163 hitters in 146.2 innings. However, he has also had problems in the postseason. He comes into Game 4 of the World Series with a 1-1 record, a 6.23 ERA and he has given up 15 hits in 13.0 innings.

          

Prediction

The Astros faced serious pressure when they dropped Game 1 and were trailing going into the ninth inning of Game 2. They turned things around when Gonzalez hit a game-tying home run off of ace closer Kenley Jansen, and the Astros were able to have success against the Los Angeles bullpen after that.

They came up with a sensational 7-6 win in 11 innings, and they followed that win with a home victory in Game 3.

The pressure is squarely on the Dodgers because they have to face a team that has not lost a home game in the postseason, and victory would put them one win from their first World Series crown.

Neither Wood nor Morton figures to shut down their opponents in Game 4, so this is likely a bullpen game. The Astros have done a good job of doing some damage against the bullpen and they are not about to relinquish their momentum.

Look for the Astros to take the lead in the middle innings and hold it into the late innings. If the Dodgers are going to prevent the Astros from taking a 3-1 lead, they will need clutch hitting from Justin Turner, Corey Seager or slumping Cody Bellinger

The Dodgers won't get those big hits, and the Astros will win Game 4 before their adoring fans at Minute Maid Park.

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World Series 2017 Schedule: Dodgers vs. Astros Game 4 TV Info and Predictions

The Houston Astros have been dominant at home throughout the postseason, and they retained that edge in their first game at Minute Maid Park in the World Series.

The Astros came up with a 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 3 and have a 2-1 edge heading into Game 4 Saturday night.

The Astros jumped on Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish for four runs in the second inning to take charge, and the stunned Dodgers were never able to provide a proper answer.

Yuli Gurriel got the Astros started with a leadoff home run in that inning, and the Astros also received RBIs from Marwin Gonzalez on a base hit off the left-field wall, Alex Bregman on a sacrifice fly and Jose Altuve with a double off the left-field wall.

After Gurriel's home run, he made a racist gesture concerning Darvish that was caught by the Fox cameras. He apologized for the gesture after the game, but he is scheduled to meet with Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred prior to Game 4.

Lance McCullers Jr. came through with a solid effort as he gave the Astros 5.1 innings while allowing four hits and three runs. Houston manager A.J. Hinch went to his bullpen and tabbed Brad Peacock to come in and quiet the Dodgers' bats. 

Not only did Peacock shut down the Dodgers and get the last two outs of the sixth inning, he stayed in the game and shut the Dodgers down in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. 

Peacock recorded a 3.2-inning save and did not allow a hit during his outing.

The relief pitcher did not expect to close the game after he was given the ball.

"I never thought about saving the game," Peacock said after the game during an MLB Network interview. "I was just thinking about getting one out at a time and I felt locked in like I've never been locked in before. I trusted my slider and my heater, and I hit my spots."

Here's the remaining schedule for the World Series. (All times ET.)

Houston leads World Series, 2-1.

Saturday, October 28; Game 4: Dodgers at Astros, 8 p.m., Fox

Sunday, October 29; Game 5: Dodgers at Astros, 8 p.m., Fox

Tuesday, October 31; Game 6: Astros at Dodgers, 8 p.m., Fox, if necessary

Wednesday, November 1; Game 7: Astros at Dodgers, 8 p.m., Fox, if necessary

The Dodgers will attempt to square the World Series with left-hander Alex Wood, and the Astros will counter with Charlie Morton. Wood features boasts different breaking balls and will most likely try to attack with offspeed pitches, while Morton is a hard thrower who has been effective throughout the year.

Wood had an excellent season with a 16-3 record, a 2.72 earned-run average and 123 strikeouts in 152.1 innings. However, Wood has not seen much action in the postseason, as he has pitched just 4.2 innings and has an 0-1 record with a 5.79 ERA.

Morton was 14-7 with a 3.62 ERA during the regular season, and he fanned 163 hitters in 146.2 innings. However, he has also had problems in the postseason. He comes into Game 4 of the World Series with a 1-1 record, a 6.23 ERA and he has given up 15 hits in 13.0 innings.

          

Prediction

The Astros faced serious pressure when they dropped Game 1 and were trailing going into the ninth inning of Game 2. They turned things around when Gonzalez hit a game-tying home run off of ace closer Kenley Jansen, and the Astros were able to have success against the Los Angeles bullpen after that.

They came up with a sensational 7-6 win in 11 innings, and they followed that win with a home victory in Game 3.

The pressure is squarely on the Dodgers because they have to face a team that has not lost a home game in the postseason, and victory would put them one win from their first World Series crown.

Neither Wood nor Morton figures to shut down their opponents in Game 4, so this is likely a bullpen game. The Astros have done a good job of doing some damage against the bullpen and they are not about to relinquish their momentum.

Look for the Astros to take the lead in the middle innings and hold it into the late innings. If the Dodgers are going to prevent the Astros from taking a 3-1 lead, they will need clutch hitting from Justin Turner, Corey Seager or slumping Cody Bellinger

The Dodgers won't get those big hits, and the Astros will win Game 4 before their adoring fans at Minute Maid Park.

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World Series 2017: Dodgers vs. Astros Game 3 Pitching Preview, Predictions

The Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers played one for the ages in Game 2 of the World Series, and now those two teams will pick up from where they left off as the Fall Classic reconvenes in Houston Friday at 8 p.m. ET.

The surge of power in that game led to a World Series record of eight home runs in that gamefour by each teamand the Astros outlasted the Dodgers 7-6 in 11 innings to square the series at 1-1.

Here's the remaining World Series schedule (all times ET):

Friday, October 27; Game 3: Dodgers at Astros, 8 p.m., Fox

Saturday, October 28; Game 4: Dodgers at Astros, 8 p.m., Fox

Sunday, October 29; Game 5: Dodgers at Astros, 8 p.m., Fox

Tuesday, October 31; Game 6: Astros at Dodgers, 8 p.m., Fox, if necessary

Wednesday, November 1; Game 7: Astros at Dodgers, 8 p.m., Fox, if necessary

The Astros have been dominant at Minute Maid Park in the postseason, having rolled over the Boston Red Sox in two American League Division Series games and beating the Yankees in four ALCS games there.

They are a confident team at home and will send Lance McCullers Jr. to the mound against Yu Darvish.

McCullers had a 7-4 record with a 4.25 earned run average while pitching for the best offense in baseball during the regular season, and it's fair to conclude that his performance was good but not great throughout the year. However, McCullers has turned it up by at least a couple of notches in the postseason. He has pitched 13 innings with a 2.08 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP.

Darvish's regular season was split between the Texas Rangers and the Dodgers, and he was 10-12 with a 3.86 ERA. He has been much better in the postseason with a 1.59 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP in 11.1 innings of work. His most impressive number may be his 14-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Darvish said he is not nervous about taking the mound in the World Series. "I'm not thinking too much about the pressure," Darvish said, per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. "If I think about it, I won't be able to pitch calmly, so I try to control my emotions to where I don’t feel pressure."

The Dodgers made it through the first two rounds of the playoffs and the first game of the World Series by depending largely on their powerful bullpen after their starters pitched between four and seven innings.

That game plan worked perfectly until Game 2, when Marwin Gonzalez, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer belted late-inning home runs to touch up the Los Angeles bullpen.

The Dodgers are unlikely to change their philosophy now that the bullpen is no longer pristine. Manager Dave Roberts has not lost confidence in his relievers, and he will likely employ the same strategy in Game 3. If he can get five or six strong innings out of Darvish, expect the Dodgers' relievers to take over.

The Dodgers need Justin Turner, Chris Taylor, Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger to attack McCullers successfully, while the Astros have to come through against Darvish.

Springer may be the key to the attack. After slumping badly against the Yankees and in Game 1 of the World Series, Springer had three hits in Game 2, including the game-winning two-run homer in the top of the 11th. Altuve has been hammering the ball at home, and Correa should be a major force.

        

Prediction

The series shift to Houston should help the Astros, but the Dodgers can blunt that edge by scoring early and putting doubt in the minds of the home team.

If Houston has to play from behind, the assignment becomes much more difficult. However, look for Springer and Altuve to trigger Houston's offense and for McCullers to pitch well enough to give the Astros the lead.

The big question will be if shaky Houston closer Ken Giles can hold on to that advantage in the final inning. Giles should have enough left to hold on to this first game at home.

The Astros win Game 3 and take a 2-1 advantage.

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World Series 2017: Dodgers vs. Astros Game 3 Pitching Preview, Predictions

The Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers played one for the ages in Game 2 of the World Series, and now those two teams will pick up from where they left off as the Fall Classic reconvenes in Houston Friday at 8 p.m. ET.

The surge of power in that game led to a World Series record of eight home runs in that gamefour by each teamand the Astros outlasted the Dodgers 7-6 in 11 innings to square the series at 1-1.

Here's the remaining World Series schedule (all times ET):

Friday, October 27; Game 3: Dodgers at Astros, 8 p.m., Fox

Saturday, October 28; Game 4: Dodgers at Astros, 8 p.m., Fox

Sunday, October 29; Game 5: Dodgers at Astros, 8 p.m., Fox

Tuesday, October 31; Game 6: Astros at Dodgers, 8 p.m., Fox, if necessary

Wednesday, November 1; Game 7: Astros at Dodgers, 8 p.m., Fox, if necessary

The Astros have been dominant at Minute Maid Park in the postseason, having rolled over the Boston Red Sox in two American League Division Series games and beating the Yankees in four ALCS games there.

They are a confident team at home and will send Lance McCullers Jr. to the mound against Yu Darvish.

McCullers had a 7-4 record with a 4.25 earned run average while pitching for the best offense in baseball during the regular season, and it's fair to conclude that his performance was good but not great throughout the year. However, McCullers has turned it up by at least a couple of notches in the postseason. He has pitched 13 innings with a 2.08 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP.

Darvish's regular season was split between the Texas Rangers and the Dodgers, and he was 10-12 with a 3.86 ERA. He has been much better in the postseason with a 1.59 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP in 11.1 innings of work. His most impressive number may be his 14-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Darvish said he is not nervous about taking the mound in the World Series. "I'm not thinking too much about the pressure," Darvish said, per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. "If I think about it, I won't be able to pitch calmly, so I try to control my emotions to where I don’t feel pressure."

The Dodgers made it through the first two rounds of the playoffs and the first game of the World Series by depending largely on their powerful bullpen after their starters pitched between four and seven innings.

That game plan worked perfectly until Game 2, when Marwin Gonzalez, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer belted late-inning home runs to touch up the Los Angeles bullpen.

The Dodgers are unlikely to change their philosophy now that the bullpen is no longer pristine. Manager Dave Roberts has not lost confidence in his relievers, and he will likely employ the same strategy in Game 3. If he can get five or six strong innings out of Darvish, expect the Dodgers' relievers to take over.

The Dodgers need Justin Turner, Chris Taylor, Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger to attack McCullers successfully, while the Astros have to come through against Darvish.

Springer may be the key to the attack. After slumping badly against the Yankees and in Game 1 of the World Series, Springer had three hits in Game 2, including the game-winning two-run homer in the top of the 11th. Altuve has been hammering the ball at home, and Correa should be a major force.

        

Prediction

The series shift to Houston should help the Astros, but the Dodgers can blunt that edge by scoring early and putting doubt in the minds of the home team.

If Houston has to play from behind, the assignment becomes much more difficult. However, look for Springer and Altuve to trigger Houston's offense and for McCullers to pitch well enough to give the Astros the lead.

The big question will be if shaky Houston closer Ken Giles can hold on to that advantage in the final inning. Giles should have enough left to hold on to this first game at home.

The Astros win Game 3 and take a 2-1 advantage.

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World Series 2017 Schedule: Updated TV, Live-Stream Coverage Guide

Every World Series game provides its own storyline and is memorable to some extent. Whether it's top-of-the-line pitching, clutch hitting, a fielding gem, a fielding mistake or a base-running error, there's usually something to remember.

Then there are the classicsthe games that live on for decades because of the excitement of the moment combined with spectacular play.

The Houston Astros came up with such an effort in their 7-6, 11-inning victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the 2017 World Series, a matchup that ranks with some of the greatest games in the history of the Fall Classic.

A World Series-record eight home runs were hit in the game at Dodger Stadium.

The Astros found their power bats late in the game when it appeared they were about to face a 2-0 deficit in the Series. They entered the top of the ninth trailing the Dodgers 3-2, and the home team had ace closer Kenley Jansen on the mound. Marwin Gonzalez shocked the Dodgers and their fans by launching a game-tying homer to lead off the inning.

The Astros appeared to take control of the game when Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa blasted back-to-back homers off Josh Fields in the 10th inning. However, the Dodgers refused to give in as Yasiel Puig homered and Enrique Hernandez singled home Logan Forsythe with the tying run.

Cameron Maybin opened the top of the 11th with a single off of Brandon McCarthy and subsequently stole second, and George Springer followed by attempting to hit the ball to the right side so it would advance Maybin to third. Springer did just thatand then some. He launched the ball over the fence in right center field for a two-run homer.

While Charlie Culberson got the Dodgers to within one run at 7-6 with his two-out, solo homer in the bottom of the inning, reliever Chris Devenski struck out Puig after a nine-pitch battle to end the game.

Both teams knew they had played in a World Series classic. 

"That's an incredible game on so many levels, so many ranges of emotion," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said, per Ken Gurnick and Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. "If you like October baseball, if you like any kind of baseball, that's one of the most incredible games you'll ever be a part of."

"I mean, honestly, it was an exciting baseball game," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "It's two teams that competed for 27 outs. And, yeah, it was an emotional roller coaster. There were some big plays defensively, some big pitches made, obviously some big hits and big homers. And the focus was there. Guys were playing hard on both sides. And unfortunately we came up short."

In addition to Puig and Culberson's home runs, the Dodgers also received earlier home runs from Joc Pederson and Corey Seager.

If the 7-6 final score sounds familiar, it's because that was the final score of the famed sixth game of the 1975 World Series won by the Boston Red Sox over the Cincinnati Reds. Carlton Fisk won that game when he hit one of the most famous home runs in Series history, blasting the ball off the left field foul pole off Cincinnati reliever Pat Darcy.

The game also compared to the sixth game of the 1991 World Series between the Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves. Kirby Puckett won that game  with an 11th-inning home run that gave Minnesota a 4-3 victory.

David Freese won the sixth game of the 2011 World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals when he launched an 11th-inning long ball to break the hearts of the Texas Rangers by handing them a 10-9 defeat.

The only diminishing factor to this year's classic is that the three games just mentioned were elimination games, while this was just the second game of the series.

The series will resume in Houston Friday night at 8 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox. The game can be live-streamed on MLB.TV.

Yu Darvish will take the mound for the Dodgers, while Lance McCullers Jr. will take the mound for the Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

      

Here's the remaining World Series schedule:

(Series tied, 1-1)

Friday, October 27, Game 3
Dodgers at Astros, 8 p.m., Fox

Saturday, October 28, Game 4
Dodgers at Astros, 8 p.m., Fox

Sunday, October 29, Game 5
Dodgers at Astros, 8 p.m., Fox

Tuesday, October 31, Game 6
Astros at Dodgers, 8 p.m., Fox, if necessary

Wednesday, November 1, Game 7
Astros at Dodgers, 8 p.m., Fox, if necessary

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World Series 2017: Odds, Prop Bets, Prediction from Astros vs. Dodgers Game 2

The Los Angeles Dodgers are not about to make life easy for the Houston Astros in the World Series.

The hosts turned up the heat in Game 1 during a 103-degree Tuesday as Clayton Kershaw put on a performance reminiscent of another accomplished Dodgers left-handed pitcher in leading Los Angeles to a 3-1 victory.

Kershaw struck out 11 Houston batter in seven innings, and no Dodger pitcher has struck out that many hitters in a World Series game since Sandy Koufax fanned 15 New York Yankees in Game 1 of the 1963 World Series. The iconic Koufax was sitting in the second row Tuesday night.

Kershaw was backed by home runs from Chris Taylor and Justin Turner, and that was enough to give Los Angeles the victory. Taylor set the tone with a 447-foot blast on the first pitch he saw from Houston starter Dallas Keuchel, and after the Astros tied the score on a home run from Alex Bregman in the fourth inning, Turner blasted a two-run shot in the sixth inning.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was pleased with Kershaw, who gave up just three hits in his outing. "Tonight was one of those nights I think the first time in a while, where we've seen all three of his pitches synced up," Roberts said, per Ken Gurnick and Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. "He just was repeating the delivery, held the velocity. Was throwing the baseball where he needed to, where he wanted to."

The Dodgers will try to gain a 2-0 advantage Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET against the Astros. Los Angeles is sending breaking-ball specialist Rich Hill to the mount face red-hot Justin Verlander in Game 2.

The Astros rate as minus-107 favorites to square the series (a bettor risks $107 to earn a $100 profit), while the Dodgers are minus-103 in the game, according to OddsShark.

Verlander has been something of a godsend for the Astros since being acquired from the Detroit Tigers prior to the Aug. 31 deadline. Verlander was 5-0 in the regular season with the Astros and had a 1.06 earned run average.

He has also been on top of his game in the playoffs, with a 4-0 record (one of those victories as a reliever) and a 1.46 ERA in 24.2 innings.

Verlander explained that his concentration and preparation have helped him perform well. 

"I think the mental focus is just at another level," Verlander said, per Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com. "I think it's something that would be easy to say, 'Why don't you just do that every game?' It's unsustainable throughout the course of the regular season. If you were that mentally focused, you'd just burn out. It's just another level. I don't know how to really explain it."

Hill had a 12-8 record with a 3.32 ERA during the regular season, striking out 166 batters in 135.2 innings. Hill has started two games for the Dodgers in the postseason without a decision and has a 3.00 ERA in nine innings.

        

Prop Bets

OddsChecker offers a prop bet on the number of games that it will take either team to win the best-of-seven series. With a Game 1 victory by the Dodgers in the books, seven of the propositions are still in the running. Here's a look at those scenarios and the odds for each:

  • Los Angeles in four games: 11-2
  • Los Angeles in five games: 7-2
  • Los Angeles in six games: 3-1
  • Los Angeles in seven games: 9-2
  • Houston in five games: 16-1
  • Houston in six games: 8-1
  • Houston in seven games: 7-1

         

Predictions

Verlander has been remarkable since the Astros acquired him, and he has given Houston manager A.J. Hinch even more than he could have expected.

Verlander is pitching as well as he did in his best years with the Tigers, and the Astros need him to come through with another spectacular effort. 

There's no reason to think there will be any letdown in Game 2 as Verlander will turn up the heat on his fastball once again. Look for eight strong innings from this power pitcher and the Astros will find a way to scratch out at least three runs against Hill. They will go back to Houston having squared the series at 1-1.

As far as the prop bet is concerned, the Dodgers victory in Game 1 has put them in the driver's seat. However, we see value with the Astros because their American League affiliation means that they have played in a tougher league and that should account for an edge that the Dodgers can't match over seven games.

The Dodgers are an excellent team and can push it to seven games, but look for the Astros to win in seven games at a price of 7-1.

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World Series 2017: Schedule and Predictions for Astros vs. Dodgers Game 1

The New York Yankees lost the seventh game of the American League Championship Series and won't be in the World Series, and there's palpable disappointment in the Big Apple.

A New York-Los Angeles series would have had a romantic feel, but the World Series that starts Tuesday in Los Angeles between the Dodgers and the Houston Astros may turn out to be a classic.

Both teams won more than 100 games this year, making this the first World Series since the 1970 battle between the Baltimore Orioles and Cincinnati Reds that featured both teams winning 100 or more regular-season games.

The Orioles won that series in five games as Brooks Robinson dominated and won the Series MVP award.

The Dodgers went through a horrific slump in late August and September when they lost 16 of 17 games, but they are clearly in top form as the series gets underway. They swept the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Division Series and beat the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series.

The Astros earned their way into their second World Series by beating the Boston Red Sox in four games and recording an epic seven-game victory over the Yankees in the ALCS.

New York had a 3-2 lead after sweeping the three middle games of the series in the Bronx, but the Astros were undaunted and won Games 6 and 7 at Minute Maid Park.

           

Here's the World Series schedule:

Tuesday, October 24
Astros at Dodgers, 8 p.m., Fox

Wednesday, October 25
Astros at Dodgers, 8 p.m., Fox

Friday, October 27
Dodgers at Astros, 8 p.m., Fox

Saturday, October 28
Dodgers at Astros, 8 p.m., Fox

Sunday, October 29
Dodgers at Astros, 8 p.m., Fox, if necessary

Tuesday, October 31
Astros at Dodgers, 8 p.m., Fox, if necessary

Wednesday, November 1
Astros at Dodgers, 8 p.m., Fox, if necessary

           

The Dodgers will send ace Clayton Kershaw to the mound for Game 1, and he will be opposed by Dallas Keuchel

Kershaw has long been considered one of the best pitchers in the sport, but his postseason record has been somewhat disappointing throughout his career. He has a 6-7 career postseason record with a 4.40 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 106.1 innings.

However, he has been better this year with a 2-0 mark and a 3.63 earned-run average with 0.98 WHIP.

Keuchel is 2-1 in the postseason with 2.60 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. He has a 4-1 career postseason record with a 2.59 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 31.1 career postseason innings.

Both sides have plenty of hitting, although the Astros struggled in the road games in the ALCS. However, when they were playing to stay alive, Houston got the clutch hitting it needed to win and move on.

MVP candidate Jose Altuve may be diminutive in stature at 5'6" and 165 pounds, but he has hammered five postseason home runs and has come up big in key moments.

Unsung Yuli Gurriel is hitting .366 with four doubles and one triple, while shortstop Carlos Correa has three home runs and nine RBI.

The Astros are hoping George Springer can get going after hitting just .233 to this point in the postseason. Josh Reddick has been in a dreadful slump, hitting just .171 in the postseason.

The Dodgers have been led by Justin Turner, who has been a relentless clutch hitter. He is hitting .387 in the postseason with three homers and 12 RBI. Yasiel Puig has been hitting line drives throughout the postseason, and he has a .414 average with 12 hits and six runs scored.

The Dodgers have gotten solid contributions from Enrique Hernandez (three homers in the Game 5 clincher versus Chicago), Cody Bellinger (two homers, four RBI) and Chris Turner (two homers, four RBI).

The Dodgers are also likely to have Corey Seager back in the lineup after he missed the NLCS with a back injury.

"Unless something really unforeseen happens, I don't see how he won't be active for us," manager Dave Roberts said, per Bradford Doolittle of ESPN.com.

            

Prediction

The Astros have had problems on the road in the postseason, winning just one game in Boston and losing four others.

However, when Keuchel takes the mound, the Astros have an edge whether they are playing at home or away. Look for him to be in top form against the Dodgers.

Kershaw and his team have made it to the Fall Classic after years of failure. While his postseason mark is questionable, he appears to be getting better. The World Series would be the perfect time to show off his best stuff.

It will happen but not in the first game. Look for the Astros to scratch out a few runs and win a low-scoring game. 

One loss will hurt the Dodgers, but it won't kill them. This will be a long series.

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World Series 2017 Schedule: Dates, TV Info and More for MLB Championship

The Houston Astros have a couple of days to catch their breath.

Pushed to the limit in the American League Championship Series by the New York Yankees after dropping the three middle games of the series at Yankee Stadium, the Astros came back with a hard edge and won the pennant with victories in Games 6 and 7.

The Astros earned their way into their second World Series, and their first as an American League team. They represented the National League in 2005, and that appearance ended badly as they were swept in four games by the Chicago White Sox.

The Astros will be facing a formidable opponent in the Los Angeles Dodgers. After a late-season slump that saw the Dodgers lose 16 of 17 games, the team has righted itself.

The Dodgers swept the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Division Series and then beat the World Series champion Chicago Cubs in five games.

The Dodgers are gunning for their first World Series victory since the Orel Hershiser-led 1988 team beat the Oakland A's. The Dodgers have great depth with their pitching—starters and relievers—and they have been getting clutch hitting up and down the lineup.

            

Here's the World Series schedule:

Tuesday, October 24
Astros at Dodgers, 8 p.m., Fox

Wednesday, October 25
Astros at Dodgers, 8 p.m., Fox

Friday, October 27
Dodgers at Astros, 8 p.m., Fox

Saturday, October 28
Dodgers at Astros, 8 p.m., Fox

Sunday, October 29
Dodgers at Astros, 8 p.m., Fox, if necessary

Tuesday, October 31
Astros at Dodgers, 8 p.m., Fox, if necessary

Wednesday, November 1
Astros at Dodgers, 8 p.m., Fox, if necessary

             

The first game of a best-of-seven series in any sport is vital, but Game 1 of this year's World Series may have even more value than usual. That's because the Astros are sending staff bellcow Dallas Keuchel to face Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw.

Keuchel was 14-5 with a 2.90 earned-run average during the regular season, while Kershaw was 18-4 with a 2.31 ERA.

Keuchel is 2-1 with a 2.60 ERA in the postseason, and he has struck out 25 batters while walking just five in his playoff outings. 

Kershaw has regularly struggled throughout his career in the postseason, but he has done somewhat better this year with a 2-0 record and a 3.63 ERA along with 16 strikeouts and five walks.

The Dodgers have had timely hitting throughout the postseason, and third baseman Justin Turner has been the most productive of their hitters with a .387 average, three home runs and 12 RBI. Yasiel Puig is hitting .414 with 12 hits, six runs scored and six RBI, while Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger have two home runs and four RBI each.

The Dodgers are also hoping to have shortstop Corey Seager back in the lineup after missing the NLCS with back issues.

The Astros are led by MVP candidate Jose Altuve, who is hitting .400 in the postseason with five home runs and eight runs batted in. Veteran first baseman Yuli Gurriel is hitting .366 with 15 hits, including four doubles and a triple.

Carlos Correa is hitting .295 with three homers and nine RBI, and he is expected to take on a key role in the World Series.

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World Series 2017 Schedule: TV, Live-Stream Coverage for Fall Classic

As the Los Angeles Dodgers bide their time at home, the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros will battle it out in a seventh game of the American League Championship Series Saturday night at Minute Maid Park.

The home field has been kind to both teams to this point, so that means the Astros should have something of an advantage in Game 7. The Yankees will try to counter that edge with veteran pitcher CC Sabathia getting the starting assignment. Charlie Morton will take the mound for the Astros.

The seventh game is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET and will be televised by FS1. 

The winner will go to Los Angeles for Game 1 of the World Series Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET. The Dodgers won the NLCS, defeating the Chicago Cubs in five games. Dave Roberts' team earned the title Thursday night, and the manager will have a chance to set his pitching rotation and his lineup as the American Leaguers battle it out.

The World Series will be televised by Fox and will be live-streamed at MLB.TV.

Here's a look at the schedule for the Fall Classic:

Tuesday, October 24

Game 1, New York/Houston at Los Angeles, Time TBD, Fox

Wednesday, October 25

Game 2, New York/Houston at Los Angeles, Time TBD, Fox

Friday, October 27

Game 3, Los Angeles at New York/Houston, Time TBD, Fox

Saturday, October 28

Game 4, Los Angeles at New York/Houston, Time TBD, Fox

Sunday, October 29

Game 5, Los Angeles at New York/Houston, Time TBD, Fox, if necessary

Tuesday, October 31

Game 6, New York/Houston at Los Angeles, Time TBD, Fox, if necessary

Wednesday, November 1

Game 7, New York/Houston at Los Angeles, Time TBD, Fox, if necessary

The Dodgers have had a memorable season, and they are surging at the most critical time of the year. 

They were the best team in baseball by a fairly wide margin for three-quarters of the season, and they were on track to win 110 games or more through the middle of August. However, they hit a terrible skid late in the month that carried into the middle of September.

The Dodgers lost 16 of 17 games with the playoffs around the corner, and they did not look like a team that was capable of winning a series against a mediocre opponent, let alone beating other championship contenders.

They came out of their slump in the final 10 games of the regular season, but they appeared to be on shaky ground as they prepared to play the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Division Series. They had been swept in two three-game series by Arizona during their losing skein, and the power bats of Paul Goldschmidt and J.D. Martinez loomed large.

However, Roberts and his team had no concerns, and they eliminated the wild-card winners in three straight games. The 2016 World Series champion Cubs were unable to come up with any solutions either.

The Dodgers rolled to an 11-1 triumph in the fifth game and celebrated the National League title at Wrigley Field. Enrique Hernandez, one of the Dodgers' role players, shocked observers with a three-HR performance that included a grand slam in the clinching game.

The Dodgers have been getting clutch hitting throughout the postseason from a number of key performers. Third baseman Justin Turner is hitting .387 with three home runs and 12 RBI, while right fielder Yasiel Puig is hitting .414 with a home run, six RBI and six runs scored.

"This is one of the most unbelievable teams I've ever been part of," said Justin Turner, per Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times. "Every night, it's somebody different, something special. You never know what you're going to see, maybe even somebody hit three home runs in a series-clinching game."

Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor both have hit two home runs and driven in four runs, while Logan Forsythe is hitting .316 with six runs scored.

Starting pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish both have 2-0 records, as does reliever Kenta Maeda. Kershaw has had postseason struggles throughout his career, and while he hasn't been lights out in the postseason, he has a 3.63 earned-run average along with 16 strikeouts in 17.1 innings. Darvish has a 1.59 ERA and an impressive 14 strikeouts in 11.1 innings of postseason work.

If the Yankees survive the seventh game, they will depend on their power bats against the Dodgers. Aaron Judge has hit four postseason home runs to lead the team after belting 52 during the regulars season. Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorius and Greg Bird have each hit three home runs in the playoffs for the Yankees.

The Astros are led by American League MVP candidate Jose Altuve, who is hitting .405 in the postseason with four home runs and seven RBI. First baseman Yuli Gurriel is hitting .378 with 14 hits in the postseason, while Carlos Correa has three home runs and nine RBI.

While the winner of Saturday's ALCS will have to leave everything on the field to earn the title, that team will be aided by two full days of rest prior to Game 1 of the World Series.

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