We are now 36-ish hours from Game 1 of the World Series, presented by Some Corporate Shill. Still having a hard time believing this is actually happening. I spent most of yesterday afternoon with my daughter in my lap watching videos of the final out, videos of the celebration (but not Reddick's speedo, she doesn't need to see that), etc. Friends, I'm here to tell you that yes, this is still real.
*Tim Kurkjian has five questions about the World Series, and predicts the Dodgers win in seven games.
*The Astros talked about facing the Dodgers. Beltran:
They're a good team. There's a lot of similarities when I look at the Dodgers and look at our team. They've got good talent and they seem like they really enjoy themselves, they seem like they have good chemistry in the clubhouse, which is great. It's going to be a good series.
*Sports Illustrated broke down the Astros/Dodgers by position.
*SI's baseball writers offered their predictions, as well. Only one - Ben Reiter, author of the 2014 article predicting a World Series title in the next week - picked the Astros.
*A Las Vegas sports book director had this to say:
The perception is the Dodgers are a lot better than the Astros. But once you start digging into the stats and looking at these two teams, they're very comparable. A lot of people think the Dodgers can walk through this but I think it's going to be closer than they think.
*Dodgers are going Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, Yu Darvish in Games 1-3.
*Richard Justice: An AL Pennant is Luhnow's vision executed. Crane:
It's fun to see the plan work. I give a lot of credit to Jeff Luhnow for putting the plan together and hiring the right guys to execute it.
*Jake Kaplan has a good preview of the World Series.
*Check out Sporting News' three World Series storylines.
*David Barron has a good look at how the fans impacted Game 7.
*It's going to be freaking hot in Los Angeles for Games 1 and 2.
*The Astros and Dodgers look a lot different from when they last met in LA, in 2012.
*Brian T. Smith: The Astros are here because of August 31.
*Washington Post: When the Astros got shaky, three veteran leaders steadied them.
*Buster Olney: Verlander regained his fastball and his confidence.
*Toronto Sun: The Astros dared to be different.
*FanRag's John Perrotto notes that the more-rested team has lost the World Series in each of the past four years. But Dave Roberts ain't worried about that.
*Bill Baer has a really interesting read on the player-unfriendly side of baseball analytics.
*Charlie Morton got teary-eyed watching Brian McCann.
*The Dodgers expect to get Corey Seager back for the World Series.
*Jake Marisnick may be available in the World Series, but only as a pinch-runner/defensive replacement.
*Alex Cora will be the next manager of the Boston Red Sox, signing a three-year deal.