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World Series Pre-Gamin’: Braves at Astros (7:09 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

Chicago Cubs

Tonight, the 117th MLB World Series will kick off in Houston, with the Astros hosting the Braves in what is evidently one of the closest on-paper matchups in World Series history!

As you’ll recall, the Astros just won the World Series back in 2017, of course they spoiled their reputation (and the joy of that win) by banging on trash cans and stealing signs illegally. Tonight and throughout this series, they’ll look to exorcise those demons and prove they can win without cheating (not that I think anyone will care or forgive them if they do).

Fighting against the Astros (and, thus, for my personal rooting interests) are the Atlanta Braves. The Braves haven’t been in the World Series since 1999 and haven’t won since 1995, though they do have ten NL Pennants to their name since 1901, including five in the 1990s alone. As is typically your greatest hope as the away team, the Braves will look to steal at least one of these first two games in Houston, before bringing it back to Atlanta on Friday.

Go Braves.

Houston Astros vs. Boston Red Sox – ALCS Game 6

The Braves are starting Charlie Morton, 37, tonight, who’s made three starts this October, allowing a combined six earned runs (3.77 ERA) with a 30.6% strikeout rate and 12.9% walk rate. Opposing batters are hitting just .192 off Morton during the postseason, which actually isn’t too far off from his career postseason rate: .218 AVG against  over 15 starts (16 appearances). Dude shows up in October.

The Astros are going with the 27-year-old lefty Framber Valdez, who’s also made three starts this October, albeit with slightly worse results: 4.20 ERA, 21.9 K%, 10.1 BB%. Valdez does have a pretty great overall postseason record, however, at 4-1 with a 2.77 ERA and a more inspiring 25.5% strikeout rate. Despite being a southpaw, himself, Valdez has a tougher time against lefties (.320 wOBA) than righties (.281 wOBA) this season, though the opposite is true for his career. Needless to say, I don’t think there’s too much of a platoon advantage to be had (even though the Braves are starting three lefties and a switch hitter, including former Cubs Joc Pederson in right field).

Another former Cub, Jorge Soler, is leading off for the Braves and a third, Martin Maldonado, is catching for the Astros. So basically, it’s like the Cubs are in the World Series again.

Broadcast Info

First Pitch: 7:09 PM (CT)
TV: FOX
Radio: ESPN 1000

Starting Pitching Matchup

Braves: Charlie Morton (R) – 2021: 3.77 ERA (3.32 FIP)

vs.

Astros: Framber Valdez (L) – 2021: 3.14 ERA (3.78 FIP)

Starting Lineups

Atlanta Braves:

1. Jorge Soler, DH
2. Freddie Freeman, 1B
3. Ozzie Albies, 2B
4. Austin Riley, 3B
5. Eddie Rosario, LF
6. Adam Duvall, CF
7. Travis d’Arnaud, C
8. Joc Pederson, RF
9. Dansby Swanson, SS

Houston Astros:

1. Jose Altuve, 2B
2. Michael Brantley, LF
3. Alex Bregman, 3B
4. Yordan Alvarez, DH
5. Carlos Correa, SS
6. Kyle Tucker, RF
7. Yuli Gurriel, 1B
8. Chad McCormick, CF
9. Martin Maldonado, C



Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami