2017 World Series Game 7 Preview: Dodgers Or Astros Will End Championship Drought
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

An epic World Series will come to a conclusion on Wednesday night when the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros square off in Game 7 at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers are seeking their first championship in 29 years, while the Astros are going for their first title in franchise history.

At Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers are 33-22 in World Series games all-time, winning 10 of their last 12, dating back to Game 5 of the 1977 Fall Classic. Though, this is the first Game 7 of the World Series that Dodger Stadium has ever hosted.

It’s been a back-and-forth series thus far, so it only makes sense that the championship will be crowned in seven games. “I think it seems fitting [that the series will be decided in seven games],” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

“You’ve got the two best teams in baseball going head to head. Like we’ve talked about from the beginning, these two teams mirror one another. And the compete and fight in both teams is the most important thing I see as similarities.”

Astros manager A.J. Hinch agreed with Roberts that the series was destined to go the distance. “This series has been back and forth. And two incredible teams, trying to get to the finish line,” Hinch said.

“And so now, now obviously it’s good for our sport. Necessarily bad for us, because we wanted to win [Tuesday]. Both teams will be ready to play with about as much energy as you could possibly imagine in Game 7.”

Making his second start of the series is Yu Darvish, who’s coming off one of the worst outings of his career. In Game 3, the right-hander allowed six hits and four runs in just 1.2 innings without recording a strikeout.

Darvish worked on his mechanics, while using a baseball like those in play for the World Series, and is confident he’ll have improved command in Game 7.

Joc Pederson, batting sixth, marveled at the thought of playing in Game 7, but isn’t losing focus. “I don’t think it’s hit me yet,” Pederson explained after the Dodgers’ win Tuesday night.

“But, yeah, I think you dream about that as a kid. I think it’s going to be big for me and I think all of us to just remember it’s still a baseball game. You’ve got to slow it down. Still play the same way that we’ve been playing all year that got us to here and try to limit the distractions.”

Pederson belted his third home run of the World Series in Game 6, becoming just the fourth player in Dodgers history to reach that mark in a single Fall Classic, joining Duke Snider (four in 1952 and 1955), Reggie Smith (three in 1977) and Davey Lopes (three in 1988).

The Astros send Lance McCullers Jr. to the mound for his second appearance in the series. The 24-year-old yielded three earned runs and eight baserunners in 5.1 innings with three strikeouts.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he didn’t feel it necessary to deliver any sort of speech to his team ahead of Game 7, citing their consistent approach throughout the year.

Dodgers lineup:

CF: Chris Taylor
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Cody Bellinger
RF: Yasiel Puig
LF: Joc Pederson
2B: Logan Forsythe
C: Austin Barnes
P: Yu Darvish

Astros lineup:

CF: George Springer
3B: Alex Bregman
2B: Jose Altuve
SS: Carlos Correa
1B: Yulieski Gurriel
C: Brian McCann
LF: Marwin Gonzalez
RF: Josh Reddick
P: Lance McCullers Jr.