The Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers will meet in the 2017 World Series, which begins Tuesday with Game 1 at Dodger Stadium, in their second all-time postseason meeting. The first came in the 1981 Division Series when Houston was still entrenched as a National League team.
In some sense, the 113th World Series was predetermined a few months ago. The Dodgers paced the Majors this season with a 104-58 record to earn home-field advantage through the Fall Classic, which for the first time since 2002, was not determined by which league won the All-Star Game.
At one point this season, Los Angeles improved to 50 games over .500 and 25 games ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the division standings. They were buoyed by a 43-7 stretch, which was the first such streak since the 1912 New York Giants.
Despite dropping 16 of 17 games, the Dodgers went on to extend their franchise record by claiming a fifth consecutive National League West title.
A wildly successful season afforded them the luxury of awaiting for a victor to emerge from the Wild Card Game. It of course was the upstart the Diamondbacks, who were then swept by the Dodgers.
A second straight trip to the NL Championship Series meant a rematch with the Chicago Cubs. The Dodgers hummed right along, even without Corey Seager, and dispatched of the defending champions in five games. Dominating in every facet along the way.
Men’s Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Majestic Black 2017 World Series Dueling T-Shirt
The NL pennant was the Dodgers’ 22nd in franchise history, which trails the San Francisco Giants (23) for most. The Dodgers are in the World Series for the first time since 1988, and 19th time overall.
Much like the Dodgers, the Astros stormed out to an insurmountable division lead. They were 42-16 through June 5 and went on to win the American League West title by finishing a whopping 21 games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
It was one game better than the Washington Nationals for the largest difference in division standings this season, and the division title was the Astros’ first since 1991. Houston improved to season-high 40 games above .500 with their win on the final day of the regular season.
Despite the impressive year, the Astros’ path to the World Series was hardly smooth sailing. They eliminated the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS in four games, and needed to come from behind at Fenway Park to avoid facing a Game 5 scenario.
They then jumped to a 2-0 lead over the New York Yankees in the ALCS, only to drop the next three games at Yankee Stadium. With their backs up against the wall, the Astros responded with back-to-back wins at Minute Maid Park to reach the franchise’s second World Series.
Houston is the first team to win NL and AL pennants, but they are also one of four active franchises without at least one World Series game victory.
This is only the eighth time in MLB history both league champions finished with at least 100 wins during the regular season, and it’s a first since the Baltimore Orioles (108-54) defeated the Cincinnati Reds (102-60) in the 1970 World Series.
Complete 2017 World Series schedule and start times
Game 1: Tuesday, Oct. 24, @ Dodger Stadium, 5:09 p.m. PT
Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 25, @ Dodger Stadium, 5:09 p.m.
Game 3: Friday, Oct. 27, @ Houston, 5:09 p.m.
Game 4: Saturday, Oct. 28, @ Houston, 5:09 p.m.
Game 5*: Sunday, Oct. 29, @ Houston, 5:16 p.m.
Game 6*: Tuesday, Oct. 31, @ Dodger Stadium, 5:09 p.m.
Game 7*: Wednesday, Nov. 1, @ Dodger Stadium, 5:10 p.m.