World Series 2013: Biggest Questions That Will Be Answered in Fall Classic
The previous six months have been building up to just seven games.
So far, the 2013 postseason has been a joy to watch, even for the fans whose teams aren't in the playoffs. You've had a good balance of great moments and sterling performances.
But it's the World Series that gets remembered. Nobody judges players on how well they did in the LDS or LCS. If Reggie Jackson hits three home runs in one ALCS game, he's not Mr. October; he's just Reggie Jackson.
Those seven games can weigh more heavily on a player's career than even the best regular seasons. Just ask Alex Rodriguez.
This year's Fall Classic looks like it will become an instant classic.
Here are three burning questions that will only be answered in two weeks' time.
Will National League Continue Its Dominance?
In four of the last five World Series, the National League has come out on top. In addition, only once in those four World Series wins did the series go beyond five games. The lone American League team to prevail in that span is the 2009 New York Yankees. Otherwise, it's been domination from the NL.
One of the factors that could help to explain this run is the loss of the designated hitter when playing in NL parks. American League teams often lose one of the biggest bats in their lineup because there's nowhere to fit him into the defense, or you end up sacrificing your first baseman—generally a talented hitter—for the DH.
Coming into this season, the NL had home-field advantage in the last three World Series. Not coincidentally, they've won the last three World Series.
However, the AL has home-field this season. It's a great chance for whoever wins the ALCS to break that duck.
Will Pitching Again Reign Supreme?
There have been so many games decided by the slimmest of margins in these playoffs. That's thanks to how great some of the starting pitching has been.
The more casual fans probably want to see each team score 10 runs every game. To a certain extent, those can be fun. But if you just want to see home runs, watch the Derby or softball.
Those who appreciate the game are reveling in the performances of Adam Wainwright, Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, Anibal Sanchez, etc. Watching a pitcher dominate an opposing lineup with a variety of pitches is always entertaining if you know how to truly value what your witnessing.
The question is whether this will continue in the World Series. Games become so much more dramatic when one swing of the bat can turn a series on its head.
That leads me into...
Will the Fans Be Treated to a Postseason Classic?
Generally, you want the World Series to provide the most captivating action of the year. The series goes at least six games and is a back-and-forth affair. Neither team gets a major advantage, and just when you think the series has turned in one direction, it takes a complete 180 in the span of a few innings.
That's what we want to see.
Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case at the World Series, with the exception of the 2011 edition. Just two World Series have gone more than five games, with 2009 being the other one.
After such a long season, it's always anticlimactic to see one team roll through the World Series with relative ease. With any luck, the competitiveness we've seen in both league championships will carry over into the Fall Classic.
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