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World Series 2017: Schedule Details, Format and Predictions

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorOctober 21, 2017

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) throws during the first inning of Game 5 of baseball's National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The Houston Astros and New York Yankees will do battle at Minute Maid Park on Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET to decide the American League representative in this year's MLB World Series.

The winner will face the Los Angeles Dodgers, who cruised through the postseason after winning seven of eight games against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs.

Here's a look ahead at the World Series schedule and format, followed by ALCS and World Series predictions.

       

Schedule

Tuesday, October 24 (Game 1): AL Pennant Winner at Los Angeles

Wednesday, October 25 (Game 2): AL Pennant Winner at Los Angeles

Friday, October 27 (Game 3): Los Angeles at AL Pennant Winner

Saturday, October 28 (Game 4): Los Angeles at AL Pennant Winner

Sunday, October 29 (Game 5): Los Angeles at AL Pennant Winner

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Tuesday, October 31 (Game 6): AL Pennant Winner at Los Angeles

Wednesday, November 1 (Game 7): AL Pennant Winner at Los Angeles

Fox will televise each game, all of which will begin at 8 p.m. ET. An asterisk indicates that the game will be played if necessary.

         

Format

Like the Championship Series, the World Series is best-of-seven, with the first team to win four games taking the crown.

Also like the LCS, the World Series follows a two-three-two system, where the team with home-field advantage hosts the first two and final two matchups (if the latter are necessary).

In previous years, the American League and National League alternated home-field advantage. Then, the winner of the All-Star Game decided which league representative would receive that distinction.

However, the Fall Classic team with the best regular-season record now hosts the extra game. By virtue of finishing with a league-best 104 wins, the Dodgers will receive that advantage this year regardless of whether the Yankees (91 wins) or Astros (101 victories) take Game 7.

One final format note and quirk: The designated hitter can be used in American League parks, but that is not the case for NL fields. Therefore, no DH will be seen in Games 1 and 2, or Games 6 and 7 if the series goes that deep.

       

ALCS Prediction

The pitching matchup for Game 7 of the ALCS is a rematch of Game 3, with the Astros' Charlie Morton and the Yankees' CC Sabathia facing off.

In that contest, the Yankees won 8-1 behind six shutout frames from Sabathia and home runs off the bats of Todd Frazier and Aaron Judge.

Don't expect this contest to be a blowout like last time. First, the Astros should have everyone on their pitching staff available (with perhaps the notable exception of Justin Verlander, who threw seven innings on Friday).

Therefore, if Morton falls into early trouble, we'll likely see starters Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers as opposed to a Houston bullpen that has a 5.70 ERA in the postseason.

That's a big advantage to Houston, in addition to its home-field advantage.

However, the Yankees have one edge as well: They don't have to face flame-thrower Verlander, who has won two games in the ALCS while throwing 16 innings of one-run ball.

Morton is a solid pitcher and much better than what his Game 3 outing (seven earned runs) showed, but the Yankee bats can get to him. Notably, Frazier and Starlin Castro have smacked three home runs apiece off Morton lifetime.

New York also has a fantastic bullpen (third-best in regular-season ERA) and bench that can come in handy during the late innings.

This Game 7 should live up to the hype. It's a toss-up, but give the slightest of edges to the Yankees in a 5-4 victory.

         

World Series Prediction

If the Yankees advance to the Fall Classic, then expect a fantastic series between two teams that hit for power and sport deep pitching staffs.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have a couple advantages. Notably, they have ace Clayton Kershaw, who is a three-time NL Cy Young award winner. Kershaw hasn't looked like his usual dominant self this postseason, but to put it simply, this is Kershaw we are talking about. Like Albert Pujols in the ESPN commercial, sometimes, he is a machine.

He'll toe the slab for Games 1 and likely 5 (if the latter is necessary) and might be available in relief if the series goes to a seventh game.

Furthermore, the Dodgers have the best closer in the game in Kenley Jansen, who has saved 88 games and registered a 1.58 ERA in his past two seasons. He hasn't given up an earned run in his last 12 postseason appearances dating back to the 2016 NLCS. If the Dodgers have a late-inning lead, then they have a massive advantage over any team.

The Yankees' main edge is that they have a raucous home-field advantage at Yankee Stadium, where they have won all six of their 2017 playoff games in addition to 51 regular-season contests. They also have a deeper bench (e.g. speed with Jacoby Ellsbury, power with Matt Holliday, defense with Ronald Torreyes).

However, the Dodgers have an extra game at home, which will be the difference in a classic seven-game series. Look for L.A. to win its first World Series in 29 years.

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