The Houston Astros are the World Series champions after defeating the Dodgers 5-1 on Wednesday evening at Dodger Stadium in LA.
George Springer connected for his fifth home run of the series, and went deep for the fourth consecutive game to wrap up the MVP Award. Charlie Morton secured the victory with four innings of relief, but this was collectively a triumph for the Houston pitching staff with Lance McCullers Jr going the first 2 1-3 innings before handing the ball over to Brad Peacock, Francisco Liriano, Chris Devenski and then Morton.
Interestingly, and this will no doubt be part of the debate for next season, the dominant Astros offense was dormant for much of the post-season.
There is effectively so much more in reserve for this Houston side and the acquisition of Justin Verlander down the stretch cannot be over emphasised. The move, which went against every principal that Houston had followed in rebuilding their organisation from the ground up, ultimately gave the Astros the two stud pitchers they needed at the top of their rotation.
Verlander may not have won Game 6, when the aforementioned offense hibernated once more, but his role down the stretch and in the post-season was crucial. And Houston still have the veteran right-hander for two more years.
World Series hangovers happen, just ask the Chicago Cubs who were fairly miserable for most of the year, and still managed to win the National League East, so no-one is taking next year for granted. But this is a Houston franchise that is young, very talented and still has quality in their farm system.
The Astros are 10001.00 to win the 2018 World Series, while the Cubs can be backed at 10001.00 and the Dodgers at 2.15.
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