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The dust has finally settled and we have our World Series matchup. Flashing the best record in all of baseball this season, the Houston Astros will represent the American League, while it’s the Washington Nationals who earned such honors in the National League to compete for this year’s title.

Both teams rode different journeys to get here. Houston breezed through the regular season before enduring some adversity, and ultimately overcoming it, in their competitive ALDS and ALCS matchups.

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The Nationals, meanwhile, didn’t even pull away with a playoff berth until the last week of September. They then barely managed to survive the Wild Card Game, paving the way for their stiffest challenge, a meeting opposite the club that represented the NL in the last two Fall Classics. After barely emerging from there, Washington virtually faced no resistance in the NLCS to remain standing.

At first glance, you might surmise that we’re in for a World Series to be dictated by starting pitching. After all, each side boasts a pair of legitimate staff aces while also possessing a No. 3 starter that would be a No. 1 on plenty of other clubs.

As a result, look for low over/unders on the horizon as you plot out betting each ballgame. Let’s try to get an early read on if the pitching will indeed hold up.

Game 3 — Zack Greinke vs. Patrick Corbin (Friday): As highlighted, these are the two starters residing in the middle of their respective rotations that would no doubt serve as the leader of the pitching staff with other organizations. But the main point of emphasis here hinges on if each will return to regular form following inconsistent showings their last time out.

Corbin certainly displayed dominance in nabbing the pennant-clinching win against the St. Louis Cardinals, striking out a career-high-tying 12 batters. He was also afforded a seven-run lead after just one inning, though, and would surrender four runs in five frames. That actually lasted longer than Greinke’s last outing, which saw the 16-year veteran yield only one run but he failed to escape the fifth.

With the World Series commencing with a pair of suffocating pitching matchups in Houston, I envision the bats finally coming alive when the teams arrive in our nation’s capital for the ensuing three games. OVER

Game 4 — Brad Peacock vs. Anibal Sanchez (Saturday): Of course, this is subject to change with neither team having decided on their starter for Game 4 and beyond. But how ironic would it be if Peacock draws the Game 4 start at Nationals Park? He made his major league debut there as a member of the Nats — the only other franchise he’s been with — back in 2011.

Peacock got the assignment in the deciding Game 6 of the ALCS, which was obviously a bullpen game. With him and rookie Jose Urquidy leading the way throughout the first half of the contest, Houston’s relief corps did a nice job limiting the New York Yankees to two runs through eight innings before closer Roberto Osuna coughed up the lead. Can they duplicate that?

If there’s someone who wants a repeat performance more than anyone, it’s Sanchez, who made one start this postseason and it was one of the best nights of his life. Remember, the 35-year-old had a no-hitter going in the eighth inning of his NLCS assignment. However, the Cards’ offense had no life all series and the Astros figure to be a much tougher challenge. OVER

Game 5 — Gerrit Cole vs. Max Scherzer (Sunday): Most likely, the two Game 1 starters will collide again in Game 5 (if necessary), this time in an NL environment, which would only seem to favor the pair of dominant hurlers even more.

The opener did not take place yet until after press time but it can be assumed that both aces churned out their usual stellar work. Entering the World Series, Cole was an absurd 19-0 in his previous 25 starts while posting a microscopic 1.58 ERA during that stretch.

Scherzer, meanwhile, is coming off two terrific playoff starts (and one very critical relief appearance) prior to encountering Houston that would have you believe the three-time Cy Young Award winner is in his normal groove. Look for both to keep it up. UNDER

Note: Check my daily over/under column on for an official bet on each game.

Last Week: No selection

Season: 46-38

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