Oct 21, 2019

The World Series will be decided on the mound

Kendall Baker, author of Sports

Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer in 2011 when they were both on the Tigers. Photo: Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The 2019 World Series begins tomorrow night in Houston, with the Astros looking to build on their dynasty while the Nationals attempt to win their first title in franchise history.

The intrigue: After a regular season dominated by juiced baseballs and home runs, this series features historically great starting pitching.

Astros: Houston's 3 aces have a combined 17 All-Star Games, 4 ERA titles, 2 Cy Young Awards (going on 3) and an MVP award between them.

  • Gerrit Cole: 20-5, 2.50 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 326 K, 48 BB, 212.1 IP, 6.8 WAR
  • Justin Verlander: 21-6, 2.58 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 300 K, 42 BB, 223 IP, 7.8 WAR
  • Zack Greinke: 18-5, 2.93 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 187 K, 28 BB, 208.2 IP, 6.4 WAR

Nationals: Washington's 4 aces have a combined 12 All-Star Games, 3 Cy Young Awards and 1 ERA title (Sanchez in 2013) between them.

  • Stephen Strasburg: 18-6, 3.32 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 251 K, 56 BB, 209 IP, 6.5 WAR
  • Max Scherzer: 11-7, 2.92 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 243 K, 33 BB, 172.1 IP, 5.8 WAR
  • Patrick Corbin: 14-7, 3.25 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 238 K, 68 BB, 202 IP, 5.4 WAR
  • Anibal Sanchez: 11-8, 3.85 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 134 K, 58 BB, 166 IP, 3.3 WAR

By the numbers: Add it all up and this group features a combined 29 All-Star Games, 5 Cy Young Awards (going on 6), 5 ERA titles and an MVP award.

  • It also features 2 Hall of Famers (Verlander and Scherzer), with 3 more who look poised to make it eventually (Greinke, Strasburg, Cole).
  • Also, Strasburg and Cole were both No. 1 picks, Verlander went No. 2 overall, Greinke went 6th and Scherzer went 11th.

The bottom line: No matter how you slice it, this group is phenomenal. Buckle up.

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