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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.

Go deeper

Inequality Index signals October jobs growth for lower-income Americans

Data: Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index; Chart: Axios Visuals

Polling for the Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index suggests that as the Delta variant ebbed over the last month, job security improved for lower-income Americans.

The big picture: As a result of the improving environment, the Inequality Index this month declined to its lowest point since April — reversing a significant spike in September.

White House unveils landmark reports on climate links to security, migration

Photo Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The Biden administration on Thursday released a sweeping set of assessments on climate change's threat to national security and its role in fueling migration.

Why it matters: One of the key products, a formal National Intelligence Estimate on climate change, marks the first time all 18 elements of the U.S. intelligence community have released a consensus report on the topic.

Scoop: Garland defends DOJ's handling of Jan. 6 probe

Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Attorney General Merrick Garland will tell the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday that federal prosecutors "are doing exactly what they are expected to do" in seeking accountability for the "intolerable assault" on the Capitol on Jan. 6, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Allies of former President Trump, including Republican congressmen, have criticized the department's treatment rioters charged with crimes, and sought to recast the insurrection as a righteous protest. Garland's testimony with be his first appearance before the panel.