Fan Source Network Staff Roundtable: World Series Predictions

The Nationals swept the Cardinals in four games while the Astros eliminated the Yankees in six. With the NLCS and ALCS complete, here’s a look at who some of our journalists are picking to win the World Series.

World Series: Washington Nationals vs. Houston Astros

Yehuda Schwartz: Astros in six

With Washington squaring off against Houston, this series will be more competitive than many think. Both teams have incredible pitching, and we will see a series dominant with pitching. However, both teams do have toolsy young hitters along with some ageless vets who keep on contributing. Obviously, with Washington being a Wild Card team, they are the underdogs, but not by as much. I have Houston in six with Gerrit Cole not allowing a run in two starts and a relief appearance. For what it’s worth, the Nats will get a pair of great starts from Anibal Sanchez.

Emma Marion: Astros in six

The Nationals have done an outstanding job this postseason, but they’re no match for the Astros. With Gerrit Cole going Game 1, the Astros are looking to start off with a bang. Cole is 3-0 with a 0.40 ERA and 32 strikeouts in a trio of postseason starts. They won the ALCS with style, too, as Jose Altuve hit a two-run, walk-off homer to win Game 6. The Yankees looked to be a very playoff-worthy team, and the Astros seemed to have a clear upper hand in that matchup. The most anticipated matchup of this series will be Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, the two hottest postseason pitchers. These starters are having electric October showings and hopefully that will carry into the Fall Classic.

Andersen Pickard: Nationals in seven

This is an extremely tough series to predict because we haven’t seen these teams play against each other recently and we don’t know how the Nationals’ talent compares to the Astros’ talent. With that said, I can safely predict this series will last seven games. The hardest decision is the one that matters most, though: which will be the only team to end their postseason with a win? It all comes down to the Nationals’ star-studded roster and their asserted dominance throughout the postseason so far. They shut down the Dodgers, who were expected to be National League champions, and they silenced the St. Louis Cardinals, sweeping the four-game set and flirting with multiple no-hit bids. The Astros’ roster is certainly full of talent, but momentum, experience, and even pitching seem to be in Washington’s favor, giving them the (very) slight edge in this one.

Gavin Hayes: Astros in six

The only thing holding the Washington Nationals back from a storybook ending is … one of the best teams baseball has ever seen. With the likes of Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander taking the mound, it’s impossible to bet against the Astros. Coming off of such a long rest, the Nationals should lose the first few. The Astros should win three of the first four before the Nationals take Game 5 to keep the series competitive. However, Juan Soto’s late series clutch performances won’t be enough, as the Astros will take it in six.

Jacob Benge: Astros in seven

Nine years ago, the Houston Astros ended the 2010 season in fourth place in the NL Central with a 76-86 record. The Washington Nationals did not fare much better, playing to a 69-93 last-place finish in the NL East. After switching leagues, top draft picks developing into superstars, spending some cash, and trading for studs, these two teams meet in a remarkable Fall Classic. Gerrit Cole. Max Scherzer. Justin Verlander. Stephen Strasburg. Zack Greinke. Patrick Corbin. Jose Altuve. Anthony Rendon. Alex Bregman. Juan Soto. George Springer. Trea Turner. These dudes can play. Just from the 12 players mentioned above, there are a total of 41 All-Stars, two MVPs, five Cy Young winners, two first overall draft picks, two second overall draft picks, one Rookie of the Year, a three-time batting champion, an All-Star MVP, and a World Series MVP, among many other stellar standouts. Get ready to watch a series full of dominant players playing on the biggest stage of them all. They have dreamed of playing in a setting like this. Some already have played on this stage. What it may come down to, however, are the lesser-talked about players coming up big in big spots. 

B.J. Martin: Nationals in seven

I predicted this as the World Series outcome on Opening Day, and I’m not changing my pick now. In fact, the depth of four excellent post-season starters in Scherzer, Strasburg, Corbin, and Sanchez have only strengthened my faith in the Nationals squad. I would grade the Astros’ lineup and bullpen a bit higher than the Nationals’ but feel the depth and innings in the Nationals’ rotation will give Washington advantage. The addition of Zack Greinke to a rotation already consisting of Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander rotation guided the Astros to their second American League pennant in three years, but the combination of clutch veteran hitters and young superstars with the Nats will again shine in this series. This series has all the makings for an epic Fall Classic and one with many magical game-winning hits.

Ryan Potts: Nationals in seven

I am not going to back away from the pixie dust. In recent years, many teams have broken long-standing curses for their franchises. In the NHL, both the Capitals and Blues have shattered long droughts. In recent MLB history, the Astros, Cubs, White Sox, and Red Sox snapped title droughts. This Nationals team is a team of destiny. Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg have been electric, and they will continue to be electric. The lineup will bash the baseball. The Astros are no push-over, and their trio of Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, and Zack Greinke will pitch well while the likes of Jose Altuve and George Springer will put the Astros in a position to win the series. I expect a Game 7 to rival any game in the history of baseball. This should be a phenomenal series. 

Chris Totaro: Astros in seven

The Nationals have done everything right so far in the postseason, from lights-out pitching to impeccable defense to excellent hitting. But they haven’t faced Justin Verlander or Gerrit Cole yet. Despite struggling in two outings in the postseason, Verlander has been the typical workhorse you’ve come to expect. Gerrit Cole is on a historic run that we haven’t seen in a long time. The Astros’ bats have struggled throughout the playoffs, possibly due to the often discussed “altered baseball,” but this is no excuse given that every other team is using the same ball. The Astros’ lineup will also have its hands full with the filthy rotation of the Nationals, especially Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. These two teams are both playing fantastic baseball at the right time, and this is an extremely even matchup on paper. This could come down to a Scherzer vs. Cole Game 7, which is something every baseball fan would thoroughly enjoy. However, this experienced Astros squad will come up with timely hits when they are needed most and en route to their second World Series in three years.

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