WORLD SERIES BOUND: Braves drop Dodgers in NLCS, game 1 of WS set for Tuesday

It took both great talent and resilience for the Braves and Astros to reach the 2021 World Series, which begins on Tuesday night with Game 1 at Minute Maid Park

By winning the American League pennant for the third time in five seasons, Houston once again showed off its star power and strength of its system. These are still the Astros of Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel, all of whom are vying for their second ring after winning it all in 2017. But they’ve also relied on breakout stars, such as Kyle Tucker and AL Rookie of the Year candidate Luis Garcia, to help them get back to this point despite the AL Championship Series absence of ace Lance McCullers Jr.

With the venerable Dusty Baker searching for his first World Series title as a manager, the Astros have had to endure boobirds in this first season with fans in the stands after their sign-stealing scandal erupted in late 2019. Another pennant won’t silence the skeptics, though they are quickly running out of ammo.

As for the Braves, their hopes of avenging last year’s heartbreaking National League Championship Series exit took a big hit with Ronald Acuña Jr.’s season-ending right knee injury before the All-Star break.

But rather than throwing in the towel, general manager Alex Anthopoulos added almost every outfielder available at the Trade Deadline — Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall, Joc Pederson and Jorge Soler — to support a lineup anchored by reigning NL MVP Freddie Freeman. Now here the Braves are, having dispatched the mighty 106-win Dodgers in pursuit of their first World Series championship since 1995.

So here’s one last test of talent and resilience for two teams with a lot of both. Game 1. Game on.

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