SSG Baseball 2018 World Series Preview
In its fourth season, SSG Baseball sees its seventh and eighth participants for the Fall Classic title.
In 2015, the Dodgers won a game seven beating the Red Sox to win the series four games to three.
In 2016, the Rockies’ victory over the Angels four games to two kept the trophy in the NL West.
Last season, we saw another NL team win it all when the Nationals beat the Blue Jays four games to one.
This season has seen two teams reach the World Series, in Houston and Philadelphia, who had never seen the playoffs before this season and this can be put down to the two GMs at the helm.
Houston’s GM Danny Williams has been a member of the league since its inception back in 2015 while Philadelphia’s GM Andrew Seitz joined just under 12 months ago in the 2017 off-season.
Houston had never finished above 4th in the highly competitive AL West but with 89 wins this season behind the hitting of Correa, Altuve and Springer, and the arms of Carrasco and Betances, they claimed a wild card place and beat Minnesota in the one game play-off. They then went onto to eliminate the best two teams in the AL, taking just four games to beat the Tigers and five games to the beat the Blue Jays with Eric Hosmer and Carlos Correa named MVPs in the divisional and conference series wins.
Philadelphia had never won more than 78 games in the first three seasons of SSG Baseball but this season they bashed their way to the NL East title behind the bats of Franco (63 home runs), supported by Kemp and Rivers (33 home runs) and when pitching they boast the number one ranked bullpen in the NL and a rotation which is headed by R.J. Hansen (17-4) and Gonzalez (16-7).
Philadelphia, like Houston, had to beat the top teams in the NL to make it to the world series. First off, a three to one series win over divisional rivals and reigning champions Washington, where Franco was named the MVP. Next up 2016 champions Colorado where Philly prevailed four games to two with J.P. Crawford as the MVP.
So, on to a look at game one, played at Citizens Bank Ballpark, the home of the Phillies…
Philadelphia sent ace R.J. Hansen to the mound, Hansen was a FA pick up in the off season. The twenty-seven year old had played in the independent leagues under this season and signed a mammoth $145,200,000 deal over six years to pitch for Philadelphia and he has not disappointed with a 17-4 record in the regular season, along with a 3.01 ERA and striking out 190 batters in 170 innings.
Houston are slated to start lefty Gio Gonzalez (still to be confirmed). Gonzalez went 10-9 in the regular season with a 4.53 ERA, striking out 163 in 171 innings.
Houston were 61-46 in the regular season when playing against a starting righty, Philadelphia 23-17 against a starting lefty.
The bookies in Vegas give Philadelphia the edge to win the Fall Classic, but as everyone knows, anything can happen in Baseball and the wild card entry Houston have upset the odds in the last two rounds.
So why can’t Houston do it again?