the Houston Astros begin their second World Series in three years, after breaking their franchise record of 107 regular-season wins. Their pitchers had the most strikeouts in the major league (1,671), and their hitters recorded the fewest (1,166). Their offense set an Major League Baseball (MLB) record with a .495 slugging percentage, and its .848 OPS tied for 10th all-time, according to the Bleacher Report.
Five hitters carried a .900 or higher OPS: Yordan Alvarez (1.067), Alex Bregman (1.015), George Springer (.974), Carlos Correa (.926) and Jose Altuve (.903).
The Astros turned around their previous losing streak by winning 100 or more games in three consecutive years.
There have been 9 previous #WorldSeries between teams win a 14+-win differential
Only twice has the team with fewer wins won the Series – & once since 1906 (93-win White Sox over 116-win Cubs)!
1954 Giants (97) vs. Indians (111)
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) October 22, 2019
“We just have really special players, [and] not just from a statistical standpoint, but [guys like] Jose Altuve, what a storybook career,” Astros epic pitcher Gerrit Cole said. “Three years of losing 100 games followed by three years of winning 100 games. Alex Bregman being the type of player that he is. Having the greatest Cuban hitter [in a rookie season, Alvarez] on our team, and Nolan Ryan reincarnated…”
Astros are headed back to the World Series! Here’s how it looked from the radio booth. pic.twitter.com/kYX40ngaKN
— Robert Ford (@raford3) October 20, 2019
Cole is 19-0 in 25 starts and has not lost a game since May 22, the Bleacher Report notes. His is the longest winning streak in 107 years, since Rube Marquard started 19-0 for the New York Giants in 1912.
The 1998 Yankees set an American League record with 114 wins, which was topped by the 2001 Seattle Mariners’ 116 wins.
Only five MLB franchises have accomplished the same feat: The Yankees (2002-04), The Braves (1997-99), The Orioles (1969-71), The Cardinals (1942-44) and The Philadelphia Athletics (1929-31).
If the Astros win four more games and win this World Series, they will join The Cardinals and The Athletics as the only teams to win two World Series in the three years.
Two of the best pitchers in the World square off tonight on MLB's biggest stage. It doesn't get any better! pic.twitter.com/1QrmfIOsJC
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 22, 2019
The World Series will feature the teams that are paying the most for their top three pitchers 💰 pic.twitter.com/Rq5dnSJph7
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 21, 2019