The Houston Astros are back in the World Series and according to most offshore sportsbooks are slight favorites at -140; the Braves are +120. Houston won the 2017 World Series, but then it came to light that they were doing all kinds of cheating. Stealing signs is one thing. If a runner on 2nd gets a glimpse of a catcher's sign, and relays it to a batter, I don't really see anything wrong with that, it probably happens more than we think. But these guys had high-tech cameras in the outfield, and then relayed the signs to the dugout, where then a player would bang a trash can loudly if a certain pitch was coming. Not only that, but some guys were wearing electrical devices around their necks and getting signals that way. So, they definitely cheated, and pretty much definitely got away with it. They made it back to the World Series in 2019, but fell short to the Washington Nationals, and here they are yet again in 2021. S0- are they still cheating, and just being more discreet about it, or are they just good enough anyway? I think regardless of what happened, making it to 3 World Series in 5 years shows that they are a great team, and a win against the Braves would help them put that 2017 season behind them. Kind of like Look! We told you so, we would have beat the Dodgers anyway- type of a thing.
But Atlanta is a hot team, just knocking off the defending champion Dodgers in 6 games. Atlanta had only the 5th best record in the NL, and 12th best in all of baseball. To put it in perspective, the Toronto Blue Jays had a better record, and ended up in 4th place in the AL East. But the Braves won the division and knocked out the Dodgers and the heavily favored Brewers 4 in a row after the opening game loss, and here they are. Last year they lost to the same Dodgers, but that was then, and this is now. Houston does have home-field advantage, and for Houston, they play much better at home where they were 51-30. But Atlanta was really good on the road this year, at 46-35, 3 games better than they were at home, so if they can jump out to an early start like they did against LA, then they have a real shot of winning it all this year! Their first time since 1995. Interestingly, 1995 was the first season after the 94-shrike season, and 2021 is the first season after the Covid-shortened season last year!