MLB World Series Championship contest is neck-and-neck

 As of Oct. 29, the 117th edition of Major League Baseball’s World Series is officially underway, with two games already completed.

2021’s edition of the Fall Classic witnesses the Atlanta Braves facing the Houston Astros with the series currently tied at 1-1. This World Series is the Astros’ third time playing in the title round within the last five years, making appearances in 2017, 2019 and now 2021.

The Astros began their playoff run by finishing 95-67 during the course of the regular season, clinching a presence in the postseason with their fourth American League West Division title. They went into the playoffs as the No. 2 seed of the American League, lining them up to face the No. 3 seed Chicago White Sox in the first round, the American League Division Series (ALDS). The Astros won the best-of-five series against the White Sox in four games, which sent them to their fifth consecutive American League Championship Series (ALCS) dating back to 2017.

In the ALCS, they faced the Boston Red Sox, who won this year’s American League Wild Card game against the New York Yankees and their ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Astros took game one of the ALCS but went on to lose the next two, giving the Red Sox a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Despite the deficit, Houston went on to win the next three games, win the ALCS 4-2 and move on to the World Series. Yordan Alvarez was named the ALCS MVP, hitting one home run with six runs batted in and a .522 batting average, the highest ever in ALCS play

For the Atlanta Braves, 2021 is their first World Series appearance in 22 years dating back to 1999. In spite of 13 playoff appearances since before the year before the new millennium, the Braves failed to reach the championship round until 2021. They clinched their playoff berth this year with an 88-73 record in the regular season, which won Atlanta their 11th National League (NL) East Division title since 2000. They faced the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS, winning the series 3-1.

The series was highlighted by a game- winning home run in the eighth inning of the decisive game four by Atlanta’s veteran first baseman Freddie Freeman. In the NLCS, the Braves faced the reigning World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers, who defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Wild Card Game and the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS. Atlanta won the NLCS against Los Angeles in six games for a 4-2 series finish, finally ending their 22-year NL pennant drought.

With the Dodgers eliminated from the postseason, the Braves extended the streak of an MLB season ending without a repeat champion, with the last being the New York Yankees when they three-peated in 2000 (1998, 1999, 2000). Mid-season free agent acquisition Eddie Rosario was named the NLCS MVP, who tied the record for most hits in a postseason series with 14 hits in the six games. Game one of the 2021 World Series took place on Oct. 26, with the Astros hosting the Braves at Minute Maid Park. Braves outfielder Jorge Soler made MLB history by becoming the first player to hit a leadoff home run as the very first batter of a World Series game.

Atlanta capitalized on the momentum made by Soler, scoring five runs within the first three innings, two of them coming via a two-run home run by another Braves outfielder, Adam Duvall. The Braves went on to take game one on the road, by a final score of 6-2. Game two took place the very next day, and it was all Houston early on. Going into the bottom of the second tied 1-1, the Astros scored four runs thanks to run-scoring hits by catcher Martin Maldonado and outfielders Jose Siri and Michael Brantley. Second baseman Jose Altuve added on to the Astros’ lead with a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning, putting the score at 7-2 Astros.

The score would not change for the rest of the game and the Astros would tie the series against the Braves at one win apiece. Altuve’s home run was his 22nd in his postseason career, tying him for second all- time with longtime Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams.

All statistics and information were acquired from