The World Series started Tuesday as I filed this column, with the game between the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals in Houston. The Astros disposed of the Yankees in dramatic fashion with a walk-off Jose Altuve home run. The Washington Nationals brought the brooms out and swept the St. Louis Cardinals in a very noncompetitive NLDS. The Houston team went an astounding 107-55, which was major league baseball’s best record.
The Washington Nationals, at one time in late May, were a solid 12 games under .500 and yet are here in the World Series. The Washington team has not won a World Series since 1924. However, that team was called the Washington Senators and played in the American League. I actually saw the Washington Senators play the Detroit Tigers in the 1970s as a kid, believe it or not.
The Houston Astros are seeking a second World Series in three years. I look at the rosters and see Justin Verlander of the Astros in the World Series. I look at the Washington team and see Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer and think, man that is a lot of ex-Tigers!
What does this Fall Classic have in store for baseball fans? The first thing is solid pitching on both teams. How about five of the top ten strikeout pitchers in this World Series? Gerrit Cole and Verlander of the “Stros” and Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer, and Patrick Corbin of the Nationals. The boys in Vegas have installed Houston as a 2-1 favorite to defeat Washington. So I had to ask myself, “how about the fact Bryce Harper left the Nationals to play for Philadelphia?” A great player leaves and yet, they are still in the World Series! How does that make you feel, Bryce? I think that is what makes baseball great, actually.
So who do I like to win the 2019 World Series? I have to go with Houston for a couple of reasons. The one-two punch of Cole and Verlander is a little stronger than Scherzer and Strasburg of Washington. The Houston offense is much stronger than the Nationals and that will make the difference in the series. I will take the Houston team in six games to become baseball’s World Champions. I would not be upset if the Nationals win, though, because I personally like both teams!
Wolverines continue slide
The college football scene had coach Jimmy Harbaugh’s Michigan team drop another game on the road to a top-25 program. The Wolverines loss 28-21 to Penn State and made my 27-21 prediction look pretty good, didn’t it? I loved the fact the Wolverines battled back from a huge deficit, yet in the end, another disappointing loss for the Wolverines. I think the program is tremendous when it plays weak sisters and horrific when playing top-notch upper echelon programs. My, oh my, how Michigan has fallen in college football! The program is so irrelevant it’s sickening. I know the Michigan slappy’s hate hearing it, but it’s the truth. Jim Harbaugh is the most overrated and overpaid coach in college football. I see another loss on the horizon Saturday when Notre Dame comes to Ann Arbor for a night game. The kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. on ABC. Fat guy prediction: The Golden Domers 24 and Underachievers 20.
Penn State over Sparty
The Michigan State Spartans and their anemic offense will play host to the Penn State team. The Spartans, off the bye week, could upset Penn State if the offense can find the end zone. I do not see that happening, however. The prediction: Penn State 20 and Michigan State 10. The kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. The Big Ten game of the week will be Wisconsin (what happened losing to Illinois) heading into Ohio State. The Buckeyes will handle the Badgers by two touchdowns.
I suffered my worst week ever in the NFL, picking games. Ugh! P.S.: The Lions’ season is over; wait until next year!
Washington + 15 over MINNESOTA
DETROIT -6.5 over N.Y. Giants
TENNESSEE – 2.5 over Tampa Bay
CHICAGO – 4 over L.A. Chargers
JACKSONVILLE – 5.5 over New York Jets
Philadelphia + 1.5 over BUFFALO
Cincinnati + 14 over L.A. RAMS
NEW ORLEANS – 7 over Arizona
Oakland + 6 over HOUSTON
Carolina + 5.5 over SAN FRANCISCO
INDIANAPOLIS – 5.5 over Denver
Cleveland +13 over NEW ENGLAND
KANSAS CITY + 5 over Green Bay
Miami + 14.5 over PITTSBURGH
Seattle – 3.5 over ATLANTA
SEASON: 49-55-2; LAST WEEK: 4-11(ouch)
BEST BET: 2-5; BEST BET: CHICAGO