The voters are predicting dynasty over destiny.
The World Series begins Tuesday evening, pitting the American League-champion Houston Astros against the National League-champion Washington Nationals, and this week’s Seattle Sidelines poll asked readers which team they though would prevail in baseball’s fall classic.
And the voters went overwhelmingly for baseball’s heavies. Here’s how you voted:
POLL: Which team wins the World Series, which begins Tuesday? Full context, including a look at the teams and how they got to this point, here: https://t.co/r9SNBYkjCU
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) October 21, 2019
Add it all up and the Astros received 66 percent of the vote compared to 34 percent for the Nationals. That’s almost a two-to-one ratio in favor of Houston.
I suppose this shouldn’t be a surprising result. Houston finished the regular season with baseball’s best record at 107-55. The Astros have won 100 games in three straight seasons, winning the World Series two years ago. Houston has home-field advantage in the series, and the Astros’ roster seems devoid of weaknesses. Heck, most of the voters in this poll probably think Houston wins all its games, considering the Astros went a ridiculous 18-1 against the Seattle Mariners this season.
But I have to say, in no way would I give two-to-one odds on the Nationals. First off, baseball has shown historically that once the postseason begins the records can be tossed out the window. Since the wild card was added in 1995 the team with the better record is just 91-77 in playoff series, which is a 54.2 percent winning percentage. In those previous 24 years the team with the best record in baseball went on to win the World Series just four times, with two others winning that tied for the best record, so at best a 25-percent clip. Heck, the team with the better record between World Series participants in that span has a losing record, going 10-13 with the teams having equal records once.
And there’s just something about this Washington team that screams destiny. This was the season the Nationals, who have been baseball’s great underachievers in recent years, were supposed to sink back into irrelevancy after Bryce Harper left for Philadelphia, and for a while it seemed that would be the case as Washington started 19-31 before rallying. Then there was the dramatic late-inning comeback win in the wild-card game against the Milwaukee Brewers, the same in the decisive Game 5 of the Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and a dominating sweep in the National League Championship series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
So if you’re laying two-to-one odds on Washington, I’m buying.