Top 10 Reasons the 2017 World Series (Astros/Dodgers) Was Better Than the 2016 World Series (Cubs/Indians)
The 2016 World Series had one epic game (Gm 7) that is considered a classic. But the 2017 World Series had two epic games (Gms 2 & 5) that are considered classics. The 2016 game saw the Cubs dominate the game only for Cleveland to rally back to tie the game before Chicago won in 10 innings. In both game 2 and game 5, both the Astros and Dodgers had momentum shifts in the contests. Game 2 saw LA build a 3-1 lead before Houston tied it in the ninth. After each team scored two runs in the 10th, Houston scored two more in the 11th holding LA to one in the bottom for a 7-6 win. Game 5 was a crazy 13-12 classic which saw LA blow leads of 4-0, 7-4, and 8-7 while Houston blew a 12-9 lead in the ninth inning. Some of the famous World Series that had two or more great games that were considered classics include 1975 (Gm 3, Gm 6), 1991 (3, 6, 7), 2001 (4, 5, 7)
The 2016 World Series on paper appeared to be a mismatch as the Cubs (103-58) were heavily favored over the Indians (94-67) and some predicted the series to end in 5. Meanwhile, 2017 saw the Astros (101-61) and the Dodgers (104-58) win over 100 games marking the first time since 1970 that the Fall Classic pitted two teams with 100 or more wins. On paper, the Cubs-Indians series was expected to be a mismatch that went beyond expectations while the Astros-Dodgers was expected to be a heavyweight fight that would probably finish in seven games. 2017 ended up taking the series and baseball to a different stratosphere.
In the 2016 World Series, three of the seven games were decided by a run, with two of them being low scoring. The other results saw Chicago win by four and six runs while Cleveland won by six and five runs in their victories. In 2017, five of seven World Series games were decided by two runs or less. The other two games were decided by four runs, but one of those two had a score of 1-1 going to the ninth inning. 2016's World Series was more wide open and not as thrilling on the scoreboard in some games while 2017 had everyone of the edge throughout every game.
Although both World Series ended up with run differentials of 0, 2017 saw more runs scored than 2016. Of course pitching might've been a negative factor for this. But while both Chicago and Cleveland scored 27 runs each, Houston and Los Angeles scored 34 runs each. The 13-12 would play a factor into that. But isn't the object of baseball to score more runs then your opponent?
2016 would be remembered as either the Cubs brilliant 3-1 comeback or the Indians horrific 3-1 collapse. But 2017 never had one team in full control of the series until Game 7. The Astros were the only franchise of the two to win two games in a row, which helped give them a 2-1 series lead. Each team then traded victories from Games 4-6 to set up game 7. But what did stand out in 2017 was the momentum shift. After the Dodgers won game 1, it appeared they had the series in control. Houston won Game 2 and they had control, especially after game three. Each team exchanged control until the Astros grabbed it for good in game 7.
The 2016 World Series only had one game go to extra innings. But there were clutch hits in that game such as Rajai Davis' homer and Ben Zobrist' game-winning double. Yet game 7 wasn't a walkoff victory for the Cubs. They had to hold on late to win. Aside from game 7, no other game featured clutch hits, well except for game 3 by the Indians. In 2017, every game had clutch hits from Justin Turner's go-ahead two-run homer in game 1 to Marwin Gonzalez tying Game 2 in the ninth with a homer. Alex Bregman ended historic game 5 with a walkoff single while Chris Taylor tied game 6 with an RBI double setting up Corey Seager's go-ahead sac fly. George Springer's home run in Game 7 appeared to be the knockout blow.
Springer had the series of life as he tied a record with five home runs joining Reggie Jackson (1977) and Chase Utley (2009). He also batted.379 while driving in 7 runs and collected 11 hits. Ben Zobrist would bat.357 in the 2016 World Series while driving in two runs on 10 hits, including the game-winning double. Both men worked hard to earn the MVP for their teams, but if we were picking better performances of the two, I'm sorry, but George Springer had the better World Series
2016 saw both the Cubs and Indians hit 15 homers while 2017 saw the Astros and Dodgers combine to hit a World Series 25 homers.
The Cubs winning after 108 years is a remarkable achievement, but people might forget that it was only the third World Series title in franchise history. The Astros waited 56 years, which is the longest time an expansion team has waited before winning a title.
Most HRs in a single series (25)
Most HRs in a single game (8)
Second most runs combined in a single game (25)
Second longest World Series Game by way of time (5:17)
Second time ever a starting pitcher didn't go two complete innings in two starts (Yu Darvish).