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World Series Game Two Thread, 8:09 ET

The Astros try to rally down one game to the Braves in the Fall Classic.

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World Series - Atlanta Braves v Houston Astros - Game One
Houston will need the Rally Nun tonight.
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

So it looks like every pundit picked the Houston Astros to win the World Series and now they’re surprised that Game One didn’t go so great

They did see Houston’s starting pitching this poseason, right? The only teams with worse postseason starter ERAs are Chicago and the Yankees, and things didn’t go so great for them.

Last night’s Game 1 was the opposite of suspenseful. The Braves jumped out to a 5-0 lead against Houston’s Framber Valdez and didn’t look back. The only drama over nine innings was that the Braves lost starter Charlie Morton for the rest of the Series; the righty took a line drive off the calf that fractured his fibula and then retired three Astros before coming out of the game. That’s gutsy.

Atlanta is still a surprising postseason underdog, a team that was .500 or worse for a good chunk of the year and somehow beat out the Brewers and the Dodgers, teams with 10 and 20 more wins than them on the season, respectively. But against Houston, the matchup (at least to my eyes) looks a little more even. Starting pitching is never more important than in the postseason, and Atlanta’s rotation (3.11 postseason ERA) is the better of the two

On that note, tonight’s starter for the Braves, the young Max Fried, may be the best pitcher still out there. The lefty is 1-1 with a 3.78 ERA and 17 K’s in three postseason starts so far. He’s matching up against Houston’s José Urquidy, who has an 0-1 record and 27.00 ERA in the postseason. Urquidy has been prone to the long ball, and he was lit up by Boston his last time out.

Based on the numbers, a repeat of last night’s early beatdown by Atlanta wouldn’t be the most shocking outcome in Game Two. Then again, Houston’s not likely to go down quietly at home.

Atlanta Braves at Houston Astros, 8:09 p.m. ET, FOX

LHP Max Fried (1-1, 3.78 ERA, 17 K) vs. RHP José Urquidy (0-1, 27.00 ERA, 1 K)

Braves lineup

1. Eddie Rosario LF
2. Freddie Freeman 1B
3. Ozzie Albies 2B
4. Austin Riley 3B
5. Jorge Soler DH
6. Joc Pederson RF
7. Adam Duvall CF
8. Travis d’Arnaud C
9. Dansby Swanson SS

Astros lineup

1. José Altuve 2B
2. Michael Brantley LF
3. Alex Bregman 3B
4. Yordan Alvarez DH
5. Carlos Correa SS
6. Kyle Tucker RF
7. Yuli Gurriel 1B
8. José Siri CF
9. Martín Maldonado C