The Houston Astros punched a ticket to the World Series on Saturday night with a 4-0 victory in Game 7 against the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.
Game 1 is Tuesday night in Los Angeles, and already this will be a historic Fall Classic. Here’s how:
Astros complete unprecedented double
By winning Game 7, the Astros became the first major-league team to reach the World Series by winning pennants in both leagues.
In 2005, Houston defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in six games to win the National League pennant. The Astros entered the postseason as a wild-card team and defeated the Atlanta Braves in four games to reach the National League Championship Series.
That elusive win
The Astros' next win in the World Series will be their first. Houston was swept in four games by the Chicago White Sox in 2005.
The century club
The Dodgers won 104 games during the 2017 regular season, while the Astros captured 101 victories. It’s the first World Series showcasing a pair of 100-game winners since 1970 when the Baltimore Orioles (108-54) defeated the Cincinnati Reds (102-60) in five games.
The Dodgers and Astros have met in the playoffs before, but both as members of the National League.
In the 1981 season, a 50-day players strike erased nearly 40 percent of the schedule. Major League Baseball decided to split the season and declared that the champions of each half meet in a first-round of the playoffs. In a weird way, this postseason was the ancestor of the divisional series now employed by MLB.
In 1981, the Dodgers, who won the first half of the NL West Division, faced the Astros, who took the second half. The Dodgers qualified for the postseason with a 36-21 record in the first half of the season and went just 27-26 in the second half. Houston, meanwhile, went 28-29 in the first half but took the division title in the second half with a 33-20 mark.
The two teams met to determine the overall NL West champion, and the Dodgers prevailed in a five-game series.
If the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger wins NL Rookie of the Year honors as expected, he will become the first award winner to play in the World Series as a rookie since San Francisco’s Buster Posey competed in 2010.