The Stats, Inc. Report: Can Nationals Avoid the LCS Sweep Jinx in World Series?

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NATIONALS at ASTROS

Ø Teams that have swept best-of-seven League Championship Series are 1-7 in the World Series all-time, losing each of the last five. Both the most recent loss in this scenario (2015 New York Mets) and the only win (1995 Atlanta Braves) were by NL East teams.

Ø A team from the NL East will square off against an AL West team in the World Series for the fifth time overall and for the first time since 1987 (Twins beat Cardinals, 4-3). Only the first matchup in 1973 (Athletics beat Mets, 4-3) featured teams currently in the division. The 1980 Phillies (beat Royals, 4-2) are the only NL East team to beat an AL West team in a World Series.

Ø The Astros won 107 regular-season games while the Nationals won 93. When there is a difference of 14 or more regular-season wins in a World Series matchup, the team with more wins has gone 7-2, including the 2018 World Series when the 108-win Boston Red Sox beat the 92-win Los Angeles Dodgers in five games.

Ø Entering May 24, the Nationals sat at 19-31, while the Astros were already 15 games over .500 (33-18). Since then, the teams have the two best records in MLB, with Washington going 82-40 (.672) and Houston going 81-41 (.664, includes postseason).

Ø Houston beat New York in the ALCS despite hitting just .179 – it is the second-lowest batting average by the winning team of a best-of-seven series all-time, behind only the 2016 Cleveland Indians, who hit .168 in their ALCS win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Ø Anthony Rendon is slashing .375/.465/.594 with five extra-base hits (1 HR, 4 2B) and seven RBI this postseason. He has picked up a hit in eight straight games, the second-longest streak in the postseason by a player for the franchise all-time, trailing only Gary Carter’s 10-game streak from the 1981 playoffs.

Ø Jose Altuve is slashing .349/.417/.767 with five home runs this postseason. He hit two home runs in the ALCS, his fifth career playoff series with multiple home runs. Only Manny Ramirez (12), Bernie Williams (6), Mickey Mantle (6) and Derek Jeter (6) have more multi-homer postseason series all-time.

Ø Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander have struck out a combined 61 batters entering the World Series while Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg fanned 60. The only duo with more strikeouts in a postseason before the World Series all-time is Verlander and Scherzer (65 combined Ks for 2013 Tigers -- did not make WS).

Ø Scherzer has allowed one run in 15.0 innings (0.60 ERA) since the beginning of the NLDS, fanning 21 batters and holding opponents to a .102/.185/.184 slash line over this span. Cole is 19-0 in 25 starts since May 27 and has won eight straight starts, striking out 92 batters in 58.2 innings over that span.

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