The X Factors of the World Series: Yordan Álvarez, Jorge Soler, Luis García and the players who could be unexpected heroes

Dfrom 2015 to 2020, World Series got to have some of the most popular teams involved: Mets, Cubs, Red Sox, Dodgers three times … but the 2021 edition of the Autumn Classic will not have such magnetism for the teams of the big markets, although having the Houston Astros and the cloud of the 2017 signal theft scandal will always attract haters in his duel before Atlanta Braves.

That there are no popular teams does not mean that there are not very good players in action as of Tuesday. Altuve, Bregman, Brantley and the Astros artillery will meet the great Braves starting corps, with Morton, Anderson, Fried and company, in addition to the super lit bat of Eddie rosario and the 2020 National League MVP, Freddie Freeman. There will be quality and plenty in the diamond.

But many times The Fall Classic is defined by performances by someone unexpectedLike Steve Pearce in 2018, Ben Zobrist in 2016 or David Freese in 2011. Here we present five players who could be key in this World Series between Astros and Braves.

Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton are some of the aces that Houston had in their appearances in the 2017 and 2019 World Series and that this year they are not. To them we must add the discharge of Lance McCullers.

This leaves the Astros without as many options on the mound. Zack Greinke is not physically ready either, so Framber Valdez is the most experienced and the one who will start Game 1, but they need help. This is where Luis Garcia, who had a terrible outing in Game 2 against the Red Sox, but a gem in Game 6 is key.. Houston needs the second version for a chance to win the ring.

The Cuban fired up in the last three games against Boston, hitting a whopping .692, with nine hits, five runs scored and 5 RBIs. His bat comes at the best time, but he is usually the designated hitter and there will be two and surely three games in the National League champions park, so Dusty Baker will have to decide if he wants put it on the field, playing left field, or save it just for an important turn at bat. It will be a matter of choosing the poison: sacrifice batting or sacrifice defense.

The outfielder was one of three imported by the Braves on the trade deadline to cover the loss of Ronald Acuña. Soler entered the Covid list and only had two at-bats in the Championship Series. He had a few more days of recovery and it remains the question of whether they will use it on the field (Rosario, Duvall and Pederson played the outfield against the Dodgers) or if they only put him as designated in the two and surely more games in Houston.. This could reinforce a lineup that after Pederson’s post (5 or 6), loses punch, with Swanson with OBS and hitting .237 with just one RBI in the postseason, and Travis d’Arnaud just as with just one RBI and an even worse .194 batting, .324 OBS.

The Braves’ second baseman was ninth in the regular season with 106 RBIs, but in the Playoffs he has failed at the good time. With runners in scoring position, he’s just 1-for-13, with just one RBI. His defense is still good and on the trails he has done a good job (two stolen bases, seven runs scored), but he will need to contribute in the clutch.

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