What to Know Ahead of Game 1 of the World Series

The 117th World Series pits the Houston Astros of the American League against the Atlanta Braves of the National League. Game 1 is Tuesday at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

How to Watch Game 1

The first pitch of Game 1 is scheduled for 8:09 p.m. Eastern. The game will be broadcast on Fox and can be streamed on services like FuboTV, Hulu Live, YouTube TV and others.

Game 1’s Pitching Matchup

Charlie Morton was 14-6 with a 3.34 E.R.A. for Atlanta this season.Credit…Edward M. Pio Roda/Getty Images
Framber Valdez was 11-6 with a 3.14 E.R.A. for Houston this season.Credit…Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

The experience gap in Game 1’s pitching matchup is wide. Charlie Morton, a 37-year-old right-hander, is in his 14th season and has 16 career postseason appearances (15 starts). This is his third World Series, and in his most memorable postseason moment — which was his lone relief appearance — he threw four solid innings to close out Game 7 of the 2017 World Series, securing the Astros their first championship.

Framber Valdez, 27, is in his fourth season but had never started more than 10 games in a year until 2021. He caught on quickly, though, with a 3.14 E.R.A. in 22 starts. Like Morton, though, Valdez is no stranger to the postseason: This will be his eighth appearance (seventh start) over the last two Octobers. He won three games in Houston’s playoff run last year and while he got off to a slow start in the 2021 playoffs, his last start was an eight-inning masterpiece that is the longest appearance by any starter this postseason.

Homegrown Infields

Atlanta’s infield is not as decorated as Houston’s, but Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley and Dansby Swanson have star power to spare.Credit…Michael Owens for The New York Times

As Tyler Kepner recounted in his World Series preview, both Houston and Atlanta feature star-studded infields in which none of the starters have ever played for another major league team.

Easy Out

Martín Maldonado’s preparation before games is a key to the Houston Astros’ success. That he can’t hit is beside the point.Credit…Elsa/Getty Images

The Astros led the majors in runs this season despite playing most games with what amounts to an empty spot in the batting order. Martín Maldonado hit .172 during the season — the second-worst mark among regular batters — and has been even worse in the postseason, where he is 2 for 29 (.069). But, as James Wagner found when reporting a profile of Maldonado, several people connected to the team believe the catcher’s handling of the pitching staff is the key to the Astros’ success.

Ready for Prime Time

Eddie Rosario was on a tear throughout the division series and the N.L.C.S. His three-run homer against the Dodgers in Game 6 was the biggest hit of all.Credit…Dale Zanine/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

Eddie Rosario was a solid hitter in his time with Minnesota, but the Twins let him walk away and Cleveland, which signed him in the off-season, traded him to Atlanta for Pablo Sandoval (yes, the 35-year-old Pablo Sandoval whose last All-Star appearance came in 2012). Sandoval came with a bag of cash to sweeten the deal, and was promptly released. Rosario was one of the key players who pushed Atlanta into the playoffs and then was named the most valuable player of the N.L.C.S. when he hit .560 against Los Angeles. So you could say the deal was a win-win.

The Braves’ breakout star, Rosario looks great at the plate, and as Scott Miller writes, he is looking good off the field as well thanks to his traveling barber.

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