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Keep calm! The Astros looked just as bad in Game 1 of the 2017 World Series (plus MVP odds)

...And they ended up as the world champs!!!

2021 World Series Game 2: Atlanta Braves v. Houston Astros Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

If you ended up a bit worried or desperate after Tuesday’s loss against the Braves to begin the 2021 World Series, let’s go back in time. Four years ago, back in 2017, the Astros were in the same scenario as tonight: after overpowering the Yankees in the ALCS, they began the 2017 Fall Classic with a 3-1 loss to the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.

On that date, Clayton Kershaw was huge on the mound and outdueled Dallas Keuchel. The Astros only got three hits against rival pitchers and finished the night with a tough loss — there wasn’t a lot going on besides a homer by Alex Bregman. Six days later, the ‘Stros won the Commissioner’s Trophy on the same field.

And, hey, I know it’s not the same. The Astros don’t have Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, or even Lance McCullers Jr. And it’s their starting pitching what’s aching the most right now. But there are a zillion reasons to believe this team can go to Truist Park and do the same they did just days ago at Fenway Park.

Last night was the first time in this postseason the Astros scored less than three runs in a game. What does that tell you? Houston has a lineup that can make rival pitchers shake on the mound, especially when your starting staff is pretty young and you just lost the most experienced hurler (Charlie Morton) for the rest of the series due to injury.

The Astros are the team with the most experience, arguably the one with the best offense, and the best bullpen, plus the most experienced manager. Houston’s roster is loaded with players that can already be qualified as postseason greats such as Yuli Gurriel, Carlos Correa, and José Altuve.

The next games are a challenge for the Astros to demonstrate how tough they are. A fun ride that could be the final chapter of the infield core as Correa might be on his way out if the front office fails to bring him back from free agency.

Big teams like the Astros don’t go without fighting. Expect these games to be a baseball brawl for the ages.

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