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How Has The Offense Fared In The World Series?

Answer: Not great.

MLB: World Series-Houston Astros at Atlanta Braves John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Arguably the biggest surprise in this World Series have been the Braves’ ability to shut down the Astros’ lineup in three of the first five games. Those three games — good for a combined four runs for the latter — all coincided with a loss. From a local perspective, the overall struggles of an offense that led the majors in runs scored (863) this season is the defining story of this Fall Classic.

Below is a list of stats that I’ve complied which hopefully sheds more light on how we got to this juncture in the series from a offense point of view. While we’re in small sample territory, it does go without saying that the results matter so much more now than, say, early June.

  • Braves have a .736 OPS with runner in scoring position in 28 at-bats, .567 in 46 at-bats for the Astros;
  • ALCS MVP Yordan Alvarez is currently 1-for-16 with a 5:6 BB/K;
  • 14 barrels (12 hits) for Atlanta, only 7 (4 hits) for Houston;
  • Alex Bregman is 2-for-18 with a .168 wOBA;
  • When the score is tied, the Braves have 12 hits (four home runs) compared to the Astros at only six hits (zero home runs);
  • A ground ball problem: .190 wOBA, .208 xwOBA for Houston; .301 wOBA, .258 xwOBA for Atlanta;
  • Home run breakdown: eight for the Braves, two for the Astros.

In other words, the Braves have capitalized as a lineup more consistently than the Astros. It is a notable slump for an offense that was one of the league’s best in the regular season. They’ve also done a terrific job with their defensive positioning in taking away hits via ground balls from Houston, who had a .230 wOBA on those kind of batted balls for the regular season. Of course, that can change in a hurry for a game or two.

Thanks to a nine-run outburst in Game 5, the Astros forced a crucial Game 6 back at Minute Maid Park. The objective now is simple enough: Win to force a decisive Game 7 or the season is over. While it is entirely possible Houston can pitch their way to a title, it would make life easier if the bats continued their recent surge.