The World Series starts Tuesday night in Los Angeles when the Dodgers face the Astros. This is the first time that two 100+ game winners square off in the World Series since 1970, when the Baltimore Orioles (108) played the Cincinnati Reds (102). The Dodgers won 104 games this season which was tops in baseball, while the Astros won 101 which was good for third most.
But if you aren’t a fan of either team, picking a team to root for might be difficult. Some people like to root for the underdog just because. Well this time there really isn’t a true underdog so that strategy may be out. Some people may resort to rooting for the team in their home state, or even dig deeper to find some sort of connection with the team or the players.
If you aren’t a fan of the Dodgers or the Astros, but are a fan of the Chiefs or Red Wings, I’ve got good news for you. I can help you decide. There is a former Syracuse Chief and a former Rochester Red Wing on a roster for the big series.
Francisco Liriano (Red Wings ’05,’08) was acquired by the Houston Astros at the deadline this past July from the Toronto Blue Jays. It was the second time in two years that he was moved in hopes to help his new team reach the postseason. It was also the second time it worked. Toronto was one of the Wild Card teams last season, and of course we know about the Astros this season.
Long before any of this happened, Liriano suited up for the Rochester Red Wings. After being traded into the Twins organization from the San Francisco Giants back in 2003, Liriano made his way up to the Triple-A level in 2005. He’d start 14 games for the Red Wings ending with a record of 9-2 with an ERA of 1.78. After battling some injuries and missing the 2007 season, Liriano would make a second stop in Rochester in 2008 on his way back to the major leagues. In 19 starts he had a 10-2 record with an ERA of 3.28. That would be his last time suiting up for the Red Wings, but not his last time in the International League. He would play for the Indianapolis Indians and Buffalo Bisons.
This is Liriano’s first trip to the World Series.
Brad Peacock (Chiefs ’11) was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 41st round of the 2006 draft out of Palm Beach Community College. He’d work his way through the system at a normal pace for a 19-year old, making it to Syracuse in 2011. For the Chiefs, Peacock appeared in nine games starting them all. His record in his brief stint was 5-1 with a 3.19 ERA. He would make his MLB debut that season and had a great first go of it with the Nationals.
Peacock was sent packing that offseason in the trade that sent Gio Gonzalez to the Nationals. He would get traded again before making his way back to MLB with the Astros. He has been used as a starter and a reliever by Houston in his time there. 2017 was probably his most successsful season to date as he held a 13-2 record with an ERA of 3.00.
This is also Peacock’s first trip to the World Series.
For me the decision is a bit easier. I clearly don’t live in either California or Texas, but I do live a few minutes away from where the Tri-City ValleyCats play. The ValleyCats are the Houston Astros Class-A Short Season affiliate playing in the New York-Penn League. Many current Astros have come through town at the start of the professional careers. Most notably for this series Jose Altuve, Dallas Keuchel, and George Springer. So the Astros are my choice to win it all.
Hopefully this will make things a little easier for you all to decide. If not, just sit back and relax because this could be a very entertaining series.