As the dust settles following the ALCS and NLCS, just two teams are left to battle in the 2021 World Series: the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves.
Each league’s representative could not have had more different routes to their respective pennants in 2021, but both franchises find themselves just four wins away from hoisting a trophy and earning the opportunity to call themselves world champions.
On the American League side, the second-seeded Astros took out the third-seeded Chicago White Sox in four games in the ALDS before a back-and-forth, six-game battle with the Wild Card-winning Boston Red Sox in the ALCS.
In the process, the Astros advanced to their third World Series in the span of five seasons, and will look to win a title for the first time since a controversial 2017 season.
In the National League, the Atlanta Braves rode a wave of momentum en route to not one, but two upsets on their end of the bracket. The Braves took out the second-seeded Milwaukee Brewers in four games in the NLDS, and lost Jorge Soler to a positive COVID-19 test in the process.
As a reward for their upset against the Brewers, they were matched up with a Wild Card-winning Los Angeles Dodgers squad that had the second highest-win total in the majors in 2021, only finishing behind the NL West-winning rival San Francisco Giants.
Atlanta rose to the occasion once more, righting the wrong that the city experienced in 2020 by defeating the Dodgers in six games to advance to the World Series for the first time since 1999.
While the two teams’ paths to the World Series differed, they actually match up well with each other.
Both teams’ bats came alive at the right time in their respective LCS matchups, with Astros star Yordan Alvarez and unlikely Braves hero Eddie Rosario taking the baseball world by storm with their consistent power.
Meanwhile, each squad’s bullpens came up big in clutch situations, taking out some of the league’s best hitters and lineups in the process. The Astros bounced back from what looked like a dire pitching situation midway through their LCS war with the Red Sox, while the Braves held off the feisty and powerful Dodgers.
Consistency will be key when the 2021 World Series kicks off, and it’ll come down to veteran leadership inside of both clubhouses.
The Astros have been in this spot on numerous occasions over the last five years, and leaning on superstars like Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, and Carlos Correa will be key as tight games get into later innings.
Meanwhile, despite the fact that the Braves haven’t been in this position in 22 years, they have loads of experience in their dugout, as well.
Game 1 starter Charlie Morton was on that 2017 Astros team that beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series, and his presence will be huge in Atlanta’s bullpen throughout the series.
Even players like Adam Duvall, who was in the locker room when the 2014 San Francisco Giants won the World Series, and Drew Smyly, who was on the Detroit Tigers when they made it to the World Series in 2012, know what type of leadership is needed in key moments during a postseason run.
While veterans are crucial to an MLB team’s success, youthful exuberance doesn’t hurt, either. Each team has young stars banging down the door when opportunity knocks, and they’ll need to do just that as the series progresses.
Alvarez and pitcher Luis Garcia will be primetime players for the Astros, while Austin Riley, Ozzie Albies, and Ian Anderson will find themselves in the spotlight for the Braves.
With so much talent across the board and such high stakes, there are so many possibilities for baseball fans to look out for throughout the 2021 World Series.
But, before the action begins, here’s how and when you can watch each game of the 2021 World Series.
How can I watch the 2021 World Series?
After sharing games between FOX, FS1 and TBS throughout the first few rounds of the 2021 playoffs, MLB will take center stage on FOX for each game of the 2021 World Series.
When will each game of the 2021 World Series be played?
Game 1: Tuesday, October 26 at 8:09 p.m. ET
Game 2: Wednesday, October 27 at 8:09 p.m. ET
Game 3: Friday, October 29 at 8:08 p.m. ET
Game 4: Saturday, October 30 at 8:09 p.m. ET
Game 5: Sunday, October 31 at 8:15 p.m. ET
Game 6: Tuesday, November 2 at 8:09 p.m. ET
Game 7 (if necessary): Wednesday, November 3 at 8:09 p.m. ET