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Snake Bytes 10/20: Two Remain

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The Houston Astros advanced to the World Series last night and will face the Washington Nationals. It might be one of the best World Series starting rotation matchups of all time.

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League Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game Six Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

World Series

[CBS Sports] Astros vs. Nationals World Series schedule, results: MLB playoffs live stream, TV channel, start times - The powerhouse Houston Astros will face the surprising Washington Nationals in the 2019 World Series. This year’s Fall Classic kicks off Tuesday night in Houston and could run through a potential Game 7 on Wednesday, Oct. 30. The Astros, who won the ALCS in six games over the Yankees, are looking for their second World Series championship in three seasons. Meanwhile, the Nationals are playing in their first World Series in franchise history. Starting pitching will be a major storyline throughout this matchup. The teams both tout incredible top-of-the-rotation trios that have helped them reach this point. The Astros have the top two AL Cy Young candidates in Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander and added veteran righty Zack Greinke at the trade deadline. The Nationals have received excellent starting pitching throughout the postseason, led by Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin. Washington’s No. 4 starter, Anibal Sanchez, also has been sharp in the playoffs and nearly no-hit the Cardinals during the NLCS.

[Yahoo Sports] Astros enter World Series against Nationals as heaviest favorites since 2007 - Mere hours after clinching their second pennant in three years, the Houston Astros were conferred the best World Series odds in over a decade. Westgate deemed the Astros as -220 favorites with Caesars Sportsbook opening at -235. Even at the lower figure, that’s largest odds for a favorite since the 2007 Boston Red Sox were -240 favorites over the Colorado Rockies. For the uninitiated, lines bigger than -200 are rarely seen at this level because people don’t often think things will be so lopsided. The implied odds from a -220 line is that the Astros will win 68.8 percent of the time — 70.1 percent if you use the Caesars line. And given how talented the Washington Nationals are, that seems very high.

[MLB.com] After ALCS loss, Yankees brace for adjustments - As the Yankees exchanged hugs in the visiting clubhouse at Minute Maid Park on Saturday night, their 6-4 loss to the Astros in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series still too fresh to process, there was certainty that it was the last time that the entire group would occupy the same room. The Yankees’ 2020 roster will be altered by the pending retirement of left-hander CC Sabathia, who wore a Major League uniform for the final time in this ALCS. Several other prominent Yanks also face uncertain futures in pinstripes, including outfielder Brett Gardner and shortstop Didi Gregorius.

[USA Today] Yankees go decade without a World Series trip for first time in 100 years - The New York Yankees are synonymous with the Fall Classic. Just not this decade. The Bronx Bombers have reached the World Series 40 times in their history, winning 27 titles, by far more than any other major league team. But in the 2010s, even a trip to the World Series has eluded the iconic franchise. This is first decade in which the Yankees didn’t reached the World Series since the 1910s. It’s not from a lack of trying. They have lost the American League Championship Series four consecutive times – in 2010, 2012, 2017 and 2019 – tying the longest streak in MLB history. The first two were losses to the Texas Rangers and the Detroit Tigers, while the two most recent exits were courtesy of the Houston Astros.

Around the League

[Baseball America] MLB Proposal Would Eliminate 42 Minor League Teams - he Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA) between Major League Baseball and minor league teams expires at the end of the 2020 season. But if a new MLB proposal were to become reality, more than three dozen cities with affiliated minor league teams will lose those teams a year from now and thousands of minor league players will be out of work as well. The MLB proposal is just one idea at the start of what will likely be a lengthy negotiation, but the two sides are further apart than they have been in any PBA negotiation since 1990. At the core of the negotiations, MLB is looking to dramatically improve Minor League Baseball’s stadium facilities as well as take control over how the minor leagues are organized as far as affiliations and the geography of leagues. Those areas have been under the control of MiLB for the past 100-plus years and would lead to a dramatic restructuring of how MiLB is governed and operates. MLB has offered a proposal that, if adopted, would reduce Minor League Baseball from 160 teams—not counting the complex league teams that are wholly MLB-owned—to 120 beginning in 2021.

[MLB Trade Rumors] MiLB President Responds To MLB Restructuring Proposal - In a report for The Athletic, writer Evan Drellich says an “enormous chasm” exists between MLB and MiLB as the two seek to organize a new working arrangement (link). MLB’s move toward en masse affiliate contraction does not sit well with MiLB, with MiLB President Pat O’Conner revealing that legal action is a possibility if a return to the bargaining table does not produce a more mutually appealing proposal. “If we are forced to defend ourselves and fight for our mere survival, we will,” O’Conner told Drellich. “We would hope to negotiate a reasonable settlement with MLB. Short of that we have multiple options. Appealing to Congress, state, county and local elected officials is certainly one of them.” It is worth noting that legal action is characterized as a “last resort” in Drellich’s report.

[MLB.com] Saturday’s top 10 Arizona Fall League performers - Keegan Thompson [hehehehehehe] , RHP and Jared Young, 1B, Chicago Cubs. Thompson was electric during the Solar Sox’s win Saturday, tossing five scoreless innings while allowing just one hit and striking out five. Thompson, who credited his changeup as the pitch that helped him turn the corner after some rocky AFL outings, tossed 45 of his 54 pitches for strikes. Thompson struck out the side in the third, but a leadoff triple appeared primed to derail his afternoon. After a pop out and a strikeout, Thompson caught the runner trying to steal home on a throw back to the mound. After just three starts during the 2019 regular season, the victory Thompson earned for Mesa was his first of the calendar year.