Major League Baseball’s next champion will soon be crowned as the Atlanta Braves take on the Houston Astros in the best-of-seven World Series starting Tuesday night.
The Astros most recently won the World Series in 2017 and have been one of the most dominant – and controversial – teams of the past few years. The Braves, meanwhile, have been consistently competitive in recent seasons but are making their first World Series appearance since 1999.
Here’s what to know ahead of the first pitch.
The Houston Astros won the AL West with a 95-67 record and are led by diminutive second baseman Jose Altuve, shortstop Carlos Correa and pitchers Lance McCullers Jr. and Luis Garcia.
They beat the Chicago White Sox in the best-of-five Division Series and then took down the Boston Red Sox in the best-of-seven Championship Series to get to the World Series.
The Astros are not far removed from a cheating scandal in which they illegally created a system that decoded and communicated opposing teams’ pitching signs during their championship season. The misconduct led to the firing of manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow and positioned the Astros as the team other fan bases love to hate.
Veteran manager Dusty Baker, 72, took over the Astros after the scandal and is now looking for his first World Series title as a manager.
The Atlanta Braves punched their ticket to the playoffs by winning the NL East with an underwhelming record of 88-73, the fewest wins of any playoff team. They did so after a slow start to the season and despite losing one of their best players, Ronald Acuña Jr., who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in July.
Once in the playoffs, the Braves upset the 95-win Milwaukee Brewers in the best-of-five Division Series, and they then defeated the 106-win Los Angeles Dodgers in the best-of-seven Championship Series to clinch their spot in the World Series.
The Braves will be competing for their first World Series title since 1995, the only championship for the franchise while in Atlanta. They are led by last year’s Most Valuable Player first baseman Freddie Freeman, hot-hitting outfielder Eddie Rosario and starting pitchers Charlie Morton and Max Fried.
Manager Brian Snitker is looking for his first World Series title while leading the team, and he’ll have to do so against a familiar face; his son Troy Snitker is Houston’s hitting coach.
Game 1 is set for Tuesday, October 26, followed by Game 2 on Wednesday, both in Houston’s Minute Maid Park. Games 3, 4 and 5 are set for Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Truist Park in Atlanta, and then Games 6 and 7 (if needed) will take place in Houston on Tuesday, November 2 and Wednesday, November 3.
All of the games will begin at 8:09 p.m. ET, except for Game 5, which will begin at 8:15 p.m. ET.
The games will all be shown on TV by Fox.
Home field advantage goes to Houston because they had the better regular season record. That’s why Games 1 and 2 will be played in Houston, followed by three games in Atlanta and then the final two back in Houston.
Tickets to attend the World Series games will, unsurprisingly, be expensive.
For the Houston games, a “very limited” number of tickets are available through the Astros’ website. Tickets on the secondary ticket sale market StubHub start at $540 for Game 1 and $555 for Game 2 as of midday Sunday.
For the games in Atlanta, tickets and parking for the World Series will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. ET.
An exclusive presale will also be available for those who sign up for Braves emails by the end of Sunday, the team said. Those who purchase a 2022 A-List season ticket membership can also lock in this year’s World Series tickets, the Braves said.