Truist Park

Truist Park – then known as SunTrust Park – is seen during pregame festivities in the Atlanta Braves' home opener April 1, 2019, in Atlanta.

Another marathon is almost finished, and the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves will meet in the World Series beginning Tuesday night. The Astros, a team followed by boos and its sign-stealing scandal, will host the start of the action because Houston had a better regular season than Atlanta. The Braves, then, will march into enemy territory this week and hope to come away with a win - if not two - to flip the math in their favor.

Here is what you need to know about the 2021 World Series.

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Who is playing in the World Series?

The Braves, winners of the National League East, finished one game shy of this point in 2020, ultimately falling to the eventual champion Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship Series. The Astros did, too, losing to the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Championship Series, but have been perennial title contenders since 2017.

Houston won the championship in 2017, though it was later discovered that it was aided by a sign-stealing scheme that season. Led by a core of second baseman José Altuve, shortstop Carlos Correa and third baseman Alex Bregman - and bolstered this year by a dominant ALCS performance from designated hitter Yordan Alvarez - the Astros have been to three of the past five World Series. They are thus looking for their second title in a half-decade.

The Braves, on the other hand, despite four consecutive division titles, had not reached the World Series since 1999 (when they were swept by the New York Yankees). They are led by first baseman Freddie Freeman, second baseman Ozzie Albies and a potent offense that features third baseman Austin Riley and outfielders Eddie Rosario and Adam Duvall, among others. At the trade deadline, they replaced their injured star, Ronald Acuña Jr., by dealing for four outfielders: Rosario, Duvall, Jorge Soler and Joc Pederson.

All four have played a big role in getting them within four wins of a championship. And Rosario, a 30-year-old from Puerto Rico, just won most valuable player of the NLCS. The Braves beat the Dodgers in six games to advance. The Astros beat the Boston Red Sox in six.


When does the World Series start?

The series starts Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston at 8:09 p.m. Eastern. As for the pitching matchup, Charlie Morton (Braves) will oppose Framber Valdez (Astros).

Morton, a 37-year-old right-hander, is a postseason veteran who once pitched for the Astros. Valdez, a 27-year-old lefty, was dominant in his most recent playoff outing, an eight-inning gem against the Red Sox last week.


Where is the World Series being played?

The first two games will be held at Minute Maid Park because the Astros won more regular season games (95) than the Braves (88). That earned the Astros home-field advantage. After Games 1 and 2, the series will swing to Truist Park in Atlanta. Depending on how the first four contests go, Games 3, 4 and 5 will be there before the final two are back in Houston.

However, only the first four are guaranteed in a best-of-seven series. If either team wins the first four - or, rather, sweeps the other - the World Series could be over ahead of a Game 5. Same goes for if a team wins 4-1 or 4-2, negating the need for a Game 6 or 7, respectively.

Last October, in a World Series played entirely in Texas because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Dodgers bested the Rays in six games. The autumn before that, it took the Washington Nationals the full seven games to ultimately edge the Astros.


How many World Series titles have the Astros and Braves each won?

The Astros have won just once, in 2017, and have been around since 1962 (they were called the Colt .45s for three seasons before switching to their current name).

As the Atlanta Braves, the team has a 1995 title and four other World Series berths in the '90s. Previously, the franchise won the championship as the Milwaukee Braves (1957), Boston Braves (1914) and Boston Beaneaters (1892, before the modern World Series format).


Who is favored to win the World Series?

The Astros are the slight betting favorite heading into the World Series. According to VegasInsider.com, the Astros are -145 to win the series, meaning a $145 bet would pay $100 if Houston wins. The Braves are considered +120, meaning a $100 bet would pay $120.


What is the full World Series schedule and how can you watch?

All times Eastern.

  • Game 1 - Tuesday at 8:09 p.m. (Fox 5, FM 99.3, FM 100.5, FM 102.5, AM 1490)
  • Game 2 - Wednesday at 8:09 p.m. (Fox 5, FM 99.3, FM 100.5, FM 102.5, AM 1490)
  • Game 3 - Friday at 8:09 p.m. (Fox 5, FM 100.5)
  • Game 4 - Saturday at 8:09 p.m. (Fox 5, FM 99.3, FM 100.5, FM 102.5, AM 1490)
  • Game 5 (if necessary) - Sunday at 8:15 p.m. (Fox 5, FM 99.3, FM 100.5, FM 102.5, AM 1490)
  • Game 6 (if necessary) - Nov. 2 at 8:09 p.m. (Fox 5, FM 99.3, FM 100.5, FM 102.5, AM 1490)
  • Game 7 (if necessary) - Nov. 3 at 8:09 p.m. (Fox 5, FM 99.3, FM 100.5, FM 102.5, AM 1490)

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