Braves top Astros to win World Series on the shoulders of a dominant Max Fried pitching performance

The Atlanta Braves shutout the Houston Astros for their first World Series (WS) win in 26 years November 3, 2021. The Braves had an unlikely path to this ring, winning 88 games during the season and having a 0.3% chance of winning the WS as of July 13 via Fangraphs. Facing the pitching power house Brewers and former champion Dodgers, the Braves overcame those difficult matchups without the help of their injured all-star Ronald Acuña Jr. 

Apart from the 2020 season, the Houston Astros have been a powerhouse in the American League for years, so it came as no surprise when they reached the World Series for the third time in five years. Solid offensive seasons of 127 and 131 OPS+(OPS+ is an advanced statistic that represents the overall offensive output of a player based on hits and runs created and adjusted by various factors) from Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa respectively propelled the Astros to the World Series and saw them through to game six.

But with a 3-2 lead, the Braves ended Houston’s bid for a second ring. The Braves hit their stride on offense and defense in their 7-0 championship clinching victory. Starting pitcher Max Fried pitched six runless innings and, with the help of Tyler Matzek and closing pitcher Will Smith, shutout the Astros in possibly the biggest game of his career. Braves hitters carried their weight as well with seven hits and three home runs. Georgia native Dansby Swanson, 11 year veteran Freddie Freeman, and trade deadline acquisition Jorge Soler all went yard for a combined 6 RBIs(Runs Batted In). 

As the curtain closes on a historic 2021 MLB season and the 2022 offseason begins, The Astros and Braves may make major changes to their rosters as Freddie Freeman, Jorge Soler, Joc Pederson, and Carlos Correa prepare for free agency.