Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros both made big deadline deals at the wire

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 20: Justin Verlander
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 20: Justin Verlander /

The World Series is upon us, with the Houston Astros set to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 102 degree Fall Classic.

There are a few days throughout the course of the year as a baseball fan that feel like Christmas. First, there is actual Christmas, when (presumably) you receive a nice head start on your baseball merch for the next season. The second day is opening day each an every year. There’s optimism in the air and you’re ready to watch all 162 games of the regular season right then and there.

The third such day is the trade deadline.

As you may recall, Justin Verlander sent out this tweet from the Detroit Tigers clubhouse on deadline day:

Not long after, Yu Darvish sent a tweet of his own, complete with a countdown clock.

Jeff Passan wrote one of the best pieces of the year on the last minutes of the trade deadline that sent Darvish to the Dodgers. A month later at the waiver deadline (at this deadline a player must first pass through waivers before they can be traded) Justin Verlander was added to the Astros roster as midnight approached.

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The Dodgers already had their ace in Clayton Kershaw, and have had a cake walk through the first couple of playoff rounds, losing just once so far, but Houston’s deal with Detroit is a big reason why they are playing for a World Series championship.

In the playoffs this year he is 4-0 with a 1.34 ERA through three starts and one relief appearance. This will be the third World Series appearance of his career. In 2006 he lost both of his starts and allowed ten runs (seven earned) in 11 innings. In his lone start in 2012 against the Giants, Pablo Sandoval jumped on him early for two of his three home runs in that game. Combined, he holds a 7.20 ERA in a small sample size.

Darvish has looked a lot more impressive in his two starts this postseason than either of his two October starts with the Texas Rangers. He’s also not scheduled to pitch until game 3 in Houston, where he has made six starts in his career after hailing from the AL West up until a couple of months ago.

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Much has been made over both player’s additions to each of these World Series teams, but both are playing a supporting role to the tenured aces as game 1 rolls around. For Verlander, he’ll be looking to pick up his squad if they falter in the first game, and for Darvish, he’ll be looking to do the same in familiar territory against a familiar foe if Kate Upton’s fiance is successful in game two.