World Series:Los Angeles Dodgers Host Houston Astros For Game 1 Houston has "been a city that, y'know, has been going through a lot of things this year," second baseman Jose Altuve said. But the Dodgers are still favored to win.
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World Series: It's Power Vs. Power As Los Angeles Takes On Houston

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World Series: It's Power Vs. Power As Los Angeles Takes On Houston

World Series: It's Power Vs. Power As Los Angeles Takes On Houston

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Exciting times - the World Series begins tonight, and it's a fitting conclusion to the baseball season. The LA Dodgers and Houston Astros have been two of the best teams all year. And now they're playing for a championship. NPR's Tom Goldman reports from Los Angeles.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Last year's World Series winner, the Chicago Cubs, ended a 108-year championship drought. If the favored Dodgers can beat Houston 4 out of 7 games, LA can end 29 years without. That's a blip compared to the Cubs, but who's comparing? Not Dodgers fans or Dodgers. They appear ready to move on from the city's most cherished sports memory, the 1988 Kirk Gibson pinch hit World Series home run, called here by another Dodgers icon former broadcaster Vin Scully.

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VIN SCULLY: In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.

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CLAYTON KERSHAW: There's not a lot of organizations that have the type of history that the Dodgers do. So I hope after this week's over, they can start talking about 2017 a little bit more and 1988 a lot less.

GOLDMAN: Dodgers pitching ace Clayton Kershaw will have a hand in shifting the conversation, a big left hand and arm that he'll wield tonight as LA's Game 1 starter. Kershaw will have to summon all his skill. Houston is the best-hitting team in baseball. The lineup from top to bottom can put balls in play and crush home runs. The heart of that offensive attack is the smallest player on the field, five-foot, six-inch second baseman Jose Altuve can hit any type of pitch.

And he has energized a city that's still suffering the effects of a devastating hurricane. Altuve will have Houston in mind as he tries to help the Astros win their first-ever World Series.

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JOSE ALTUVE: We want to win this World Series for them, you know, because they deserve it and because they've been true fans all year long.

GOLDMAN: The Dodgers are favored because they have great pitching, both as starters and relievers. They're also a great-hitting team and outstanding defensively. It's the first time since 1970 two teams that have won at least 100 regular-season games are meeting in the World Series - a fitting end. Tom Goldman, NPR News, Los Angeles.

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