World Series Preview: A Matchup With No Underdog

The engine of each team’s offense has a look all his own. Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner revels in his long, red hair and shaggy beard — and hit .322 with a robust .945 on-base plus slugging percentage this season. Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is the shortest everyday player in the majors at 5 feet 6 inches — but this season he’s probably the best player, too. Altuve led the majors in batting average, at .346, and hit .400 in the A.L. playoffs.

“Jose Altuve is a perfect player,” Astros Manager A.J. Hinch said this month, and who could argue?

Other notables dot the lineups — the newcomer Cody Bellinger and the old pro Chase Utley for the Dodgers; the homegrown sensations Carlos Correa and George Springer for the Astros — and both pitching staffs include an ace yearning for a championship. The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, 29, and the Astros’ Justin Verlander, 34, have won the Most Valuable Player Award, and will probably spend their golden years gathering on a stage in Cooperstown every July. But neither has a World Series title to his name.

Kershaw, who will start Game 1 against another top left-hander, Dallas Keuchel, went 18-4 and led the…

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