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MLB News and Notes: World Series Matchup Is Set

The Washington Nationals have been sitting around for several days, and, as of Saturday night, they now know who their opponent will be in the World Series. The Houston Astros won a thrilling Game 6 to win their series over the New York Yankees 4-2.

The Astros took a 4-2 lead into the ninth inning only to see closer Roberto Osuna give up a game-tying home run to DJ LeMahieu. With Aroldis Chapman coming on to try to extend the game into extra innings, Jose Altuve hit a series-winning two-run homer to left centerfield to win it all.

After winning the World Series in 2017, the Astros are now going back to the Series two years later.

Going back to the Nationals, their series against the Cardinals seems like an afterthought because they simply dominated St. Louis for four games. In fact, they were so dominant over the course of their four games that they outscored St. Louis 20-6.

They have a combination of dominant starting pitching and dynamic bats led by Anthony Rendon, Juan Soto and Trea Turner.

One thing is for sure, the World Series should be a lot of fun. One of the most notable things, though, will be the pitching matchups.

It is likely that the starters for Games 1 through 3 for the Houston Astros will be Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke. While that is a dominant one through three, the Nationals have a similarly dominant staff led by Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin.

The World Series will start on Tuesday in Houston.

Maddon Not Unemployed For Too Long

After the Chicago Cubs allowed Joe Maddon’s contract to expire without offering him a new one, one of the premier managerial opportunities was opened, while one of the best managers in recent years was left unemployed. Only one of those two things still exist.

Maddon has found a new job, as the Los Angeles Angels have hired him to be their new manager. Maddon is certainly not unfamiliar with the Angels as he was in the organization for approximately 30 years starting in 1975.

In fact, in that span, he served as interim manager a couple of times, but this is the first time officially becoming manager without the interim tag. Maddon’s contract is for $12 million over the next three years.

On the plus side, Maddon will have one of the greatest players ever to have stepped on the field in his clubhouse, as Mike Trout still roams center field for the Angels. On the downside, though, the club just had a 72-90 record and has been surrounded by controversy after reports surrounding the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs have surfaced.

Still, Maddon will look to help turn around the club that has several veteran players around Trout like Albert Pujols, Justin Upton, Andrelton Simmons, and the ever-exciting but consistently injured, Shohei Ohtani.

Phillies Searching For New Manager

While the Angels’ job opening was filled, another one opened. After debating the decision for several days, the Philadelphia Phillies decided to part ways with manager Gabe Kapler.

In fact, the Phillies will be looking for most of a new staff as the manager, pitching coach and hitting coach positions will all be open. While it is uncertain at this point who will come in as a new manager, it should be a premier position, as the team is littered with talent, most notably outfielder Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins.

Padres Down To Two?

One last manager note is based around the San Diego Padres. As of Saturday, they still had not chosen their manager, but reports indicate that they may be down to two finalists.

It appears that they will either tab Jayce Tingler or Ron Washington as their new manager. Tingler has served as the major league development coordinator for the Texas Rangers. Washington, who has previous managerial experience, served as the Atlanta Braves third base coach this year.

While a new candidate could certainly enter the mix at some point, it does appear that these are the two frontrunners. Whoever gets the position will be set up with a young team, but a team and organization that is loaded with talent.

Are Minor League Teams In Jeopardy?

In a very interesting piece of news, it appears that Major League Baseball is considering a major change to its lower minor-league levels. How radical is it? According to reports, it could be as much as one-quarter of all minor league teams being eliminated.

For Major League Baseball, they are looking at this as an opportunity to afford better pay, accommodations and facilities for the minor league players. For the players’ union and minor league baseball, they see a scenario where lots of players and personnel could lose their jobs.

While this is likely just posturing to try to come to some resolution, the mere suggestion of this has not sat well with minor league baseball. It is certainly a topic to keep your eye on moving forward.

Qualifying Offer To Be Reduced Slightly

For teams that have free agents this offseason, they always have the opportunity to offer a qualifying offer. After being offered this, players can either accept it or, if they decline, it can lead to a draft pick acquisition for the club.

Regardless, for the first time in a while, the qualifying offer will actually come in a little less, albeit just $100,000. For 2020, the qualifying offer will be $17.8 million, according to Jayson Stark. This number is based on the average of the salaries of the 125 highest-paid players in baseball.

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