We’re heading into the final stretch of the Major League Baseball season, and it’s time to start talking about the World Series. Held every year since 1903, the Series has a storied history full of legends, curses, and triumphs — as well as some dubious endings and disappointments.

History of the World Series

Originally a means to determine which of the two professional leagues, the American Association and the National League, could be called the true champion, the first official series took place in 1903. The highest attendance for each of the 8 games in the championship that year was just over 17,000 – paltry in comparison to the 40,000 or so that went to each game last year – and even that pales in comparison to baseball’s heyday during the late 1950s when a solid 90,000 could be expected at each game.

What’s New With the World Series?

This year, all eyes are looking at a handful of teams who could make the cut, as well as which teams may earn home field advantage. For the first time in more than a decade, home field will be determined by the team with the better record rather than the winner of the All Star Game, making each win more crucial than ever. But who are the favorites and potential dark horses this year?

World Series 2017 Predictions

For the American League, one team has been at the top of the list since the beginning of the season: The Houston Astros. Currently the only team in the AL with more than 70 wins, the Astros have dominated their division and most regular season matchups. With 661 runs scored on the year, 60 more runs than the next closest team.

The Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, and New York Yankees all also have a shot, but the Astros have a much more favorable schedule, with only the Washington Nationals and the Red Sox as possible hurdles, while the other three have to face each other in a few series each, cannibalizing one another and helping boost Houston’s chances even more.

In the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers are head and shoulders above the rest. After a somewhat slow start to the season, they now boast the best overall record in the league and will almost certainly be the first team to 80 wins (they sit at 79 at the time of this writing). The Washington Nationals are a close second, but for many people, they need to prove they can win in the offseason to stand a chance.

Other teams include last year’s champion Chicago Cubs eyeing a repeat and potentially two other NL West teams, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, two teams without much postseason success in recent years.

If you are the gambling type, putting your money on a Dodgers/Astros series would be the safest bet, but if you are a risk-taker, the young talent is heavy on the Rockies, Nationals, and Yankees. This writer is hoping for a Yankees vs. Rockies series, partially because the two best outfielders in the league (Aaron Judge and Charlie Blackmon, respectively) are a blast to watch, even with Judge’s late slump. Plus, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t bleed purple (go Rox!) and would love to see a Rocktober series once more – though hopefully it would go better than the 2007 sweep by the Red Sox.

World Series 2017 Tickets

Tickets for the World Series won’t be available until deep into the playoffs, once we know who the contenders will be, but keep checking back on SeatGeek for all your MLB ticket needs as the season continues. Games are scheduled to begin on October 24 and run until as late as November 1.

World Series Date & Location

The 2017 World Series will take place from Tuesday, October 24 to (potentially) Wednesday, November 1. When the matchup is set, fans will know what stadiums will play host to the 113th edition of MLB’s championship series.