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Ranking the Best Players in the 2019 World Series

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 15:  Gerrit Cole #45 of the Houston Astros celebrates retiring the side during the sixth inning against the New York Yankees in game three of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium at Yankee Stadium on October 15, 2019 in New York City. Houston Astros defeated the New York Yankees 4-1. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The 2019 World Series is set, and the matchup between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals will be one filled with an unbelievable amount of talent. Some of the best pitchers and position players in all of baseball will be duking it out for the chance to bring a championship back to their respective cities. Let's take a look which players stand out from the crowd as the cream of the crop.

5. Jose Altuve

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 19:  Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros is congratulated by his teammate Carlos Correa #1 following his ninth inning walk-off two-run home run to defeat the New York Yankees 6-4 in game six of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 19, 2019 in Houston, Texas. The Astros defeated the Yankees 6-4. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
League Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game Six | Elsa/Getty Images

It's only fitting that the Astros' hero from Game 6 of the ALCS gets recognized for his talent. After putting up a .903 OPS during the regular season, the small-but-mighty second baseman has found another level in the postseason, swinging the lumber to the tune of five home runs and a .767 slugging percentage through 48 plate appearances. When it comes to October, the 2017 AL MVP is a real difference-maker.

4. Anthony Rendon

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 15: Anthony Rendon #6 of the Washington Nationals reacts as he flies out in the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during game four of the National League Championship Series at Nationals Park on October 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
League Championship Series - St Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals - Game Four | Rob Carr/Getty Images

A candidate for NL MVP, Rendon provides both offensive and defensive talent that most teams would envy at the hot corner. He logged a 1.010 OPS this year for the Washington Nationals while also snagging a modest-but-respectable one defensive run saved in the infield. He's been every bit as good in the playoffs, too. Rendon has driven seven runs in and managed a 1.058 OPS in 10 games in October and will no doubt be a major factor for the Nationals in the World Series.

3. Justin Verlander

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 19:  Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros celebrates with the trophy following his teams 6-4 win against the New York Yankees in game six of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 19, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
League Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game Six | Bob Levey/Getty Images

Even after allowing four runs in the first inning to the Yankees in Game 5, Justin Verlander stands out as one of the top players who will take the mound in the World Series. One of two Astros pitchers vying for the Cy Young award this year, he posted a career-low WHIP (0.803) and a career-high 300 strikeouts. While he hasn't quite been his usual, dominant self in October this year, the upside he provides both in experience and in talent is an undeniable plus for Houston.

2. Max Scherzer

ST LOUIS, MISSOURI - OCTOBER 12: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals reacts after giving up a single to Paul Goldschmidt #46 of the St. Louis Cardinals during the seventh inning of game two of the National League Championship Series at Busch Stadium on October 12, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images)
League Championship Series - Washington Nationals v St Louis Cardinals - Game Two | Scott Kane/Getty Images

Scherzer is quite literally the Nationals' version of Verlander. A tenured veteran and three-time Cy Young winner, Scherzer posted a league-low 2.45 FIP in 2019 while leading the NL with 12.2 strikeouts per nine innings. He's been even more dominant in the postseason, logging a 1.80 ERA in an even 20 innings of work with 30 strikeouts to boot. Scherzer's a leader both on the field and in the clubhouse, and is easily the best player who will suit up for Washington in the World Series.

1. Gerrit Cole

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 15:  Gerrit Cole #45 of the Houston Astros in action against the New York Yankees during game three of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium at Yankee Stadium on October 15, 2019 in New York City. Houston Astros defeated the New York Yankees 4-1. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
League Championship Series - Houston Astros v New York Yankees - Game Three | Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Cole has been on another planet pitching-wise this year, and he's undeniably the best player who will be taking the field in the Fall Classic. A front-runner for the AL Cy Young award, he hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in a start since August. In the playoffs thus far, he's struck out 32 batters in 22 2/3 innings of work all while allowing just one run on 10 hits and eight walks. Cole's been simply inhuman and quite honestly could be the man to carry the Astros to their second title in three years.