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Sports Illustrated's Ben Reiter who predicted 2017 championship says Astros will win World Series

Sports Illustrated's Ben Reiter who predicted 2017 championship says Astros will win World Series
The Astros will have a reason to celebrate this year, according to Ben Reiter. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Ben Reiter, senior writer with Sports Illustrated, made a bold prediction when he said the Houston Astros, who were in the midst of a 100-loss season in 2014, predicted the club would win the World Series.

What's more, he predicted the exact year of 2017 for Houston's crowning.

This season, he correctly predicted a 2019 World Series of the Astros and Washington Nationals. He believes the 'Stros are taking it again.

Reiter spoke with ABC13 hours before Game 1, explaining that the Astros are a growing dynasty.

He believed strongly in the Astros organization and its plan to rebuild using analytics, patient decision-making, cutting edge training, and a dash of gut intuition. That grew into his book Astroball: The New Way to Win It All.

In the book, he dives into the team's strategy for continued success.

Aside from correctly predicting the championship matchup, he offered more predictions.

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The NBA All-Star Game needs improvement. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

Voting has begun on NBA.com for the 73rd NBA All-Star Game, scheduled for Feb. 18 at Gainbridge Field House in Indianapolis.

The game will return to the traditional Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference format – no more schoolyard choose-up game played by gazillionaires going through the motions before one last shopping spree at the local mall.

Here’s a better idea: instead of East vs. West, make the game a contest between U.S. players and international players. Switch the location for the game back and forth, one year in the U.S., next year in Europe or Africa. Then the guys will have something to play for.

Basketball is a geographical contradiction. While it’s the only major sport 100-percent “invented” in the U.S., albeit by a Canadian grad student in Massachusetts, basketball belongs to the world now.

About 30 percent of the NBA (125 players from 40 countries) is comprised of players born outside our borders. Every team in the NBA has at least one international player. The Oklahoma City Thunder and Dallas Mavericks lead the way with eight foreign-born players. The current Rockets roster has four international players: Dillon Brooks (Canada), Alperen Sengun (Turkey), Boban Marganovic (Serbia) and Jock Landale (Australia).

The NBA doesn’t just have open borders – foreign-born players, once novelties, dominate the league. If the best U.S. players took the court against the best international players – and they played the game for real - I’m thinking the opening Vegas line would favor international players by 10 points.

Consider, the last five Most Valuable Players come from foreign lands: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece) in 2019 and 2020, Nikola Jokic (Serbia) in 2021 and 2022) and Joel Embiid (Cameroom) in 2023.

By the way, the first international player to be named MVP was Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon from Nigeria in 1993.

Four of the five current leading scorers are international players. 1 - Joel Embiid (34.4 ppg). 2 – Luka Doncic from Slovenia (32.9). 3 - Kevin Durant from the U.S. (31.0). 4 – Shae Gilgeous-Alexander from Canada (30.7), and 5 - Giannis Antetokounmpo (30.6).

The first pick in the 2023 NBA draft was Victor Wembanyama from France. He was the 14th international player to go No. 1 overall.

OK, it’s time to announce the starting lineups and reserves for the 2023 U.S. vs. International All-Star Game.

International frontcourt: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid – the last five MVPs. Backcourt: Shae Gilgeous Alexander and Luka Doncic.

Reserves: Jamal Murray (Canada), Kyrie Irving (Australia), Rudy Gobert (France), Pascal Siakam (Cameroon), Bojan Bogdanovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), and Kristaps Porzingis (Latvia).

Is there any reason to go on? The line just moved, international team by 12 points.

U.S. frontcourt: Anthony Davis (because the team needs a center), Kevin Durant, LeBron James (because he’s LeBron James) but should be Jayson Tatum. Backcourt: Steph Curry and Devin Booker.

Reserves: Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, De’Aaron Fox, Donovan Mitchell, Damian Lillard, Anthony Edwards, Jalen Brunson and Trae Young.

Vegas line now internationals by 15.

I’m still taking the international team and let’s make it a parlay with the over (plus-minus 275).

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