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2021 MLB World Series predictions: Experts split on Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros in Fall Classic

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The 2021 World Series between the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves begins Tuesday at Minute Maid Park with the two teams squaring off for Major League Baseball's ultimate prize.

Houston is in the World Series for the third time in five years, winning in 2017, while Atlanta is making their first appearance in the Fall Classic since 1999.

USA TODAY Sports' MLB experts are split on who will win the series, with three choosing the Astros to win and the other three picking the Braves to win the best-of-seven series.

Here's how our staff sees the 2021 Fall Classic playing out:

Astros players celebrate after winning the ALCS against Boston.
Astros players celebrate after winning the ALCS against Boston.

Bob Nightengale: Atlanta in 7

Certainly, we never anticipated Atlanta being here in June, but there’s something magical going on with this team when you can lose Ronald Acuña Jr. and still reach the World Series They are playing better than any team in baseball, their pitching is perfectly lined up and their bullpen has been on fire. They are no fluke. MVP: Austin Riley

Gabe Lacques: Houston in 5

Too much playoff-tested firepower, and the Astros bullpen will hold late leads, while Braves relievers hit a wall after grueling NLCS performance. MVP: Yuli Gurriel

Scott Boeck: Houston in 6

Dusty Baker pulls all the right strings to win his first World Series championship as a manger. The Astros powerful lineup will ultimately be too much for the Braves pitching staff to handle. MVP: Jose Altuve

Jesse Yomtov: Atlanta in 6

You have to like the chances of the team that could get two or three starts from Charlie Morton in a seven-game series. Atlanta's offense will continue to get the timely hits and its lefty-heavy bullpen causes some matchup problems for the Astros late in games. MVP: Ozzie Albies

Steve Gardner: Houston in 7

The two teams are so evenly matched, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see this World Series go the distance. In the end, the quality of the Astros lineup from 1 to 7 will eventually wear down the Braves’ superior pitching. Framber Valdez will be the key to shutting down lefty hitters Freddie Freeman, Eddie Rosario and Joc Pederson, while Kyle Tucker’s hitting, baserunning and outfield defense earn him MVP honors in a true Fall Classic. MVP: Kyle Tucker

Chris Bumbaca: Atlanta in 7

It’s an evenly matched World Series, and the Astros’ last two trips to the Fall Classic have each gone seven games. The Braves ultimately get it done though thanks to solid starting pitching and adequate effectiveness from the bullpen arms. MVP: Jorge Soler

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: World Series predictions: Braves, Astros battle for 2021 MLB title