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World Series Preview – Astros vs Phillies

Last year it was the Atlanta Braves entering the playoffs as the team with the fewest wins and exiting as World Series champions. This year the Philadelphia Phillies started the postseason with the second fewest wins of any playoff team and wouldn’t have reached the tournament under the old format. They can become the first No. 6 seed in MLB history to hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy by taking out the Houston Astros. The Phils swept St. Louis in the Wild Card round and knocked off the defending champs in four games in the NLDS. They advanced to the World Series for the first time since the second of back-to-back trips in 2009 by winning three straight at home over San Diego.

No stranger to the postseason the Astros reached the ALCS for a sixth consecutive season and advanced to their fourth World Series in that stretch. Their only title, however, came during the initial trip of the streak in 2017. There are reasons to believe the ending will be different. The Astros stayed the course and finished with 106 regular season wins, one fewer than their best output in the last six seasons. Toss in a perfect postseason record so far and the Astros are positioned as a healthy -185 favorite.

2022 World Series Schedule

Game 1: Philadelphia at Houston, Friday, October 28, 8 p.m. ET (FOX)

Game 2: Philadelphia at Houston, Saturday, October 29, 8 p.m. ET (FOX)

Game 3: Houston at Philadelphia, Monday, October 31, 8 p.m. ET (FOX)

Game 4: Houston at Philadelphia, Tuesday, November 1, 8 p.m. ET (FOX)

Game 5: Houston at Philadelphia, Wednesday, November 2 (If Necessary)

Game 6: Philadelphia at Houston, Friday, November 4 (If Necessary)

Game 7: Philadelphia at Houston, Saturday, November 5 (If Necessary)

2022 World Series Odds

Philadelphia Phillies +160

Houston Astros -185

2022 World Series Games

Over 5.5 -193

Under 5.5 +153

Much like the Braves last year the Phillies got hot at the right time working their way to the World Series. Come playoff time the best team doesn’t always win rather the hottest club is likely to prevail. And while the Phils are hot the Astros are smokin’ sweeping three games from Seattle and four from the Yankees for a perfect 7-0 record entering the Fall Classic.

With a 19-win difference during the regular season the Astros are certainly the better team on paper. But as we all know the game isn’t played on paper. Philadelphia almost seems like a team of destiny embracing the underdog role. It’s been a magical run highlighted by clutch hitting, especially from Bryce Harper in the NLCS clincher. His two-run bomb in the bottom of the eighth lifted the Phils to a 4-3 victory with the moment better than any Hollywood movie script.

On top of the win difference and 157 run differential there are other elements pointing to the Astros. They played five fewer playoff games and have home field advantage. They’ve won nearly 70 percent of their games at Minute Maid Park going 59-26 including playoffs. The Astros also have a deeper roster and the edge in the bullpen.

If the Phillies are to pull off another upset it’ll likely come from the plate. Harper has five of the teams MLB playoff leading 16 homers and they’re averaging nearly 5.2 runs. They are hitting just .237 as a team entering the World Series but have a postseason best .442 slugging percentage.

Pitching Comparison

Getting at least a split in the first two games is imperative for the Phils. They have a pair of aces in Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler, who will likely get two starts each in the first six games should it go that far. Nola didn’t allow an earned run in his first two playoff starts silencing decent lineups in St. Louis and Atlanta. Wheeler has been phenomenal in four playoff starts boasting a 1.78 ERA and 0.51 WHIP. A sore spot during the season, Seranthony Dominguez and Jose Alvarado anchor a bullpen that’s been close to lights out. Overall the staff has a 3.06 ERA in 11 games with a 0.97 WHIP while holding opponents to a .191 batting average.

Pitching has carried Houston to a perfect 7-0 record entering the World Series with little help from Justin Verlander. An 18-game winner with a 1.75 ERA during the regular season, Verlander was roughed up by Seattle in his first start giving up 10 hits and six runs. Despite that line the Astros boast a 1.88 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in the postseason. All five regular starters won at least 11 games with Verlander, Cristian Javier and Framber Valdez posting a sub-3.00 ERA. Toss in MLB’s best bullpen and the deep rotation could give the Phils fits.

Phillies vs Astros Free Picks

Good pitching stops good hitting and the Astros have one of the best staffs in baseball. Verlander’s troubles in the World Series are well-documented and Dusty Baker won’t waste time yanking him. Give the Phils’ hitters a different look throughout a game makes it more difficult for them to beat you. The Phils have aces at the top of the rotation that will get them a few wins, but the Astros learned from last year’s loss to Atlanta and won’t let it happen again.

Phillies vs Astros World Series Pick: Astros in 6 Games

View today’s 2022 World Series betting odds.

Jake Flynn
Jake Flynn
Senior writer for Writes NBA, NCAA basketball, MLB, UFC and daily fantasy sports articles.

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