Previews, Predictions & Breaking Down the Phillies-Astros Fall Classic for the Ages
It’s time for the big one! After 162 games of baseball and an October for the ages, two teams are still standing. The 2022 MLB season began amid a power struggle between the league and the players. The disagreements that put the season in question have since been forgotten, and now it’s Phillies-Astros (who would’ve guessed?) for all the marbles. Seven games in nine days will decide the 2022 World Series champs. Here’s everything you need to know heading into baseball’s grand finale between the dynasty-driven Astros and the underdog Phillies.
The Sportsletter Team Picks
Yesterday, we asked readers who they thought would win the World Series (and in how many games). The Astros are the clear favorite with 55 percent of the vote (Phillies: 45%). The majority of readers think the Fall Classic will go six games, with 22 percent picking Astros in 6 and 18 percent thinking Phillies in 6. Editor’s Pick: Phillies in 7
The Astros (-185) are the favorites, but the Phillies (+150) are getting more love than expected from the oddsmakers. Houston started the season with the fourth-best odds to win it all (+1000) while Philadelphia was 14th at +3000.
Key Players to Watch
Both teams enter the World Series with clearly stacked rosters, but the two superstars to watch are Bryce Harper (PHI) and Yordan Alvarez (HOU). Both players hit massive home runs in the Divisional Series to propel their teams to the Fall Classic. Beyond those two, the Astros boast more weapons in Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, as well as the ace in the hole with Justin Verlander. Philly has a greater 1-2 punch from the hill with Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola, and their success in the series could come down to them.
Astros’ rookie SS Jeremy Pena has been on a tear through his first postseason, batting .303 with 3 HRs and 5 RBIs and a .991 OPS. He’s stepped in to fill the void left by Carlos Correa in the Houston lineup. For Philly, LF Kyle Schwarber could make a difference with one swing. Many forget Schwarber was second in HRs this season with 46. He’s hit three jacks in the postseason.
Houston Astros (AL 1-Seed)
Regular Season Record: 106-52
Postseason Record: 7-0
Team Batting Avg: .248 (12th)
Team Home Runs: 214 (4th)
Total Team Scoring: 737 Runs (8th)
Team Pitching: 2.90 ERA (2nd)
Astros History: Houston has reached the World Series just five times, but this year will mark their fourth appearance in the last six seasons. They won it all just once (2017).
Philadelphia Phillies (NL 6-Seed)
Regular Season Record: 87-75
Postseason Record: 9-2
Team Batting Avg: .253 (8th)
Team Home Runs: 205 (6th)
Total Team Scoring: 747 Runs (7th)
Team Pitching: 3.97 ERA (18th)
Phillies History: Philadelphia will make their eighth World Series appearance with the last occurring in 2009. They’ve won it all twice (1980, 2008).
World Series Schedule
Gm 1: Phillies at Astros (Fri. 8:03 pm ET)
Gm 2: Phillies at Astros (Sat. 8:03 pm ET)
Gm 3: Astros at Phillies (Mon. 8:03 pm ET)
Gm 4: Astros at Phillies (Tues. 8:03 pm ET)
Gm 5: Astros at Phillies (Wed. 8:03 pm ET)
Gm 6: Phillies at Astros (Next Fri. 8:03 pm ET)
Gm 7: Phillies at Astros (Next Sat. 8:03 pm ET)
It’s Aaron Nola (PHI) against Justin Verlander (HOU) to kick things off Friday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Let’s get it started!
FOX Sports: MLB Odds: 2022 World Series & MVP Lines
CBS Sports: 2022 World Series Predictions
Photo: Ezra Shaw / Getty Images