Tonight, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Houston Astros start the 118th World Series in Minute Maid Park, home of the Astros. These two teams have not faced each other in the postseason since the 1980 NLCS, which proved extremely exciting. The Phillies won that series, three games to two, with four of those five games going into extra innings. The Phillies ultimately won the World Series that year over the Kansas City Royals. Here’s hoping the 2022 Phillies-Astros showdown will be equally as electrifying!
The Phillies return to the World Series for the first time since 2009. They won the NL East by six games that year and had a solid regular season record of 93-69. Philadelphia had a strong postseason run to get to the 2009 Series, only losing two games throughout the entire NLDS and NLCS. The New York Yankees ultimately defeated them in the World Series in six games.
Thirteen years later, the underdog Phillies are looking to be on the winning end of the World Series. They have been devouring teams since the kickoff of the 2022 postseason. Again, they have only lost two games, this time including the Wild Card, NLDS, and NLCS rounds. Former two-time MVP Bryce Harper has been the epitome of Superman for the Phils, leading the team with a postseason stat line of 10 runs on 18 hits, five home runs, 11 RBIs, two walks, a .419 BA, and 1.351 OPS. Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins both deserve praise as well. Schwarber’s postseason home runs have been majestic, and Hoskins hit the game-winning home run in Game 5 of the NLCS. Can Harper and Co. blast through the Astros to a ring? Be sure to tune in and see.
Are the Houston Astros baseball’s newest dynasty? It sure seems so. They are making back-to-back appearances and returning to their fourth World Series in the last six seasons. The 2017 championship ring is the only one the Astros own from those four World Series opportunities. However, the 2017 win continues to hang as a dark cloud over the franchise, the team used a sophisticated sign-stealing system to cheat their way to wins. MLB investigated the allegations and, in 2020, handed down varying degrees of punishment to the team and management. Nonetheless, the organization was allowed to retain its World Series championship, and not a single player was punished for his actions.
Despite being booed often in every stadium across the country, the Astros dominated during the 2022 regular season and are 7-0 in the postseason. If they sweep Philadelphia, they will be the only team in the wild-card era to complete the modern-day postseason undefeated (outdoing the White Sox in 2005 and a past Yankees titlist). Houston will have to go through the red-hot Phillies to get there, but the Astros have been equally commanding. Houston’s pitching has been lights-out in their seven playoff games, holding opponents to a .178/.248/.291 line, bewildering some of the MLB’s best hitters. Houston is banking on Justin Verlander and the rest of the staff to keep the heat coming and squelch the bats of the fiery Phillies.
Philadelphia is mixing things up, sending Aaron Nola to the bump today and starting Zack Wheeler for Game 2. Nola is the longest-tenured Phillies player and was their solid No. 2 pitcher during the regular season. In his first two postseason outings, Nola was almost unhittable, with no earned runs over 12 2⁄3 innings pitched. However, he struggled in his last start during the NLCS versus the Padres, as Rob Thomson pulled him after giving up six runs on seven hits in only 4 2⁄3 innings. The Phillies are hoping to steal a first-game road win with a rebound from Nola.
Cy Young candidate — let’s be honest, he’s going to win it — Houston’s Justin Verlander will make his 33rd career postseason start today. His overall postseason record is impressive, with a 15-11 record and a 3.55 ERA. However, he hasn’t won a single game in seven World Series appearances, owning a 0-6 record and a 5.68 ERA. So far in the 2022 postseason, Verlander has been both dreadful and superb. The lousy came in Game 1 of the ALDS versus the Mariners; he only pitched four innings, surrendering six runs on 10 hits, one walk, and three strikeouts. On the other hand, the excellent came more recently, in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Yankees, when he allowed only one run (a Harrison Bader homer) on three hits, one walk, and 11 strikeouts. The Astros hope that in today’s Game 1, Verlander will finally secure his first World Series win.
FOX Sports will broadcast the game at 7:03 p.m. CT. All games in the World Series are 7:03 p.m. CT starts and FOX broadcasts.
Here is the Phillies’ starting lineup:
This is happening. #RingTheBell— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) October 28, 2022
: @SportsRadioWIP pic.twitter.com/I3tVEJy8sI
Here is the Astros’ starting lineup:
- Jose Altuve (R) 2B
- Jeremy Pena (R) SS
- Yordan Alvarez (L) LF
- Alex Bregman (R) 3B
- Kyle Tucker (L) RF
- Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
- Trey Mancini (R) DH
- Chas McCormick (R) CF
- Martin Maldonado (R) C
Who will win the 2022 World Series?
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Astros, in 4
Astros, in 5
Astros, in 6
Astros, in 7
Phillies, in 4
Phillies, in 5
Phillies, in 6
Phillies, in 7