10 things to know about Astros vs. Phillies World Series: Houston’s perfection, Philly’s power, more

10 things to know about Astros vs. Phillies World Series: Houston’s perfection, Philly’s power, more

The Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies are contenders for the 2022 World Series. The first pitch of the Fall Classic isn’t until Friday, so we’re stuck with four full days of baseball, thanks to each of those teams shutting down their pennant opposition so quickly. The Phillies crashed Fathers in five games as the Astros swept Yankees at four.

We’ll have much more on the series in the coming days. For now, let’s hit some of the biggest stories and some fun trivia for the opening text.

1. They have contrasting biographies

The Astros are a powerhouse without a doubt. They have been to the league championship series six straight times and have won four of the last six AL pennants. The only other teams to do that in the playoff era were the Yankees. The Astros have reached 100 wins four times in those six years, and one of those years was a 60-game season. The only time they didn’t hit 100 in an entire season was last year, when they hit 95. Pretty bad year, huh?

This year, the Astros won 106 games. The Phillies won just 87 in the regular season.

The largest margin of victory between the World Series occurred in 1906, when there were 116 victories Cubs faced with a 93-win White Sox. We are not far from the record of 23 this season, because it is 19 games. By the way, those underdog White Sox won.

The Phillies also haven’t been to the playoffs since 2011, haven’t been to the NLCS since 2010 and haven’t won the pennant since 2009. They didn’t win a record between 2011 and last year, when they went a meager 82-80.

Oh, one more thing about the Astros…

2. The Astros have been perfect so far

The Phillies are 9-2 so far this postseason, haven’t trailed in three series and haven’t faced elimination. It’s a great job. It’s also inferior to the Astros, who went a perfect 7-0.

The two wild card teams that had perfect starts to the World Series were the 2014 Royals and in 2007 Rockies. The last time a team completely clinched the standings in the postseason was 1976 Red, though they only needed three games in the NLCS and four in the World Series. The Astros are already 7-0. They will need 11-0 to make it.

It is such a difficult task. It should be said that there is no reason to believe that they have to do this in order to be remembered. 11-3 will be just fine. For what it’s worth, the Astros are on a nine-game winning streak dating back to the regular season. Their last loss came on October 3rd…against the Phillies.

3. Dusty Baker is on the hunt

Astros manager Dusty Baker won a ring with Dodgers 1981 as a player. He is in his 25th season as a manager, however, and while he has won a division title with five different teams (a record) and three pennants, he has never won a World Series ring as a skipper. The 73-year-old should absolutely be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but he sure would love that elusive ring. Many will root for a man who has long been incredibly popular in baseball circles.

4. The influence of Altuve and Bregman

The Astros have actually had a ton of turnovers since their 2017 title. Only five players left: Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel, Lance McCullers Jr. and Justin Verlander.

Let’s focus on Altuve and Bregman, for different reasons.

Altuve started the playoffs 0 for 25 before getting hit. This is one of the most decorated forwards in postseason history. He is second in the playoffs in career home runs, third in runs, eighth in RBI, ninth in hits and fourth in total bases. The Astros managed to win all seven games without much, if any, help from Altuve’s bat. It would certainly help them finish the job if he came forward.

On that front, Altuve got two hits in Game 4 of the ALCS. He beat out a grounder and then hit a single to right field, pretty quietly. “Looks like a pit laner,” as my dad always told me. It’s true, and maybe Altuve will get in with those hits before the World Series starts.

Bregman doesn’t need help settling down. He got hit in the World Series last year and was the subject of all the questions. Baker ended up dropping him in the batting order. Through seven games so far this season, Bregman is 10 for 30 (.333) with two doubles, two homers and seven RBI.

With the way Jeremy Peña swings in the two hole and how scary it is Yordan Alvarez is third, Altuve and Bregman going well at one and four gives the Astros such a ridiculously imposing top of the order.

Speaking of which…

5. The Phillies have a power hitter

The Phillies aren’t too shabby at the top either.

Leadoff man Kyle Schwarber was the NL leader — and the “non-umpire” leader — in home runs with 46 this season. He was brutal in the first two rounds of the playoffs this year, but hit three homers in 15 at-bats in the NLCS. He now has 12 career playoff home runs in 145 at-bats.

Two-hole putter Rhys Hoskins he’s hitting just .182 this postseason, but of his eight hits, five have been home runs. He’s hit some big ones, too, and has 11 RBIs in 11 games.

Bryce Harper is the hottest striker on the planet right now. Through 11 playoff games, he is hitting .419/.444/.907 with six doubles, five home runs, 11 RBI and 10 runs.

JT Realmuto neither is the slack between Hoskins and Harper.

6. All that initial pitching (on both sides)

Much has been made of a pair of Phillies aces Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola. Each is capable of putting a team on his back for 6-7 innings in any given start. If this streak goes seven games, they’ll get the ball four times combined. Ranger Suarez is also a very good #3, as we saw in his start in Game 3 of the NLCS.

Astros counter with Hall of Famer and likely 2022 Cy Young winner Justin Verlander in Game 1. All-Star lefty Framber Valdez he led the AL in innings pitched this season and is the No. 2 starter. Then it’s probably some order Christian Xavier and Lance McCullers Jr. Would it be hard to say four aces? Maybe. Maybe not.

We’re going to see a lot of great starts for this series.

7. The Astros have the lead

The Astros had the best bullpen in baseball this year, judging by run prevention. They also had more than four good starters, so they benched some of them for the playoffs, such as Javier (in the ALDS), Luis García, Hunter Brown and José Urquídy ​​(although not yet used).

Closer Ryan Pressly together with the furniture Raphael Montero and Héctor Neris will probably get the job with the highest leverage, but they are so deep.

In 33 innings of relief work so far this postseason, the Astros have a 0.82 ERA and 0.73 WHIP.

On the Phillies end, they will look to use lefty José Alvarado and righty Seranthony Domínguez for their biggest leverage moments, with some David Robertson, Zach EflinAndrew Bellatti and Brad Hand worked in

The Phillies actually have a workable 3.19 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in the playoffs from their relievers, but the odds of this group taking a game away are much higher than the Astros.

8. The Phillies have questionable defense

In terms of defensive efficiency, which is a very simple measure of the percentage of balls in play converted to outs, the Phillies ranked 24th this season. They were last among the playoff teams. The Astros were third. Other measures, like defensive runs saved, ranked the Phillies similarly poorly.

The problem is mostly range, as they are stuck with some DHs who should be in the corners outfield, and probably at first base as well. Speaking of which, we’ve seen some playoff mistakes from Hoskins early on in some other areas as well. The eye test alone says they are inferior in this aspect of the game.

9. There is a personal history

Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola and Astros third baseman Alex Bregman went to LSU. At the same time. And were roommates. Some might say it’s interesting or even fun.

On the family front, the Phillies just completed a Nola vs. Nola matchup (Aaron vs. Austin, Padres catcher) in Game 2 of the NLCS. They won’t actually have another, even though Maton is on both teams. Astros reliever Phil Matton gave up a single to his brother, the Phillies utility man Nick MatonOctober 5. Soon after, Phil broke his arm while banging on a cabinet in frustration. He left for the series. Nick wasn’t on the Phillies’ NLCS roster, so it’s just a matter of family pride who gets the ring.

10. This is their first World Series game

We’ve never seen this fall classic. Everyone reading probably already figured that out. The Astros just moved to the American League in 2013 and, well, the Phillies haven’t made the playoffs since then.

We are on a roll of these. Last year it was Braves and the Astros for the first time. A year earlier, the Dodgers vs. Rays has never happened before, and neither has Nationals-Astros (2019). In 2018, it was a rematch, of sorts. The Red Sox-Dodgers World Series hasn’t been played since 1916, when the franchise was the Brooklyn Robins.

In 2017 (Astros-Dodgers), he was also a first-timer, as well as in 2016 (Cubs-Cleveland).

The last time we had a World Series replay when both franchises had the same name? The Boston Red Sox vs. St. Louis Cardinals2013. It also happened in 2004, 1967 and 1946.

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