10 things to know about Astros vs.  About the Phillies World Series.  Houston perfection, Philly power, more

10 things to know about Astros vs. About the Phillies World Series. Houston perfection, Philly power, more

10 things to know about Astros vs. About the Phillies World Series. Houston perfection, Philly power, more

It Houston Astros and: Philadelphia Phillies Here are the 2022 World Series Warriors. First pitch of the Fall Classic isn’t until Friday, so we’re stuck with four full days of no baseball thanks to each of those teams extinguishing their opposition on a dime so quickly. The Phillies blew it Fathers in five games while the Astros won Yankees in four.

We’ll have much more on the series in the coming days. Right now, let’s hit some of the biggest stories and some fun tidbits to kick off the early week.

1. They have contrasting resumes

The Astros are definitely a powerhouse. They’ve been to six consecutive league championship series, and they’ve won four of the last six AL titles. The only other teams to do that in the playoff era were the Yankees. In those six years, the Astros topped 100 wins four times, and one of those years was a 60-game season. The only time they didn’t win 100 in an entire season was last year when they won 95. Pretty low year, huh?

The Astros have won 106 games this year. The Phillies only had 87 regular season wins.

The largest margin of victory between World Series occurred in 1906 when 116 wins Puppies faced 93 wins White Sox. We’re not too far off that record of 23 this season because it’s 19 games. Oh, 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 since 2009. They went without a win from 2011 until last year, when they had a modest 82. 80.

Ah, another thing on the Astros…

2. The stars have been perfect so far

The Phillies are 9-2 so far this postseason, are unbeaten in three series and have not faced elimination. That is some stellar work. It also trails the Astros, who went a perfect 7-0.

The two Wildcard-era teams that made perfect runs to the World Series in 2014. Royals and 2007 Rocky mountains. The last time the team completely occupied the table in the postseason was in 1976 Reds, though they only needed to win three games in the NLCS and four in the World Series. The Astros are now 7-0. They need to go 11-0 to overcome that.

That’s such a tall order. It must be said that there is no reason to believe that they need to do this in order to be remembered. 11-3 would be fine. For what it’s worth, the Astros have 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 a quest

Astros manager Dusty Baker won a ring Avoiders In 1981 as a player. However, he is in his 25th season as a manager, and while he has won a division title (a record) and three pennants with five different teams, he has never won a World Series ring as a skipper. The 73-year-old should definitely go to the Hall of Fame, but he sure would love that elusive ring. Many are rooting for a man who has been incredibly popular in baseball circles for a long time.

4. The influence of Altuve and Bregman

Since the 2017 title, the Astros have actually had a number of turnovers. There are only five players left. Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel, Lance McCullers junior and Justin Verlander.

Let’s zero in 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 career playoff home runs, third in runs, eighth in RBI, ninth in hits and fourth in total bases. The Astros have managed to win all seven games without much, if any, help from Altuve’s bat. It will certainly help them get the job done if he comes.

On that front, Altuve had two hits in Game 4 of the ALCS. He beat out a grounder, then hit a single to right field, pretty soft. “Looks like the line is in the box,” as my father always told me. That’s right, and maybe getting those hits will carry Altuve until the World Series starts.

Bregman needs no help fitting in. He appeared in the World Series last year and was the subject of questions throughout. Baker eventually dropped him in the batting order. In seven games so far this season, Bregman is 10-for-30 (.333) with two doubles, two homers and seven RBIs.

How Jeremy Peña swings it in the two hole and how scary it is Jordan Alvarez third, Altuve and Bregman doing well in the one and four spots give the Astros an absurdly impressive top of the order.

What is the talk about…

5. The Phillies have a power puncher

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

Leadoff man Kyle Schwarber Led the NL and No-Judge in home runs this season with 46. He was atrocious in the first two rounds of this year’s playoffs, 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 hitter Rhys Hoskins is only hitting .182 this postseason, but five of his eight hits have been home runs. He’s also hit a couple of home runs and has 11 RBIs in 11 games.

Bryce Harper is the hottest hitter 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 Also unclear between Hoskins and Harper.

6. All those kickoffs (both sides)

Much has been made of the Phillies pair of 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 have the ball a combined four times. Ranger Suarez is also a very good #3, as we saw in the start of Game 3 of the NLCS.

The Astros counter with Hall of Famer and likely 2022 Cy Young winner Justin Verlander in Game 1. All-Star left-hander Framber Valdez led the AL in innings pitched this season and is the No. 2 starter. Then, probably, of some sort Christian Xavier and Lance McCullers Jr. Would calling four aces be difficult? Maybe. Maybe not.

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

7. The Astros have the advantage

The Astros had the best bullpen in baseball this year, judging by run prevention. They also had more than four good starters, so they had some of them in the playoffs, like Javier (in the ALDS), Luis Garcia, Hunter Brown and José Urcudi (although he has not yet been used).

Closer Ryan Presley setup together with men Rafael Montero and Hector Nerys will probably get the highest leverage, but they are so deep.

Through 33 innings so far this postseason, the Astros have a 0.82 bullpen ERA and 0.73 WHIP.

In the Phillies’ end, they will look to use lefty Jose Alvarado and righty Serantoni Dominguez for their highest leverage moments, along with some. David Robertson, Zach EflinAndrew Bellatti and Brad Hand worked

In the playoffs, the Phillies actually have a doable 3.19 ERA and 1.11 WHIP from their relievers, but this group’s chances are much higher than the Astros’.

8. The Phillies have a questionable defense

In defensive efficiency, a very simple measure of the percentage of balls in play that are converted to outs, the Phillies ranked 24th this season. They were the last of the playoff teams. The Astros are in third place. In other measures, such as defensive runs saved, the Phillies rank just as poorly.

The problem is mostly range, as they are stuck with some needed DHs at the corner outfield spots and likely at first base as well. Speaking of which, we’ve seen some playoff mistakes from Hoskins early on and in some other areas as well. The eye test alone says they fall short in this aspect of the game.

9. There is a personal story

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

On the family front, the Phillies just completed Nola vs. Nola (Aaron vs. Austin, the Padres’ catcher) in Game 2 of the NLCS. They won’t really have any more, even though both teams have Mato. Astros reliever Phil Matton singled behind his brother, the Phillies utility man Nick Maton, on October 5. Soon after, Phil broke his arm punching a locker. He is out for the series. Nick wasn’t on the Phillies’ NLCS roster either, so it’s just a matter of family pride as to who gets the ring.

10. This is their first match at the World Cup

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

We are on a roll of these. It was last year Brave and the Astros for the first time. Last year, the Dodgers vs. Rays had never happened before, and neither had Nationals-Astros (2019). In 2018, it was a rematch, of sorts. There hadn’t been a Red Sox-Dodgers World Series since 1916, when the franchise was the Brooklyn Robins.

In 2017 (Astros-Dodgers), it was also the first time, as was 2016 (Cubs-Cleveland).

The last time we got a repeat of the World Series was when both franchises had the same name. It Boston Red Sox vs St. Louis CardinalsIn 2013, it also happened in 2004, 1967 and 1946.

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