After having made the World Series last year but falling to a 4-2 defeat to the Atlanta Braves, the Houston Astros will once again be challenging for the MLB World Series. This time however, their opponents will be coming from a little further northwest with the Philadelphia Phillies having also booked their place in the World Series too.
Before we preview the event though, let’s take a look at how each of the teams made their way to this year’s World Series.
The Houston Astros journey
Early in the season, it was the New York Yankees who looked like the favourite team from the American League that could compete for the World Series. However, a blip in form saw them dropping games and the Astros quickly overtook them as the best performing team in the American League (AL) recording 106 wins and 56 losses during the regular season, comfortably putting them top of the AL West.
Their good form during the regular season secured them a place in the division series where the Astros took on the Seattle Mariners who made it through their wild card game against the Toronto Blue Jays. They would eventually go on to win the series with a 3-0 clean sweep, although both Game 1 and 3 both had a single run separating the two sides, showing it was a much closer contest than first appeared.
Having secured their division title, the Astros then had to face off against the Yankees for their League Championship Series. Once again, the Astros came through their challenge relatively unscathed, having a couple of close games but ultimately securing a 4-0 series win over the early season favourites, finishing the series with a 6-5 victory. You can catch the highlights of that last game below:
The Philadelphia Phillies journey
It was a very different journey for the National League’s (NL) Phillies who experienced a much less impressive season with their 87-75 record leaving them third in the NL East behind the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves. However, their record was just enough to earn them a wild card spot where they came up against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Phillies dispatched the Cardinals with relative ease with back-to-back wins of 6-3 and 2-0 in their respective games.
Moving on to the division series the Phillies took on last year’s champions looking to make consecutive World Series titles, the Braves. However, things didn’t quite start of as planned with the Phillies securing a bit of a shock 7-6 win over the Braves who did pull the series back in game 2 with a 3-0 victory of their own. However, the Phillies performed as well as they have done all season securing a 9-1 win in Game 3 and an 8-3 win in Game 4 to secure the series win 3-1.
The Phillies then found themselves playing another Wild Card side who were on their own impressive run of form in the Padres having just beaten the Mets. It would be the Phillies that got off to the better start though securing a 2-0 win in Game 1. The Padres then levelled the series in Game 2 with a score of 8-5. But the Phillies stepped up their efforts once more to secure the final three games 4-2, 10-6 and 4-3 (highlights below) to take the series 4-1. Thus, securing their place in the 2022 World Series.
Favourites to win the World Series
Game 1 of the World Series will take place on Friday 28th October (29th in the UK). And at odds of 11/20 (-182) to take home the World Series, it is last season’s beaten finalists who are favourites to win the title compared to the Phillies who are 48/29 (+166). It’s no surprise when you look at the kind of season they’ve had and what it means for them too. Firstly, they finished with the best record in the AL as mentioned, and then went on to win every single postseason game they played.
And because of their superior record in the regular season, it has given them an edge over their opponents in the battle for the World Series. That’s because they will enjoy the home field advantage with four of the seven World Series games taking place at Minute Maid Park.
Plus, with last season’s disappointment of losing the World Series at the final hurdle, they won’t want to be making a habit of falling short. Which should spur the players on that extra little bit.
Could the Phillies cause an upset?
They have already surprised a lot of people this season by coming this far, and they’ve by no means had an easy ride having had to take on last season’s World Series winners. However, they’ve managed to get off to solid starts in the first game of the series, and even when teams have levelled the series, it only seems to fill the Phillies with more fight, where they end up dominating the remaining games.
The question is, have they given all they’ve got to get here? Or do they have a little more fuel in the tank to pull off another shock series win to claim the 2022 World Series? If anyone is going to do it this season, it could be the Phillies.
Whilst we admire how well the Phillies have done to get this far, we don’t see the Astros losing the World Series again. They’ve been remarkable this season and players like Justin Verlander have been part of the reason for that, pulling out performance and topping the stat charts for the whole of the MLB not just the AL. However, I think the Phillies will be plucky enough to take a couple of games off the Astros, and so I’m going for the Astros to win the World Series 4-2.
So, there you have it, our predictions for the upcoming World Series. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments how you think the World Series will unfold and who will come away lifting the trophy.
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