World Championship 2022 – What we’ve learned about the Astros-Phillies

Two games into the 2022 World Championships, there was no shortage of drama on the field in Houston.

Firstly, underdog Phillies were recovering from a 5-0 downturn in the first game and handing the Astros their first post-season loss thanks to JT RealmotoLong ball with 10 runs.

Then, it was Houston’s turn to remind everyone why they were a big favorite to begin with by scoring three first-half runs against the Phillies ace. Zach Wheeler In a 5-2 victory game 2.

With Sunday’s travel day before the series moves to Philadelphia for three games starting Monday night, we asked ESPN MLB experts Bradford Doolittle, John Lee, Jeff Bassan and Jesse Rogers to analyze what they’ve seen so far and what we should expect from here.

What surprised you the most in the first two matches?

Mine: Constant struggles Justin Verlander in the world championship. For someone with such a storied career, it is truly remarkable that Astros ace’s 6.07 ERA is the worst of all novice shooters with no less than 30 World Championship rounds. His inability to retain the lead opened the door for Philadelphia to beat the Juggernaut Astros in Friday’s opener, and if the Phillies ended up lifting the trophy, that would have set the tone.

Rogers: Aaron Nola And Wheeler flips up to 10 runs (nine earned) in their prime. Wheeler, in particular, left too many pitches above the plate in the two rounds he gave up, and neither of the shooters sounded very sharp. The Phillies need two aces to be much better on their next outing.

Bassan: Impermeability of Veles porridge. Entering the series, the Phillies’ relievers were good enough – 3.19 ERA, 53 strokes in 42⅓ postseason innings – but nothing compared to the Astros, who were allowed to pull three runs in 33 runs, all at single distances. Between the five rounds in which Nola loses in Game 1 and three times Wheeler’s goalless capture in Game 2, the Philadelphia stylus serves as a weapon. Whether he can do it deeper into the chain, it could make or break Phillies.

Doolittle: I was wondering how the Feliz get around Jordan Alvarez/Kyle Tucker A section of Houston’s squad is late in close matches once Jose Alvarado spent. Rob Thompson was way ahead of me with the starter Ranger Suarez In the first half as the second left-handed player. But Suarez will start the fourth game, presumably taking him off the table as a rest option in either of the next two games, so my curiosity remains.

Was the Phillies’ 1 victory a mirage, or would they hang with the Astros from here?

Doolittle: It wasn’t a mirage — Velez, or any team, is unlikely to overcome a five-time deficit at a world championship. The Astros are still in great shape, but as long as the Phillies Bullpen continues to ring the bell we should be in for more tight games and some dramatic moments. Houston is still a favourite, but is now the best of the five, and Philly has the land advantage after the split.

Mine: While I think the Astros will win this series, I would really be surprised if the Phillies didn’t quit at least once, maybe in two games during their three home games. Philadelphia’s lineup made things interesting in the eighth inning of Game 2, keeping it tighter than the final square score would suggest – and I expect this to continue into Games 3, 4 and 5.

Bassan: This series has all the hallmarks of a long line: splitting to start, crimes capable of causing fire at any moment and revolutions that perform at an elite level. Of the 59 world championships that began with a division, 45 of them have gone to at least a sixth game, according to ESPN stats and information. And if the series follows suit and returns to Houston, it’s bound to be a coin toss between two highly talented and highly motivated teams.

Rogers: The Phillies can definitely stick with Houston – I thought before the series – especially considering they’re going home for three games. After the second game, players at both clubs were discussing the Philly crowd and the electricity it would bring. Houston won’t be intimidated, but the Phillies won’t get carried away there either — no way. All that can be said: it will be a long chain.

How do you expect the atmosphere to change now that the series heads to Philly?

Rogers: With all due respect to Astros fans – and it may be due to the building’s acoustics – the sound will likely be louder and more chaotic in the outdoors Citizens Bank Park than it was in the indoor Minute Maid Park. Velez fans were making the difference, according to the players, for the team that went 5-0 at home in the post-season. It’s going to be a wild game in Philadelphia for these next three games.

Mine: The Astros fans were rowdy and boisterous during the World Championships, but Phillies fans are hungry for their first championship since 2008. Between the Phillies’ success and the Eagles’ strong start, Philadelphia has plenty to cheer on now, and I expect that energy to carry it over. And to give you some anecdotal evidence of how loud this crowd of Feliz can get: A college friend sprained his ankle while partying Reese Hoskins‘homer the third inning in Game 5 of NLCS and the rest of the game remains. “I will smash my other foot if I lock the address.” Expect that kind of power for a game 3.

Doolittle: More people rooting for Feliz? It will be a different and attractive atmosphere. The weather is cooler. There is no option to close the cap. However, this should not be a huge factor. The Astros have a lineup of players who have won several post-season games on the road, including the World Championships. It was actually Houston more Successful away from home during the Fall Classic during the current winning window.

Bassan: The Phillies is the only team in the sport whose nickname derives directly from the city’s name, and it just so happens to be inhabited by people Phillie Phanatic tattoo around the navel. So it’s no surprise that the entry price for Game 3 is more than $700. If for some reason you still thought Citizens Bank Park wouldn’t be the most noisy, festive, and ridiculous joint in this postseason, well, you’re probably from Houston.

Who is the best player in the world championship so far – and will he take the award in the end?

Doolittle: It appears wide open. I don’t think anyone influenced a win more than Realmuto in Game 1 or Framber Valdez In game 2. I’ll probably split the vote between them now. Then I would like to point out that Jose Altove It gets hotter and might end up winning it in the end.

Rogers: Valdez. It came just in time for the Astros after they dropped their first match. Imagine you’re down 2-0 and then going to Philadelphia – that streak will probably end. I think Valdes will win it in the end too. He still had another great outing even after making 104 pitches on Saturday night.

Mine: For now, Realmuto. If the Phillies are able to win the World Championship, it will be because they were able to take one of Houston’s first two games – and that doesn’t happen without Musk Phillies.

Bassan: In general, positional adjustments are much more important over a large range of games. But when it comes to hunting, the demands they face in a short streak—particularly one with massive consequences like the one crowning a champion—must be weighed heavily. Which means that as great as Valdez was in Game 2, Realmuto almost single-handedly won Game 1 And the Playing excellent baseball usually in Game 2 makes it a choice. It’s not a bad bet for the rest of the series either.

Would you like to review your original predictions for the World Championship?

Doolittle: Astros at 6? It seems right. I haven’t seen anything that would make me change my mind.

Mine: The Phillies had an amazing playoff, but I still think the talent of this Astros will win in the end.

Bassan: Ask me after the fourth game.

Rogers: I had the Astros at 7, and as much as I love the Phillies mojo, pitching Houston would be the difference on the long series.

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