This is your typical David vs. Goliath story. The Houston Astros were the best team in the American League, and were the top seed in the American League Playoffs. They went undefeated throughout the playoffs, and now they will host Game 1 of the World Series. The Philadelphia Phillies hit a rough patch in September and weren’t even sure they’d make the playoffs. After being the last Wild Card team, they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves, and San Diego Padres to advance to the Fall Classic. Let’s take a look at the preview for your World Series bets.
Houston Astros vs Philadelphia Phillies
Game 1 Starting Pitchers
We’ll get to watch the two hottest teams battle it out in the World Series this year, and it should be a fun series. In looking at Game 1, we’ll get to see a future Hall of Famer get the start for the Astros, as it is expected that Justin Verlander will get the nod for the Astros. Verlander was 18-4 with a 1.75 ERA during the regular season, and is expected to win the American League Cy Young Award.
The Phillies have yet to announce who they’ll start in Game 1, but it will either be Aaron Nola or Zack Wheeler. Wheeler has had the better postseason thus far, as he has a 1.78 ERA and has struck out 25 batters in his 25 innings pitched. However, Phillies manager Rob Thomson may be leaning towards giving Wheeler an extra day of rest. Either way, the Phillies will be in good hands.
The Phillies don’t really have a set pattern in their bullpen. They’ve used numerous closers, including David Robertson, Zach Eflin, Seranthony Dominguez, and Jose Alvarado. Thomson tends to look at the matchups and make his decisions on who to go to.
The Astros bullpen has been lights-out all season. They had the best ERA among bullpens in the regular season, and they have been great throughout the postseason. Bryan Abreu, Hector Neris, and Rafael Montero have taken care of the middle innings, while Ryan Pressly has been the closer. Once you get into the Astros bullpen, it’s tough to score runs.
The top four hitters in the Phillies lineup have carried them throughout the postseason. Kyle Schwarber leads off. Even though he strikes out a lot, he has been very good in his career in the postseason. Rhys Hoskins has had some huge hits in the postseason, including a couple of clutch home runs. JT Realmuto hits third, and he has gotten on base consistently. The NLCS MVP, Bryce Harper, hits fourth. Harper hit .400 in the last series, and had two huge homers, including the game-winner in Game 5 of the NLCS. If these four continue to hit well, the Astros pitchers may be in trouble.
Although Jose Altuve has struggled mightily in the postseason, he’ll be the Astros leadoff hitter. Rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena has had a great postseason, and he will hit second. One of the game’s top power hitters, Yordan Alvarez, will hit third. Alex Bregman, who has hit well throughout the postseason, is the Astros cleanup man. Kyle Tucker will hit fifth, and Yuli Gurriel hits sixth. Chas McCormick will hit eighth for the Astros, and he has had some big hits for Houston in the postseason.