Phillies vs Astros World Series Game: Veterans Nola, Verlander Get Call in Series Opener

MLB World Series Odds: Favored Houston Astros Look to Remain Undefeated in 2022 Postseason

Philadelphia Phillies Open Yet Another Playoff Series on Road

Nobody is surprised to see the Houston Astros back in the World Series. However, when it comes to the  Philadelphia Phillies, it is a much different story when looking at the MLB World Series odds. Let’s dive into our Phillies vs Astros World Series game preview.

With Philadelphia under .500 in early June, the Phillies fired Joe Girardi and Rob Thomson led the team into the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Philadelphia opened on the road in each of its three rounds in the playoffs, eliminating St. Louis, defending champion Atlanta and San Diego.

The Astros have opened at home twice and swept both the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees.

When it comes to previous World Series experience, the edge certainly goes to Houston with several players still around from the 2017 title-winning team. Kyle Schwarber brings the experience of winning it all to the Phillies.
According to the MLB playoff odds the Astros are priced at +190 to win the series with the Phillies coming in at +155.

Houston’s Yordan Alvarez (+600), Philadelphia’s Bryce Harper (+700) and the Astros’ Justin Verlander (+800) enter as the favorites to win the World Series Most Valuable Player award.

Phillies vs Astros Game Information

Game: Philadelphia Phillies 87-75 in the regular season, 9-2 in the playoffs; Houston Astros 106-56 in the regular season, 7-0 in the playoffs.
Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston
Streaming: Live Stream Sports

Philadelphia Phillies

Continuing Our Phillies vs Astros World Series Game Preview: Thomson laid out his intentions for the first two games of the series. Knowing that Zack Wheeler pitches better with more rest and concerned that Aaron Nola might have too much time between appearances, Thomson announced that Nola would pitch in Game 1 with Wheeler going in Game 2.

Wheeler has been the most effective Philadelphia starter during the postseason with 10 hits and five earned runs allowed in four starts. Nola has a 3.12 earned run average in his three starts. He allowed one unearned run in 12⅔ innings in his first two playoff starts before allowing six runs the last time out against the Padres.

Nola, in his eighth season with the Phillies, will be pitching in the World Series for the first time. Wheeler and Nola are in the postseason for the first time, so expect the two veterans to be ready for the moment. Even with those two proven performances, the MLB World Series odds have the Phillies as the underdogs.

When looking at the MLB standings by division, the Phillies finished third in the top-heavy NL East. The Atlanta Braves and New York Mets might have finished ahead of Philadelphia, but the Phillies could get the last laugh.

Houston Astros

With the remarkable season that 39-year-old Justin Verlander had, it is only natural to assume that he has been the most reliable starting pitcher for the Houston Astros in the playoffs. He is just one of the reasons why the MLB World Series odds favor the Astros.

That has not been the case. Verlander, who was 18-4 with a 1.75 ERA in 28 regular-season starts, has made quite the impression after missing all of last season and being limited to one appearance in 2020. The playoffs have been a different story as he allowed 10 hits and six runs in four innings in his 2022 postseason debut. He looked more like the regular-season Verlander with three hits and one run surrendered in six innings in his lone start in the American League Championship Series.

Verlander is more than likely to have multiple starts in the World Series beginning with Game 1. Houston is 2–4 in the last World Series games started by Verlander. With the way Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier and Lance McCullers Jr. have thrown in the playoffs, the Astros won’t need Verlander to carry the weight of the team on his shoulders.

Who’s Hot

  • Seranthony Dominguez, Phillies P: Dominguez has allowed three hits and one run in 7.2 innings in the postseason. He has struck out 15 of the 26 batters he has faced.
  • Bryce Harper, Phillies DH: Harper takes a 10-game hitting streak into the series opener. He is hitting .450 with five home runs and 11 RBIs during the streak.
  • Jeremy Pena, Astros SS: Pena has three home runs, two doubles and five RBIs in his last five games.
  • Ryan Pressley, Astros P: Pressley has allowed two hits and no runs with eight strikeouts in 5.2 innings in five postseason appearances.

Who’s Not

  • Alec Bohm, Phillies 3B: Bohm has four hits in his last 28 at-bats with eight strikeouts.
  • Brad Hand, Phillies P: Four of the last eight batters he has faced have reached base as he has allowed three hits and two runs while retiring three batters in his last two outings.
  • Trey Mancini, Astros 1B: Mancini is 0 for 12 with four strikeouts in the playoffs.
  • Justin Verlander, Astros P: Verlander has surrendered 13 hits, including two home runs, and seven runs in 10 innings of work in two playoff starts.

Phillies vs Astros Head-to-Head

Houston won two of the three games against the Phillies during the regular season with all three contests taking place at Minute Maid Park in early October. Those were the first games between the teams since 2019 when the visiting Astros took two of three in the only series between the squads.

Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez combined to go 9-for-16 with three doubles in the three games against Philadelphia this season.

Verlander and Valdez combined to allow two hits and no runs with 20 strikeouts in 10 innings for the Astros.
Schwarber hit a pair of home runs against the Astros while Bryson Stott, Brandon Marsh and J.T. Realmuto also hit over .300 against Houston. Nola allowed two hits and no runs with nine strikeouts in 6⅓ innings in his lone start against Houston to pick up the Phillies’ lone win.

Phillies vs Astros Prediction

Concluding Our Phillies vs Astros World Series Game Preview: The Phillies were the last National League team to secure a spot in the playoffs and are the last one standing. Philadelphia has been the underdog throughout the postseason and it is no different in the World Series.

Harper, Rhys Hoskins and Schwarber are among the hitters for the Phillies, who are showing that the stage isn’t too big for them.

The key in getting to the Astros is scoring early as the bullpen has been lights out in the postseason.That is something the Yankees were unable to do.

Alvarez provides the power for Houston. However, don’t discount the World Series experience of Altuve, Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel.

The Astros are 101-43 when listed by the MLB betting lines as the favorite, while the Phillies are 30-34 as the underdog. The Astros are just 43-42 against the spread at home in 2022.

The teams will be able to go with the same rosters that got them this far. It is hard to pick against a Houston team yet to taste defeat in the postseason.

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