A capsule look at World Series between Phillies and Astros

A capsule look at the best-of-seven World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros:

___

Schedule: (All times EDT) Game 1, Friday, at Houston, 8:03 p.m. (Fox); Game 2, Saturday, at Houston, 8:03 p.m. (Fox); Game 3, Monday, Oct. 31, at Philadelphia, 8:03 p.m. (Fox); Game 4, Tuesday, Nov. 1, at Philadelphia, 8:03 p.m. (Fox); x-Game 5, Wednesday, Nov. 2, at Philadelphia, 8:03 p.m. (Fox); x-Game 6, Friday, Nov. 4, at Houston, 8:03 p.m. (Fox); x-Game 7, Saturday, Nov. 5, at Houston, 8:03 p.m. (Fox).

x-if necessary.

___

Season Series: Astros won 2-1.

___

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

Record: 87-75.

Playoff Entry: Wild Card.

Manager: Rob Thomson (first season).

Top Hitters: DH Bryce Harper (.286, 18 HRs, 65 RBIs, .877 OPS in 99 games), LF Kyle Schwarber (.218, NL-leading 46, 94, 100 runs, .827 OPS), C J.T. Realmuto (.276, 22, 84, 21/22 SBs, .820 OPS), 1B Rhys Hoskins (.246, 30, 79, .794 OPS).

Projected Rotation: RHP Aaron Nola (11-13, 3.25 ERA, 235 Ks, 205 IP), RHP Zack Wheeler (12-7, 2.82), LHP Ranger Suárez (10-7, 3.65), RHP Noah Syndergaard (10-10, 3.94 with Angels and Phillies).

Key Relievers: LHP José Alvarado (4-2, 3.18 ERA, 2 saves, 81 Ks, 2 HRs, 51 IP), RHP Seranthony Domínguez (6-5, 3.00, 9 saves, 61 Ks, 51 IP), RHP David Robertson (4-3, 2.40, 20 saves, 81 Ks, 63 2/3 IP with Cubs and Phillies), RHP Zach Eflin (3-5, 4.04, 1 save in 20 games, 13 starts).

Series Story: Back in postseason for first time in 11 years, underdog Phillies were lowest seed in National League playoffs after clinching spot with 3-0 win Oct. 3 at Houston, of all places. Went 9-2 against St. Louis, Atlanta and San Diego to become first third-place team in baseball history to reach World Series. After winning franchise’s eighth pennant, seeking third championship (1980, 2008). Lost to New York Yankees in last World Series appearance (2009). … President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski is only executive to take four organizations to World Series. Also did it with Marlins (1997), Tigers (2006, 2012) and Red Sox (2018). Won titles with Marlins and Red Sox. … Harper makes World Series debut. Joined the Phillies before 2019 season on $330 million, 13-year contract — largest for a free agent. Two-time NL MVP and seven-time All-Star missed two months this season with broken thumb but batted .419 with five homers, six doubles and 11 RBIs in playoffs. Was NLCS MVP after hitting go-ahead HR in eighth inning of clinching Game 5 victory over Padres. … Hoskins also has five home runs and 11 RBIs in postseason, but batting .182 with 14 strikeouts. … Phillies were 21-29 through May. Fired manager Joe Girardi a few days later and promoted 59-year-old Thomson from bench coach on interim basis. He was recently given two-year contract and is trying to join Jack McKeon (2003 Marlins) and Bob Lemon (1978 Yankees) as only managers hired midseason to win World Series. … Phillies were most recent opponent to defeat Astros when teams opened final series of regular season Oct. 3 in Houston. Schwarber homered twice and Nola carried perfect game into seventh inning to beat Lance McCullers Jr. 3-0. The next night, Justin Verlander fanned 10 in five innings and Astros pitchers held Philadelphia hitless until ninth in 10-0 rout against Suárez. All-Star lefty Framber Valdez whiffed 10 Phillies over five shutout innings in season finale. … Phillies edged Astros in classic 1980 NL Championship Series before Houston moved to American League in 2013. Philadelphia leads 297-283 in head-to-head matchups.

___

HOUSTON ASTROS

Record: 106-56.

Playoff Entry: AL West champion.

Manager: Dusty Baker (third season).

Top Hitters: LF Yordan Alvarez (.306, 37 HRs, 97 RBIs, 1.019 OPS), 2B Jose Altuve (.300, 28, 57, 39 doubles, 103 runs, 18/19 SBs, .921 OPS), 3B Alex Bregman (.259, 23, 93, 38 doubles, .820 OPS), RF Kyle Tucker (.257, 30, 107, 25/29 SBs, .808 OPS).

Projected Rotation: RHP Justin Verlander (18-4, MLB-best 1.75 ERA, 185 Ks, 29 BBs, 116 hits, 175 IP), LHP Framber Valdez (17-6, 2.82, 194 Ks, 166 hits, AL-high 201 1/3 IP and 3 CG), RHP Cristian Javier (11-9, 2.54, 194 Ks, 89 hits, 148 2/3 IP in 30 games, 25 starts), RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (4-2, 2.27 in 8 starts).

Key Relievers: RHP Ryan Pressly (3-3, 2.98 ERA, 33 saves, 65 Ks, 48 1/3 IP), RHP Rafael Montero (5-2, 2.37, 14 saves, 68 1/3 IP, 3 HRs, 71 games), RHP Bryan Abreu (4-0, 1.94, 2 saves, 88 Ks, 2 HRs, 60 1/3 IP), RHP Hector Neris (6-4, 3.72, 3 saves, 79 Ks, 3 HRs, 65 1/3 IP, 70 games).

Series Story: Back in World Series for second consecutive season and fourth time in six years. After winning franchise’s fifth pennant, scorned Astros seeking second championship. Team’s 2017 title was later tarnished by cheating revelations involving illegal sign stealing. Only players remaining from that squad on this year’s AL Championship Series roster were Altuve, Bregman, Verlander, McCullers and 1B Yuli Gurriel. Still, this chase presents another chance at some form of redemption. … Houston lost 2021 World Series to Atlanta in six games. Verlander was out while recovering from Tommy John surgery. McCullers was sidelined with forearm strain. Valdez went 0-1 with 19.29 ERA in two starts, tagged for 10 runs, 12 hits, four homers and three walks in 4 2/3 forgettable innings. … After spectacular comeback this season, 39-year-old Verlander a favorite to win third Cy Young Award. But he’s 0-6 with 5.68 ERA in seven World Series starts. Went 0-2 with 5.73 ERA as Houston lost to Washington in 2019, when road team won all seven games. … Rookie shortstop Jeremy Peña was MVP of ALCS as Astros completed four-game sweep, knocking Yankees out of postseason for fourth time in eight years. Houston went 7-0 against Seattle and New York in playoffs. Last two teams to enter World Series unbeaten in postseason lost: 2014 Royals (8-0) and 2007 Rockies (7-0). … Altuve, three-time batting champion, is 3 for 32 (.094) in postseason. Peña has three homers, three doubles and .990 OPS. Bregman hitting .333 with seven RBIs and .975 OPS. Alvarez has eight RBIs and .889 OPS. Gurriel hitting .367 with two homers. … Pitching staff compiled 1.88 ERA and 0.93 WHIP during AL playoffs. Dominant bullpen had 0.82 ERA. … Neris spent 2014-21 with Philadelphia. … The 73-year-old Baker is oldest manager to reach World Series. This marks third trip for him and still pursuing first title in 25 seasons as major league skipper — though he did win 1981 Series as player with Dodgers.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Related Categories:

MLB News | Sports

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up