Philadelphia Phillies vs. Houston Astros World Series Game 1 (10/28/22): Starting Lineups, Betting Odds, Prediction
The 2022 World Series is upon us. After a small break from baseball, the result of the Astros and Phillies making quick work of their LCS opponents, two teams that took completely different paths to get here will take the field Friday night.
The Astros won 106 games and have been to four World Series in the last six years, while the Phillies won only 87 games and made a managerial change in June. Both teams have stars with legacies on the line, and these two have lost a combined two games so far this postseason. Who comes out on top?
Let’s take a look at starting lineups, betting odds, and predictions for the World Series.
2022 World Series Betting Odds
The Astros are favored to win the World Series at -190 on the moneyline. The underdog Phillies enter at +165 on the moneyline.
For the third time in their last three trips to the World Series, the Astros are favored. However, the Phillies will be a popular underdog. Houston lost its last two World Series to an NL East team that clicked at the right time, and it’s hard not to see the parallels between the Phillies and those two teams.
MLB’s home-field advantage format also could benefit the Phillies. If Philadelphia can just split the first two games in Houston with aces on the mound, they’ll head to Philadelphia for three consecutive home games with the series even. Are the Phillies the better value?
2022 World Series Picks & Prediction
My pick: Phillies in 6, Rhys Hoskins MVP
I’m not ready to hop off the Phillies’ hype train. The Astros are a perfect 7-0 this postseason, but they haven’t necessarily looked like a 7-0 team. Between comeback victories and narrow wins, it was almost as if they were begging the Mariners and Yankees to try and win some games.
Houston won those games because of excellent pitching – particularly in the starting rotation. The Astros still have the pitching advantage, but they’ll be facing a lineup that has consistently hit all postseason and enters this series high on confidence. It would only be fitting that an October of upsets ends with an 87-win champion.
2022 World Series Starting Lineups
Houston Astros vs Philadelphia Phillies starting lineups
Philadelphia Phillies Starting Lineup
LF K. Schwarber L
1B Rhys Hoskins R
C J. Realmuto R
DH Bryce Harper L
RF N. Castellanos R
3B Alec Bohm R
CF B. Marsh L
2B Jean Segura R
SS Bryson Stott L
Houston Astros Starting Lineup
2B Jose Altuve R
SS Jeremy Pena R
LF Y. Alvarez L
3B Alex Bregman R
RF Kyle Tucker L
1B Yuli Gurriel R
DH Trey Mancini R
CF C. McCormick R
C M. Maldonado R
2022 World Series Key Matchups
Take a look at how the head-to-head matchups between the Phillies and Astros might shake out.
Astros Starting Pitchers vs. Phillies Lineup
The Phillies can’t let themselves be victims of the Astros’ dominant pitching like the Mariners and Yankees did. Their lineup is better equipped to handle such a strong rotation. Strikeouts are a concern for Kyle Schwarber and J.T. Realmuto, but all will be forgiven if they can hit a couple home runs in important spots. Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, and Jean Segura have all come through in big moments and give this lineup more contact ability than the Yankees or Mariners.
Still, this won’t be an easy battle for Phillies hitters. Justin Verlander looked locked in during the ALCS, while Framber Valdez and Cristian Javier were at the top of their game. Keep an eye on whether Verlander looks rusty with the extended break – that was an issue in his ALDS start against Seattle.
Phillies Pitching vs. Top of Astros Lineup
The Astros’ lineup will obviously be a tough task for the Phillies. While it’s worth noting Houston’s offense has been far from dominant this month, the top of the lineup is loaded with players who have been here before and know what it’s like to deal with the pressure of baseball’s biggest stage. Oh, and they can hit.
Yordan Alvarez is one of the sport’s biggest power threats (as Robbie Ray found out), and rookie Jeremy Pena has been excellent in the postseason. Between Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker, and Yuli Gurriel, some of those other established hitters are bound to get hot.
The bottom of the lineup has been a persistent issue for the Astros and could be a liability again. As great as those top six hitters are, that’s about all Houston has. With Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola set to pitch twice (if necessary), there will be serious pressure on that group to perform like they did in the regular season. If they don’t, can the pitching staff alone really be enough to win the World Series?
Phillies Bullpen vs. Astros Bullpen
The Astros probably win the battle of the bullpens, but the Phillies have started to even out that matchup with the way they’ve pitched this month. Seranthony Dominguez has turned into a multi-inning weapon for Rob Thomson, which has made all the difference. If Dominguez isn’t available on a given night, Phillies fans will have to worry about who will come in to face Alvarez or Bregman.
Phillies vs. Themselves: Will defense be their undoing?
The two concerns for the Phillies entering October: The bullpen and the defense. The bullpen has been strong. Not perfect, but much better than expected and good enough to win a championship. The defense hasn’t been as bad as it could’ve been, but it popped up as an issue in the NLDS and NLCS.
It’ll be important that the defense doesn’t give away more than one or two runs against a high-contact Astros lineup. Even so, the Phillies are built to win high-scoring games, something the Astros’ previous opponents weren’t ready to do.