MLB World Series: Background and Predictions

Lennon Mobley, Staff Writer

The World Series started Friday, October 28th between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Houston Astros. This is an odd World Series between two teams that have had very different paths to get there. 

The Phillies have been a major underdog this postseason, and started off their season in a slump. They were 22-29 at the beginning of the season when they fired their manager Joe Girardi and named Rob Thomson as their interim manager. After the changing management, the Phillies went 65-46 finishing the season with a 10-game win streak finishing third in the NL East, and clinching the wildcard as the sixth seed to make their first postseason in 11 years. With all three of their wildcard games scheduled to be at the electric Busch Stadium against an experienced Cardinals team not much was expected from the Phillies. In game 1 the Phillies shocked fans by pulling together a rally in the ninth inning to win 6-3. With a home run from Bryce Harper and a shutout from Aaron Nola, the Phillies won game 2 sending them to the divisional series. 

Taking on the defending world champions and NL East rivals the Atlanta Braves in the divisional series many people didn’t know what to expect. The Braves had the second-best record since June 1st while the Phillies had the third-best. Both teams had been hot coming into the postseason and in game 1. The Phillies scored early with 4 runs in the first 2 innings. The Braves started a comeback in the ninth but were shut down 1 run short losing 6-7. Game two didn’t go quite as well, the Phillies losing 3-0, but after being shut out the Phillies didn’t give up and came back even stronger than before outsourcing the Braves 17 to 4 in the next two games to go to the Championship Series. 

The two underdogs were playing in the series to go to the fall classic. The Phillies who were a six seed and the Padres who were the five seed were playing in the national league championship series. A series between two star-studded lineups was sure to be a close one. The Phillies took game 1 with another pitching shutout to win 2-0. Game two didn’t quite go to plan, with them losing the game 8-5. For the second series in a row the Phillies did exactly what they did to the Braves to the Padres. With stellar offensive performances, the Phillies took game three 4-2 and game four 10-6. In game five Bryce Harper hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning to give the Phillies the lead and send them to the world series.

 

The Astros have had a different route than the Phillies to get to the world series. Finishing with a record of 106 wins and 56 losses the Astros looked like one of the best teams going into the playoffs. The Astros were the one seed in the American League so they didn’t have to play in a wildcard series. The Astros were playing the divisional series against the Seattle Mariners, a team that hasn’t been to the postseason in many years. After a close game, one with the Astros winning 8-7, people thought the whole series might resemble that game. Though it turned out not to be true when Houston won game two and game 3 with scores of 4-2 and 1-0. 

After sweeping the Mariners in the divisional series the Astros moved on to face the powerhouse Yankees in the American League championship series. Houston went into the series the favorites and showed why. They took game one by a score of 4-2, and game two by a close 3-2 score. Houston shut out the Yankees in game three winning 5-0 in a great game all around for the Astros. In game four the Astros fended off the Yankees to take the series in a sweep with a score of 6-5. 

Predicting who is going to win the fall classic is really tough this year. The Phillies have been on fire so far, but could this break before the world series change that? The Astros haven’t dropped a single game in the postseason so far this year so why think they would drop it to one of the lowest-seeded teams this postseason? Personally, I think the Phillies will stay hot and will win the World Series four games to two. The Phillies’ pitching has been great throughout the postseason and assuming they match up their aces properly so that they always have a close enough game that their offense can carry them to victory.