The Philadelphia Phillies are the National League Champions and will play the World Series. They defeated the San Diego Padres 4-1 in a best of seven series. This is their first World Series since 2009. The World Series will begin Friday, October 27 at 8 PM ET. They will be taking on the American League Champions, Houston Astros. Can the Phillies continue their magic and win the World Series? Here are the keys to the series to do so.
Keys To World Series
1. Bryce Harper
Bryce Harper is playing out of his mind right now. He is also the best player in the World Series. After sending the Phillies to the World Series with his two run home run in the bottom of the 8th in Game five of the NLCS, the swing of his life, Harper is set to play in his first-ever World Series. For Philadelphia to win this series Bryce Harper is going to have to remain red-hot and continue to deliver with runners in scoring position. Harper has to be Harper, he cannot change anything now that he is in the World Series. Bryce Harper will be a big factor if the Phillies want to win the World Series.
2. Top of the Lineup
The Phillies’ top-of-the-lineup is going to have to produce. With Harper being as hot as he is now, the Astros might not pitch to him. If anything they may just pitch around him to see if he will chase anything. With the Astros only having 1 left-handed pitcher on their team Harper might move up in the order to 3rd, moving J.T. Realmuto down. That will force the press to go to J.T. and the other players in the lineup. However, if Kyle Schwarber, who bats 1st, and Rhys Hoskins, who bats 2nd can see pitches and find a way to get on base. That will leave the Astros with nothing else but to pitch to Harper. Then immediately following Harper could be J.T. or Nick Castellanos, whoever it is will have to come up in the clutch situation and have some gap hits.
3. Starting Pitching
Aaron Nola is starting Game one. Zach Wheeler starts Game two. Ranger Suarez starts Game three. Bailey Falter or Noah Syndergaard starts game four. The first two games of the World Series are very important. Philadelphia’s bullpen is a real threat for opposing hitters this postseason. Only three to four bullpen arms have been reliable so the starters will have to go at least 6+ innings pitched. By doing that, it will open a chance for the Phillies to win game four, their bullpen game. I think this can be a turning point in this series. Either the Phillies or the Astros will be up two games to one. This could make or break the series. If Philadelphia is up 2-1, they can go up 3-1 in game five and of the chance to close the game out in game five. If Houston is up 2-1, game four could tie the series for Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Phillies are 2-0 in games they deemed as “bullpen games”; won game four of NLDS, and game four of NLCS. Game four of the World Series will be a bullpen game
4. Getting out to a lead early
Of the 11 playoffs games the Philadelphia Phillies have played, eitght of them they were the first team to score first. Getting out to an early lead is very important and could be a turning point in this series. The Phillies have only lost one of the eight games when they were the team to score first. Their bullpen has been relied upon to keep leads and to shift the momentum. Getting the lead early in the ball game definitely on the road is vital, against the Astros rotation and their bullpen. Get ahead in the game and stay ahead. It is a lot easier playing with the lead than it is playing behind and having to dig your way out of the hole you are in.
You are in the World Series, everything is magnified now. The Phillies cannot be making errors that are considered routine plays. Sometimes the nerves get the best of you but that is why Dave Dombrowski brought in Kyle Schwarber another veteran guy that has postseason baseball experience, to be a leader in the clubhouse and talk the guys through those tough situations. Philadelphia cannot let the Astros get free runners on base with the lethal offense the Astros have. However, Philadelphia’s defense has been one of the reasons why they have made it this far. Alec Bohm had some good plays to secure the win during the Wild Card round and Jean Segura made some game-saving plays during the NLCS.
The Phillies are in a good situation to win the World Series. They are the hottest team in baseball right now and they are filled with confidence and that is going to carry over to the World Series. This series is going to be a matchup of an elite offense against elite pitching. However, if the Phillies are capable to doing these keys in this series, there then, for sure, will be a parade down broad street.
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