The World Series starts in a number of hours, earlier this week the Fantoms On The Mound Podcast sat down and discussed how we see this series playing out. Dacota, Lee, Jeremy, and Rowan are split down the middle. Here are our predictions and reason behind them.
Fantoms On The Mound: World Series Predictions
Dacota Haynes: Phillies in Six Games
You can call me a bit salty, but growing up in the northwest. I’ve always been told to root against the Astros.But this year, that’s not why I’m rooting against them, the Phillies have that “it factor.”
They have guys they can get hits in clutch times, and every single one of them has been hot this postseason and I don’t see them cooling down. Now the Astros do have a solid rotation. The Phillies just have to get to that rotation early and put runs up on the board like the Mariners did. The key to this series for the Philadelphia Phillies will be their pitching staff, don’t have to shut down the Astros offense better than any team has so far.
So it’s projected to be Verlander and Aaron Nola in game one, the ladder has not pitched in the World Series. However Justin Verlander is 0-6 in the World Series, and has not really looked good this postseason.
How does the WS play out: Phillies are going to take game one, and the Astros will to tie it up in Houston in game two with Valdez pitching a gem. It’s then going to go back to Philly where the Phillies will win both due to energy that their crowd will bring. From there it’ll go back to the Game 1 starters, motivated to pick up a win, the Astros will do so. Then the Phillies will win on a game-winning home run by Bryce Harper in game 6.
Lee McManus: Astros in Six Games
Please remember to take my picks with, not a pinch of salt but an entire salt mine. The one team that made me look good in these playoffs, the Houston Astros, takes on the surprise team of this year’s playoffs, the Philadelphia Phillies. I picked against the Phillies to avoid giving my friend Ron’s team the KOD, and I picked the Astros because they were that good.
I am staying with my pick of Houston in six. The Astros already had the chance to be a dynasty, but they lost in 2019 to the Washington Nationals and last year to the Atlanta Braves. I think they must feel haunted by those losses, much in the way our podcast was this week. Their chance to exorcise their demons appears greater than ours at FOTM, since we have to write about our WS picks.
Astros Manager Dusty Baker best, deepest team may be his last real chance to win a WS. Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez did very little in the ALCS and Houston still swept the New York Yankees. Lance McCullers pitched poorly and Justin Verlander struggled in his start against the Seattle Mariners and the first three innings against New York. If these Astros stars pitch and hit up to the level rest of their lineup, staff, and bullpen pitched and hit so far this season, Houston should win this series.
This is no slight against the Phillies, whose performance is far beyond anyone’s expectations this postseason. Zach Wheeler’s out-pitched everyone this postseason. Bryce Harper’s reminded everyone how great a hitter he is. Their bullpen has been almost every bit as good as Houston’s. They deserve to be here, based on their performance so far.
I am picking Houston because this feels like Dusty Baker’s time. Dusty’s weakness in the postseason, mismanaging the bullpen, seems almost impossible given the arms he has. Houston’s rotation and lineup are just a little deeper. Saying that if you place bets put a few dollars down on the Phillies. After all you want to look smarter than me, don’t you?
Jeremy Adams: Phillies in Six Games
Houston is quite the team. Perhaps the best all around team I have ever seen. Their pitching rotation is absolutely filthy. Being able to develop the pitchers that they drafted and brought over from international free agents is beautiful.
Projected starters for Astros
- Game 1: J. Verlander
- Game 2: F. Valdez
- Game 3: C. Javier
- Game 4. J. Urquidy
Although game 5 would most likely begin with Verlander again. The Astros could use Luis Garcia as a long reliever if anyone struggles. Astros bullpen has an ERA of 0.82 in 33 innings.
Astors hitting is one of their main staple as a team. As a team the batting .248 compared to the Phillies’ .253 average. Despite this average the Astros has have some clutch hitters in Yordan Alvarez and Jose Altuve. Altuve has been stuggling in this playoff. Not getting a hit in the NLDS against Seattle and only batting .188 against the Yankees. Yordan Alvarez was the star of the NLDS however, against the Yankees in the ALCS that was not the case. The most scary thing about the Astros lineup is that if you cut off one head two more will grow back. Both Alex Bregman, Jeremy Peña, Yuriel Gurriel, and McCormick stepped up in the NLCS.
Philadelphia’s pitching staff is far inferior to the Astros pitching staff. However, Phillies 2 aces could give the Astros top 2 a run for their money but overall the edge goes to the Astros. Aaron Nola of the Philadelphia Phillies has looked really good lately. He has really worked the top of the zone to setup for his wipe slider in the lower part of the zone. Wheeler is pitching just as good now as Justin Verlander was from the regular season. Wheeler has been lights out in the postseason. His only lost was because an error was marked as a hit, which was credited towards him, in Atlanta series.
Projected starters for Phillies
- Game 1: Aaron Nola
- Game 2: Zach Wheeler
- Game 3: Ranger Suarez
- Game 4: Bailey Falter/Noah Syndergaard (Bullpen game)
Philadelphia’s hitting is what has gotten them to the World Series. Phillies has the best player in this series in Bryce Harper. Who has been nothing short of fantastic. Phillies offense can explode at any moment. Dropping 24 runs in the NLDS and 25 in the NLCS.
I think the Phillies take game 1 on the road. Adding to Verlander’s 0-7 win lose record in the World Series. Astros even the series in game, to go into Philadelphia with the series tied 1-1. Phillies win game 3 as a mail biter. Astros take game 4 against the Phillies bullpen game, and making that the Phillies first lost at home this postseason. Game 5, Phillies take with Nola on the mound. Series goes back to Houston with the Phillies leading the series 3-2. Philadelphia Phillies wins the World Series in game 6.
Rowan Donaghey: Astros in Five Games
This series reminds me of 2019 in someways, I can see it going seven games and being one of the most exciting World Series to date. However, I have a mantra, “Astros in five!”
The Philadelphia Phillies are the hottest team in the playoffs as well as having and insane amount of momentum and energy. They have played above their potential, and in the game of baseball, runs like this usually do not last long.
Going up against the best pitching staff in the league according to statistics in the Houston Astros combined with the week off gives me the hunch their bats will be as quiet as a mouse. The Phillies lineup has some holes that I think can be taken advantage of, once you get past the first five hitters.
The double edge sword in this series that makes me lean to the Astros the most is the fact that Justin Verlander is, especially this season, top tier when it comes to pitching. If the Phillies somehow push it to six or seven games they will have to face Verlander twice.
The only chance I would give Philadelphia to take this World Series is to steal game one in Houston Friday night. So you’re saying there’s a chance?
Yes, a very slim chance, and it starts with game one. If the Astros can do what they have done all season long and get the ball to their bullpen with a lead, I see this series being over before game 4 starts, which is how most of this postseason has gone for all series.
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