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Astros vs. Phillies World Series Game 1 predictions, odds: Will Houston take charge?

최종 수정일: 2022년 10월 30일

Verlander and Altuve could hold the keys to victory

Houston Astros' Jose Altuve (27) celebrates with Yordan Alvarez (44) after hitting a home run against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022, in Houston. The Associated Press

By Doug Ziefel October 28, 2022

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The 118th Fall Classic is set to commence tonight as the red-hot Phillies will take on perennial contenders, the Houston Astros. You could not ask for a better pitching matchup in Game 1 as Aaron Nola will square off against Justin Verlander. Each starter has proved to be elite, but can they propel their team to a 1-0 series lead?

Plus we’ll break down who’s the best bet to be named the World Series MVP.

Phillies vs. Astros Game 1 pick

Pick: Astros moneyline (-165)

Phillies vs. Astros analysis

While many are saying that this Phillies team got hot at the right time and that momentum has carried them all the way here, that’s not exactly the case. Yes, their bats are hot, but the truth is they were excellent all year long.

The Phillies finished the regular season top 10 in barrel rate, hard-hit rate and average exit velocity. That translated to a top-three finish in xBA and ranking sixth in both xSLG and xWOBACON (weighted on-base on contact). While we’ve seen all that positive regression come to light this October, Verlander may knock them back down to Earth tonight.

Verlander proved this season that he is one of the best pitchers of this generation, and he matches up very well with this Phillies lineup. At this point in his career, Verlander is essentially a fastball-slider guy while flipping in a curveball to change speeds 20 percent of the time.

The Phillies are a team that has proved they can handle the fastball as guys such as Kyle Schwarber, J.T. Realmuto, Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins and Alec Bohm all punished the fastball this season. However, it was a very different case against sliders.

They only had four guys with an above-average run value against sliders, and of those four, only Harper has an xBA above .230 and a strikeout rate below 34 percent.

If Verlander can establish the glove side of the plate with his fastball, he should have plenty of success, as he’ll be able to work in to lefties and away from righties with his bread and butter.

Much like his counterpart, Nola was also one of the best pitchers in baseball, and he cemented that down the stretch and into this postseason run. However, he has not seen much of this Houston lineup and will need to be careful if his game plan is similar in this matchup.

Nola will attack hitters with his fastball, as he’s thrown it 53 percent of the time. However, he has three different variations as he’ll utilize a four-seam, cutter and sinker.

The Astros, however, have six guys with an above-average run value against fastballs. Yordan Alvarez leads the way with a ridiculous 71.8 percent hard-hit rate off four-seamers.

I expect quite a bit of sinker usage from Nola as he likes to throw the front-hip sinker to lefties and jam righties to produce soft contact. The sinker will likely be much more effective against the Astros’ righties, as Alvarez and Kyle Tucker hit sinkers quite well this season. Look for those two to do damage tonight.

The last part of this handicap that needs to be factored in is the bullpens. While both are well rested, the Astros have the clear edge, as the Phillies only have two or three somewhat reliable arms.

Back Verlander and the Astros to win the first battle tonight.

World Series MVP pick

Jose Altuve +1300

If you look at the numbers, you’ll see that Jose Altuve has had a rough postseason. Coming into the World Series he’s hitting just .094, but three of his seven hits have been homers. We know the caliber of hitter Altuve is, and he’s due for positive regression that will come against the Phillies staff.

He should get off to a hot start as he’s one of the few guys with good numbers against Nola. He is 2 for 5 off Nola with a double. He has never faced Zack Wheeler, but hit .285 off righties this year. Then, we should see a big performance in Game 3 given Ranger Suarez has the ball. Altuve has an xBA of .493 against Suarez and crushed lefties this season as he hit .340 off them as a whole.

I see the Astros controlling this series and don’t see it going past five games. So with Altuve being right in the middle of Houston’s run production, he should get some consideration.

What team will win 2022 WS?

  • Astros

  • Phillis

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Nov 02, 2022

Go Astros😎

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