The 2022 World Series is a classic case of overwhelming favorite against a brave underdog.
The Houston Astros, the No. 1 seed in the American League playoffs, enter Friday’s Game 1 with most odds, including the bookmakers, to claim the franchise’s second World Series crown.
However, the Philadelphia Phillies have already upset the odds three times en route to the Fall Classic, entering the National League playoffs as the lowest seed of the six teams.
The Astros, who have now reached the World Series for the fourth time in six years, are rightly considered the favorites after going undefeated in the playoffs, sweeping the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees.
Astros pitcher Justin Verlander says the team is focused on building a dynasty.
“I would definitely like to cement another championship to really bring that point home, and here we have a chance to do that,” he told reporters.
“But, yeah, obviously we’ve been one of the best franchises in gaming history since that run we’ve been on.”
However, the two previous teams that swept the Division Series and Conference championships lost the World Series: the Kansas City Royals in 2014 and the Colorado Rockies in 2007.
Houston will want to make amends for the heartbreak of its two previous World Series visits, where it lost to the Washington Nationals in 2019 and the Atlanta Braves in 2021. The Astros’ only previous World Series win came when they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers. in 2017.
This victory, however, is marred by controversy.
After the win, Astros owner and president Jim Crane fired manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow after MLB suspended them for a season without pay for a sign-stealing scandal.
Major League Baseball discovered that the club illegally created a system that decoded and communicated opposing teams’ pitching signs during their 2017 championship season.
The team lost its regular first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts and was fined $5 million.
The Astros retained their title – but, for many non-Houston fans, it will remain shrouded in scandal.
“The Phillies are good at a lot of things, but in everything they do – rotation, roster, bullpen – the Astros are just a little bit better, except on defense, where the Astros are MUCH better. “, MLB analyst Mike Petriello told MLB.com.
But after picking up playoff victories over the St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres, the Phillies and their fans will feel rightly confident of pulling off a fourth and final upset.
The win would give Philadelphia a third World Series title, the franchise’s last comeback in 2008.
Phillies manager Rob Thomson urged his team to stay calm and not let the situation overwhelm them.
“Stay loose, really, that’s what it comes down to,” he told reporters.
“It’s the World Series, it’s a big step, but they’ve been loose through this whole process.
“They haven’t been caught up in the moment, they’ve stayed in the moment, and they just have to keep going the same way and just get out there, put your game on autopilot and just go play.”
Superstitious fans quickly began talking about a potential global financial disaster after the Phillies booked their World Series spot, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
When the Phillies last won the World Series in 2008, the world was in the Great Recession and in 1980 their victory was followed by a double recession. Later in 1929, Philadelphia’s World Series victory in track and field was followed by the crash of Wall Street.
It may comfort the most superstitious baseball fans that this is one of the most lopsided games in World Series history, according to MLB.com, with the second-largest regular-season win disparity (19) of all. the temperature. .
“I chose against the Phillies to make the playoffs. I picked against the Phillies to win the Wild Card Series. I picked against the Phillies to win the NLDS. I picked against the Phillies to win the NLCS. I won’t make the same mistake five times,” New York Mets writer Anthony DiComo told MLB.com.
Overall World Series ticket sales are up more than 145% since Monday on StubHub, a StubHub spokesperson told CNN.
“Excitement is already high for the World Series, especially in Philadelphia, where pent-up demand for the Phillies’ first championship appearance since 2009 is reflected in what we’re seeing fans are willing to pay compared to games in Houston,” Adam Budelli, spokesperson for StubHub, said.
The cheapest ticket on StubHub for Game 1 in Houston is $435 and the most expensive is $16,597. For Game 3, the first of the series in Philadelphia, the cheapest ticket is $560 and the most expensive is $48,345.
Match 1: Friday, October 28
Game 2: Saturday October 29
Match 3: Monday, October 31
Match 4: Tuesday, November 1
Match 5 (if needed): Wednesday, November 2
Match 6 (if necessary): Friday, November 4
Game 7 (if necessary): Saturday November 5
All games start at 8:03 p.m. ET
In the United States, the World Series will air exclusively on FOX, as well as via digital streaming services such as DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, Hulu+ and YouTube TV.
In Canada, the World Series will air on Sportsnet; in the UK it will be available to watch on BT Sport; and in Australia, on Foxtel and ESPN.
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