The 2022 World Series is a classic case of strong favorites against smart underdogs.
The Houston Astros, the No. 1 seed in the American League playoffs, go into Game 1 on Friday with most, including bookmakers, looking to win 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 among six teams.
The Astros, now reaching the World Series for the fourth time in six years, are considered favorites after going undefeated in the playoffs and sweeping the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees.
Astros pitcher Justin Verlander said the team is focused on building a dynasty.
“I definitely want to secure another championship to drive that point home and here’s an opportunity to do that,” he told reporters.
“But, yeah, we’ve been one of the best franchises in the history of the game since this run.”
However, the two previous teams that won the division series and conference championships lost the World Series: the Kansas City Royals in 2014 and the Colorado Rockies in 2007.
Houston is looking to reverse the heartbreak of its previous two visits to the World Series, losing to the Washington Nationals in 2019 and the Atlanta Braves in 2021. The Astros’ previous World Series win came when they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2017.
However, that victory has been mired in controversy.
Following the win, Astros owner and president Jim Crane, then-manager A.J. He fired Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow after MLB suspended him for one season without pay for a sign-stealing scandal.
Major League Baseball illegally built a system that decoded and communicated pitching signals from opposing teams during the 2017 championship season.
The team forfeited its regular first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts and paid a $5 million fine.
The Astros keep their title — but, for many non-Houston fans, it’s shrouded in scandal.
“The Phillies are good at a lot of things, but they’re good at everything — the rotation, the lineup, the bullpen — except for the defense, which the Astros are really good at,” MLB analyst Mike Petriello said. MLB.com.
But after pulling off playoff wins against the St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres, the Phillies and their fans will be reasonably confident of pulling off a fourth and final upset.
A win would give Philadelphia its third World Series title, the franchise’s last being back in 2008.
Phillies manager Rob Thompson urged his team to stay calm and not let the situation overwhelm them.
“Be really relaxed, that’s what it comes down to,” he told reporters.
“It’s the World Series, it’s a big stage, but they’ve been relaxed the whole time through this whole process.
“They’re not caught up in the moment, they stay in the moment, and they have to go the same way, go out, put your game on autopilot and play.”
As stated therein Philadelphia InquirerAfter the Phillies booked their spot in the World Series, superstitious fans soon began talking about global financial disaster.
When the Phillies last won the World Series in 2008, the world experienced the Great Depression, and in 1980, their victory was followed by a double recession. And in 1929, the Wall Street Crash followed the Philadelphia Athletics’ World Series victory.
It may be of little consolation to the most superstitious baseball fan that this was one of the most lopsided match-ups in World Series history, according to MLB.com, which featured the second-largest regular-season win differential of all time (19). .
“I picked 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’m not going to make the same mistake five times,” the New York Mets said. writer Anthony DeComo told MLB.com.
Overall ticket sales for the World Series on StubHub are up more than 145% since Monday, a StubHub spokesperson told CNN.
“Excitement for the World Series is already strong, especially in Philadelphia, where demand for the Phillies’ first championship appearance since 2009 means we’re seeing fans willing to pay more than games in Houston,” said Adam Budelli, StubHub spokesman.
The cheapest ticket on StubHub for Game 1 in Houston is $435 and the most expensive is $16,597. For Game 3 of the series opener in Philadelphia, the cheapest ticket is $560 and the most expensive is $48,345.
Game 1: Friday, October 28
Game 2: Saturday, October 29
Game 3: Monday, October 31
Game 4: Tuesday, November 1
Game 5 (if necessary): Wednesday, November 2
Game 6 (if necessary): Friday, November 4
Game 7 (if necessary): Saturday, November 5
All games begin at 8:03 PM ET
In the United States, the World Series will be broadcast exclusively on FOX, and will also be broadcast via digital streaming services such as DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, Hulu+ and YouTube TV.
In Canada, the World Series will be shown on Sportsnet; In the United Kingdom, it is available to watch on BT Sport; and in Australia, on Foxtel and ESPN.