From the 2001 Major League Baseball season through this still ongoing Major League Baseball season, all 15 American League franchises and 13 of the 15 National League franchises have competed in their respective League Championship Series, with the goal of obviously wanting to play in the Word Series. And of those 28 franchises to advance to the final four of the Major League Baseball postseason during this 23-season span, 22 of them have advanced to the World Series at least once. It could have been 23 if the San Diego Padres were able to A) Protect homefield against the Philadelphia Phillies and B) Learn to how hold leagues against the Phillies. However, that other southern California Major League Baseball franchise failed to do both, thus they are on the same list as the Milwaukee Brewers, Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners, with that list being the teams that didn’t advance to the World Series during this 23-season span. And of those six franchises, the Mariners are the only one to have never won a pennant, although the future looks bright in the Pacific Northwest. Especially when they went to toe-to-toe with the other World Series representative, the Houston Astros, a franchise that is making their fourth appearance in the Fall Classic in six seasons, thus the matchup of them taking on the scrappy Phillies.
Of course, the Astros have been one of the most scrutinized professional sports franchises in recent memory, due to the sign-stealing that occurred in both their 2017 season and 2019 season. And while those that scrutinize them have the right to do so, the players that they had on those two teams were good players beforehand, so we have to give them props for that at least. And while those that scrutinize them have the right to do so, they’ve maintained their consistent level of play (three ALCS appearances, two A.L. pennants) with Dusty Baker, a manager who is the ultimate players coach yet is intolerant of that sign-stealing nonsense. And given how revered that Dusty Baker is, it’s hard to completely hate the Astros. At least that’s my point of view anyways.
Alright, now for my prediction of which team will win this Series, why they will win this Series, how many games that they will win this Series in and who will be the MVP of this Series via the next paragraph. Let’s continue.
Alright, so for which team will win this Series, well given that Justin Verlander is back, along with improvement from both Framber Valdez and Christian Javier, the Astros starting pitching is way better than it was last year against the Atlanta Braves. So given that, the fact that their pitching rotation lines up perfectly for this Series, the fact that the Phillies starting pitching beyond Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler is questionable at best and the fact that the Astros have a much better bullpen, I’m taking Dusty Baker’s bunch in six games and Verlander as the Series MVP, as he will be on a mission to finally win as a starting pitcher in the World Series. Plus, the future Hall Of Famer will more than likely pitch like he did against the New York Yankees in Game 1 of the 2022 ALCS than he did in Game 1 of the 2022 ALDS (American League Division Series) against the Mariners.
Well, that’s my prediction for the 2022 World Series. Find out how I did with my prediction in the upcoming Steve Reacts entry, which will post sometime next month. So until then, so long everybody!