When the 2022 World Series opens on Friday night at Minute Maid Park, the Houston Astros will be taking the first step toward their first title since 2017.
While the Philadelphia Phillies have been one of the best stories of the postseason, going from sixth seed to National League champions, the Houston Astros simply have too much firepower for the upstart Phillies to overcome.
Yes, the Astros have Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman, and a host of sluggers who can turn the game in a single swing, but let’s dig a little deeper to find some of Houston’s strengths over the Phillies in the Fall Classic.
Here are 3 reasons why the Houston Astros will win the World Series
3. A weakness has become a strength
When the ALDS first began, I wrote from Houston about how the Astros were trying to figure out how to solve their offensive issues in center field. Heading into the postseason, Astros manager Dusty Baker was simply trying to find some consistency in center field, a position where a minus-0.2 bWAR has been posted during the regular season. Of MLB’s 30 teams, 20 had a higher bWAR at the position than Houston.
“Center field has kind of been a round robin of who I think should play against whoever we have pitching, the ballpark we’re in, the speed, who we have pitching against us,” Baker said before the ALDS got underway. “It’s been challenging not having like one person, but that’s part of the job.”
That was then, however. Since Baker’s statement, Chas McCormick has made himself someone that Baker can’t take out of the lineup, going 5-for-16 in his first five postseason games with a pair of homers.
With McCormick adding pop and production at the bottom of the lineup, the Astros have eliminated one of the true “weak spots,” making Houston an even bigger offensive threat.