The 118th edition of the World Series begins tonight in Houston. It would’ve taken place in the Bronx if the Yankees had managed to win their ALCS showdown, but they didn’t exactly make it much of a fight for the Astros, so we can’t realistically fall too far down the alternate reality rabbit hole. Shame.
Anyway, the same team that the Yankees faced when they last appeared in a Fall Classic will once again be trying to win its third championship. It has, of course, been quite some time since 2009, and this is a new generation of Phillies. Will Bryce Harper and company be able to pull off the upset? They have their work cut out for them, as the Astros are undefeated in this year’s playoffs at 7-0 and are aiming for the first 11-0 postseason in the Wild Card Era (the ‘76 Reds were the last team to post an undefeated playoff year, doing so pre-Division Series). Their pitching looks untouchable at its best and their hitters aren’t fazed by anyone, not even Aaron Nola or Zack Wheeler.
I definitely encourage folks to check out Josh’s World Series preview before the first pitch is delivered tonight at 8:03 pm ET, and as an added bonus, the Pinstripe Alley staff made World Series predictions as well. Would we rather be picking the Yankees? You bet, but oh well. So here’s what we see ahead:
Perhaps unsurprisingly, we can’t collectively make up our mind. Nine of us think that Houston will just get this stupid World Series run over with, while the other nine have hope the Phillies can join the 2019 Nats and 2021 Braves in shocking the mighty ‘Stros. The only consensus that we have down is that it will take six games to reach the outcome, though I salute John for his daring “Phillies in 4” prediction. That would be a shocker for the ages.
As for the MVP, votes are all over the board. Here are the leaders:
Bryce Harper (PHI), 4
Yordan Alvarez (HOU), 3
Kyle Schwarber (PHI), 3
Alex Bregman (HOU), 2
Kyle Tucker (HOU), 2
Others receiving votes: Jose Altuve (HOU), Rhys Hoskins (PHI), Justin Verlander (HOU)
Amusingly, the NLCS MVP got the most votes, while the ALCS MVP (Jeremy Peña) got zero — perhaps a byproduct of how surprising it was for the rookie to be the one to star in the sweep of the Yankees. But Harper’s been on fire on October, and if the Phillies do find a way to win it all, he will almost certainly have to play a key role. Madison, Andrés, and Esteban all successfully had him winning NLCS MVP, but only Esteban is doubling down on the Harper MVP picks.
Meanwhile, five different Astros got votes, with Yordan Alvarez leading the way at three. The Yankees held him mostly quiet in the ALCS after he broke Mariners fans’ hearts twice in Division Series play, so perhaps another hot streak is looming in the mighty slugger’s bat. Also keep an eye out for Malachi’s “Astros in 6/Kyle Tucker MVP” pick, as it’s actually the same one that he had at the beginning of the postseason. The rest of us have been forced to shuffle it up, but he hasn’t (aside from the fact that the Astros aren’t playing the Dodgers). I would say “Best of luck to him,” but I don’t want to see Houston win, so never mind!
What are your World Series picks? Submit them in the comments and hold onto the record of your potential bragging rights.