2022 World Series bold predictions: Record number of home runs, a Framber Valdez complete game and more

The 2022 World Series is here. The Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies will meet in this year’s Fall Classic after defeating the Yankees and Padres in the championship series, respectively. The World Series begins Friday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston. It was the Astros’ fourth in six years and the Phillies’ first since 2009.

The pair have postseason history. Philadelphia beat the Astros in the NLCS en route to the 1980 World Series, the Astros were in the National League and the NLCS was best-of-five. That series went the distance and then some — Garry Maddox’s tenth double in Game 5 won the series.

The series also featured several all-time greats, notably Pete Rose, Hall of Famer Steve Carlton, Joe Morgan, Nolan Ryan, and Mike Schmidt. New Rangers manager Bruce Bochy also played in the series.

Of course, what happened in 1980 has no bearing on what happens in 2022, and the same goes for this season’s final series in Houston against the Astros and Phillies. In games 161 and 162, the Phillies clinched a postseason berth and played hungry, but the Astros won two of the three.

Anyway, with the World Series set to begin on Friday night, let’s make some bold predictions. Come with me, won’t you?

The homer hit record would be set

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If you haven’t been paying attention the past few seasons, you know that home runs peak in October. It’s so hard to combine strikeouts and walks these days that it’s best to put runs on the board with one swing. The last few years tell you everything you need to know:

2022 regular season

4.28

1.07

Postseason 2022

3.72

1.18

2021 regular season

4.53

1.22

Post season 2021

4.28

1.26

These differences between the regular season and the postseason have been consistent over the years; The last two seasons are not extreme seasons. Runs will drop in October, but home run percentage will stay the same if not increase. Homers carry extra weight in the postseason. You can win without the long ball. It’s really, really hard.

No wonder three of the four happiest World Series have come in the last six years. Here are four of the most productive Fall Classics in baseball history.

  1. 2017: 25 homers (15 Astros, 10 Dodgers in 7 games)
  2. 2019: 22 homers (11 Astros, 11 Nationals in 7 games)
  3. Year 2020: 21 homers (12 Dodgers, 9 Rays in 6 games)
  4. 2002: 21 homers (Giants 14, Angels 7 in 7 games)

For my first bold prediction, I’d say the Astros and Phillies combine to set a new World Series record with 26. The two clubs are 4th and 6th in homers during the regular season, and will be better than 2nd in this series. Average home plate yards by Statcast’s park factors. This is a delicious recipe.

Those hitters were said to be two of the four best teams in limiting home runs. That’s what makes it brave. The non-homer staff is giving up the homers. Ultimately, I think I’d bet against a lot of homers with a lot of power and offensive talent packed into two favorable fields. Will hit a new World Series record 26 homers.

The Astros would go on a winning streak

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Well, not this one that Brave, because the Astros have already done the hard part. Despite the close game, they’re a perfect 7-0 this postseason thanks to surgical eliminations of the Mariners and Yankees. Four for one run, two for two and one for five runs. Houston didn’t race anyone in the boat this October.

The Astros’ seven-game winning streak this year is one of their first in the postseason. Here are the longest winning streaks to start the postseason. Of course, these are all recent releases, so it will take more rounds and more games to increase the winning streak. Once upon a time, you won your first four postseason games. You won the World Series.

  1. 2014 Royal Palace: 8 wins
  2. 2022 Astros: 7 wins and counting
  3. 2020 Braves: 7 wins
  4. 2007 Rocky: 7 wins
  5. 2017 Dodgers: 6 wins
  6. 2016 Cleveland: 6 wins

For this bold prediction, I’d say the Astros start the 2014 Royals on an 8-game winning streak, but they won’t break the streak. So this bold prediction would be for the Astros to win Game 1 and the Phillies to win Game 2. If we assume that each team has a 50/50 chance of winning each game (unrealistic, but let’s go with it), the Astros win. The Phillies have a 25% chance of winning Game 1 and Game 2. Does that qualify as daring? Well, how about this…

The World Series will be a full game

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Any idea who pitched the last game of the World Series? My first guess in 2014 was Madison Bumgarner. It was a good guess, but it was wrong. Johnny Cueto’s last game in the World Series was in 2015. He struck out four Mets with one run and two hits in Game 2 of the 2015 Fall Classic. Cueto retired 15 in a row that night.

There have been only five complete World Series games this century — Cueto in Game 2 in 2015, Bumgarner in Game 5 in 2014, Cliff Lee in Game 2 in 2009, Josh Beckett in Game 6 in 2003, Randy Johnson in Game 2 in 2003 . 2001 – Six years since the last full postseason game. The last time Justin Verlander did it was in Game 2 of the 2017 ALCS.

My next bold prediction is calling for a full World Series game, but it will be a complete game. loss. It was seven of nine regular season games (plus a few rain-shortened losses, but those don’t count), which is more than I expected. Complete games are becoming rarer, especially in the postseason.

There hasn’t been a complete game shutout in the postseason since Marco Estrada pitched in Game 1 of the 2016 ALDS, and there hasn’t been a complete game shutout in the World Series since Tom Glavine allowed two runs in Game 4 of the 1992 World Series. Blue Jays win 2-1 in eight innings. In Game 4 of the 1990 World Series, Dave Stewart was the last pitcher to throw nine innings in a World Series.

I’ll tie this bold prediction to the last bold prediction and say that Houston’s Game 2 starter, Framber Valdez, will become the first pitcher to lose a complete game in a World Series since Glavine and the first since Stewart. This while throwing nine full innings. I imagine it like this:

  • Valdez gave up two quick points in the first inning. Let’s call it Rhys Hoskins’ two-run homer in the Crawford Boxes.
  • Valdez then went on a 21-inning streak. He needs just 98 pitches to get through nine innings.
  • On the other side, Zach Wheeler and the bullpen dominated, stifling the Astros and holding the first two runs.

Valdez led the league with three complete games this year, and he averaged just 15.0 pitches this season, one of the best in baseball. He’s very good and very efficient, and one of the few pitchers in the world who can be trusted to go the distance in a World Series game. When Valdez gets into the groove, he takes a lot of loose balls and makes it look very easy. I’m going to make a bold prediction that this will happen in Game 2, and that Valdez will lose the entire game in nine innings.

Realmuto would steal two bases

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Only one catcher has stolen a base in the postseason since 2011: Austin Barnes in Game 2 of the 2017 NLDS. It makes sense, right? Catchers aren’t known for their speed in the first place, and when October and the World Series come around, these guys are hunched over in the hundreds behind the plate on their feet. Catching is the most brutal position in sports.

For this bold prediction, I’ll say Phillies backstop JT Realmuto not only steals a base in the World Series, but steals two bases in one game. In Game 2 of 2008, Carlos Ruiz was the last catcher to steal a base in the World Series. The last catcher to steal two bases in a World Series game was … nobody? This has never been done. Hall of Famer Johnny Bench stole two bases in Game 4 of the 1972 NLCS, the only time in baseball history that a catcher stole two bases in a single postseason game.

Realmuto is considered the best run catcher by some measures, and he’s the best in the game right now. Realmuto hit 22 homers with 21 steals this year, joining Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez as the only 20/20 hitters in history (Rodriguez had 35 homers and 25 steals in 1999). Remember his out of the park homer in the NLDS? Realmuto is very fast and just a great base runner. You don’t have to qualify it as “as a holder”.

As a team, the Astros posted a league-average rate of steals (23 percent) in 2022, but have few pitchers prone to stolen bases. The runners went 7 for 7 stealing bases against Valdez and 8 for 8 against pinch runner Rafael Montero. Runners have been successful in 10 of the last 11 stolen base attempts against Verlander.

You can steal a base against the Astros by picking the spot, and few players (and zero catchers) can pick the spot like Realmuto. I’m calling it Game 3: Realmuto steals a base against a starter (Christian Javier or Lance McCullers Jr.) and then grabs a late bag against Montero. Had two steals as a catcher in a World Series game. It doesn’t get braver than that. If…

The Phillies win the World Series…

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… and Kyle Schwarber will be World Series MVP. hey I voted Jorge Soler as last year’s World Series MVP. Schwarber got off to a terrible start in the postseason, going 1 for 20 with three walks (two intentional) in the Wild Card Series and the NLDS. He then went 6-for-15 in the NLCS with three homers against just three hits and six walks. Schwarber melts down when he gets hot and has the risk of hitting 7-8 homers over 10 games. Sometimes even more.

All eyes are obviously on Philadelphia’s top left tackle Bryce Harper. Harper has been incredible this October and is the team’s biggest star. Schwarber should not be overlooked. Houston’s pitching staff is very righty-heavy, and both ballparks are lefty-friendly. Schwarber also showed he’s not afraid of big moments. I think he hit four homers in the World Series and the Phillies tied it in seven games. It was predicted.



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