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2022 World Series Preview

Today marks the beginning of the 118th edition of the World Series between the American League pennant winner, the Houston Astros, managed by Dusty Baker, and the National League pennant winner, the Philadelphia Phillies, managed by Rob Thomson.

Two teams that have been built in different methods.  The Astros led all playoff teams with the most homegrown players on their roster (14) than any other team.  They have done this through the draft, Alex Bregman, Kyle Tucker, Jeremy Peña, and Chas McCormack, and International Free Agents, including starting pitchers, Luis Garcia, Cristian Javier, José Urquidy and Framber Valdez, who combined for 112 starts and 56 wins this year after originally signing for a combined $140,000.  Jose Altuve signed for $15,000 out of Venezuela. Their big power bat, Yordan Alvarez, is technically considered to come via trade, but his first professional AB was in the Astros organization.

The Phillies have their share of draft picks on their roster, including Aaron Nola, Phys Hoskins, Alec Bohn, and Bryson Stott. They also had two international free agent pitchers, Seranthony Dominguez and Ranger Suárez who signed for $25,000.  But they are not the core of the team.  Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, Zack Wheeler, Nick Castellanos, were signed as free agents, while J.T. Realmuto, Jean Segura, Noah Syndergaard, and Zach Eflin were acquired via trade.

Houston was the #1 seed in the AL, while Philadelphia was the #6 seed in the NL. If not for the extended playoffs in 2022, the Phillies would not have made the playoffs.

When the Phillies needed to plug some holes at the trade deadline in August, they swapped prospects for Brandon Marsh, David Robertson and Noah Syndergaard.  Instead of Brandon Marsh, a very competent CF, the Dodgers went after Joey Gallo.  Instead of Noah Syndergaard, the Dodgers passed on any starting pitching.  The Dodgers did pick up a good reliever in Chris Martin to match what Philly did with David Robertson.

The Astros traded for 1B/OF Trey Mancini, LHRP Will Smith, and needed catcher Christian Vázquez.

Positional Analysis

Catcher –

  • Philadelphia – J.T. Realmuto
  • Houston – Martín Maldonaldo/Christian Vázquez
  • Advantage – Philadelphia, but not by as much as would appear. Realmuto is a clear superior offensive catcher, but Maldonado is a great battery mate for their stalwart pitching.  He is the perfect backstop for Houston.

1B –

  • Philadelphia – Rhys Hopkins
  • Houston – Yuli Gurriel
  • Advantage – Split Decision. Both are capable of going off, and both are potential WS busts.

2B –

  • Philadelphia – Jean Segura
  • Houston – Jose Altuve
  • Advantage – Houston – Not as clear cut as most people would think. Segura is having a fantastic playoffs, while Altuve not so much.  But if both play to their norms, Altuve is a clear favorite.

3B –

  • Philadelphia – Alec Bohn
  • Houston – Alex Bregman
  • Advantage – Houston. Big Advantage

SS –

  • Philadelphia – Bryson Stott
  • Houston – Jeremy Peña
  • Advantage – Houston. The two rookies.  Peña is having a fantastic season while Stott is having a good season.  If not for Julio Rodriguez, Peña and Baltimore’s Adley Rutschman would be co-favorites for AL Rookie of the Year.  I like Peña in this comparison.

LF –

  • Philadelphia – Kyle Schwarber
  • Houston – Yordan Alvarez
  • Advantage – Houston. Neither player is defensively minded, Alvarez is the more complete offensive ball player.

CF-

  • Philadelphia – Brandon Marsh
  • Houston – Chas McCormick
  • Advantage – Houston (slight). McCormick is a superior defensive CF and both are good offensive threats.

RF-

  • Philadelphia – Nick Castellanos
  • Houston – Kyle Tucker
  • Advantage – Houston. Tucker is a superior defensive and offensive threat.

DH-

  • Philadelphia – Bryce Harper
  • Houston – Trey Mancini
  • Advantage – Phillies – HUGE. Harper is a difference maker.  He could carry the Phillies on his back.

Starting Pitching-

  • Philadelphia – Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Ranger Suárez, Bailey Falter or Noah Syndergaard
  • Houston – Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, José Urquidy or Luis Garcia
  • Advantage – Houston – After Nola and Wheeler, Philadelphia is lacking. Houston is five deep, and as good as Nola and Wheeler are, they are not the equivalent of Verlander and Valdez.

Relief Pitching – Without going into the names, the Astros have an enormous edge here.  They have MLB’s #1 bullpen, while Philadelphia’s bullpen is not very good as a group.  Phillies are capable of having moments, but they are at a clear disadvantage in this realm.

My pick – Houston in 5.  I am actually pulling for Houston because of Dusty Baker.  Dusty has been such a good manager through the years, he deserves to get his World Series ring.

One final point.  For those that like to point out how great the Dodgers have been during the regular season the last five to six years (and they have been), the Astros will be participating in their second consecutive WS and 4th in their last 6 seasons.

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Badger

Houston knows what they’re doing.

My pick – I don’t care in 7. Doubt I’ll watch much of it. I predict it will be the lowest watched series of the century. Hope so anyway. I think Kornheiser is right, they should have started it already.

Fred Vogel

Phillies in six.

Badger

The Phillies have been underdogs in every series. Maybe there run is done?

Saw your SS predictions on the other thread. Sounded reasonable to me. Who’s our SS?

Fred Vogel

Hopefully a great glove guy with good speed who can bat 9th, which obviously eliminates you and me.

Badger

I can still bat 9th. Give me a -5 LS Meta Blue bat and 5 strikes and I might could put a few in play. I still have a great glove too. It’s a 30 year old Wilson A2000.

Just read Chad Moriyama suggest Rodón/Swanson. Any thoughts on that plan?

Fred Vogel

Mine is a Bob Aspromonte Spalding 42-871 E-Z Flex that I started using when Osgood-Schlatter curtailed my catching aspirations after high school (’69).
I always had catcher’s speed. I wish I still did.
Rodon seems like a gamer. I think AF would spend on Turner over Swanson.

Bumsrap

Mine is light brown I think. I had great 60 foot base path speed.

Singing the Blue

Following up on the shortstop conversation which was started yesterday, I also think your destinations make sense, Fred V.

Here’s something that will ruin your day, though. Jon Heyman is reporting that AF would like to bring back Trea, but his plan 1A is Correa. They love “everything he brings to the table”. I guess that means they’ll have him leave his trash can lid outside, since trash can lids definitely don’t belong at the table.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve moved past the whole 2017 thing (although I certainly understand those who will never do so). Correa does have an attitude thing going on which, if he’s on your side, can be beneficial, and is something I think the Dodgers have been lacking. He’s also supposedly great with the younger players. His teammates love him, for whatever that’s worth.

Rodon, except for the injury gamble, would be a good get, but I don’t see AF signing both Rodon and Anderson. To me, it’s an either or, and of course T.A. would be a lot cheaper.

Bumsrap

I want Anderson back and I have been consistent with my desire to sign Correa. I have even begun to spell his name correctly.

For some reason I have been worried about May being able to stay on the mound. He is a big target for line drives up the middle and I wouldn’t say he looks effortless like Graterol does. I therefore would offer him for Bieber.

So, the first year of expanded playoffs generates a bottom seed in the World Series. Phillies fans are happy. Astros fans are happy. Fox ain’t.

Badger

I still feel the same. It’s the Astros organization I hold responsible. Yes, the players went along with it, and for that they should all be held accountable. How, I don’t know. I thought a one year suspension should do it, but MLB is too weak to do something like that. And, the Players Association, the most powerful union this country ha ever seen, would not have stood for it. It was the Houston Astros organization that should have been more Evelyn punished, starting with the title being stripped from them. I believe every fan outside of Texas would agree to that. But that ship is long gone. So now what?

We move on. I read in The Athletic their pick for Correa was SF. Don’t want to see that happen. It would would be less painful of course we re-sign Turner.

Badger

Edit isn’t working. Sorry about the mistakes.

Last edited 1 month ago by Badger
Badger

In the mean time, I’ll try to pay more intention to detale.

OhioDodger

Much of the hatred and vitriol toward the Astros would have been alleviated if Manfred had stripped them of the title. Should have just declared no WS winner in 2017.

Badger

100% agree. I’ll go one step further. The Dodgers and Yankees should be declared Co Champions of 2017. Rings for all players, paid for by the Houston Astros.

Singing the Blue

Comments on your comment:

Anderson – completely agree, a QO which he’ll accept, followed by negotiations on a 2-3 year deal for a lesser AAV.

Bogaerts – can’t see why he’d overwhelmingly want to play here unless he’s really close with Mookie. All things considered, I agree Boras will probably steer him somewhere else, and I’m guessing SF.

Devers – I can’t believe that after trading Mookie, Boston ownership would let both Bogaerts and Devers leave. I think they do what they have to in order to extend Devers, sooner than later. Of course, I’m quite gullible.

Correa – I think he’d love to come here. Yes, he’d have to put up with a huge chorus of boos for a while, but I think he’d relish the challenge of winning over the Dodger fanbase and he would accomplish that if he played to his highest potential. On the other hand, a bad season and he’d go to AF next winter and beg to be traded, for his own peace of mind. As a matter of fact, I think if he did come (and it would only be if we were high bidder), he’d insist on an opt out after the first year.

Gimenez – Cleveland would have no reason to trade him. The guy they would trade is Rosario but he only has one year of control remaining and isn’t nearly the player that Gimenez is, so no thanks on him.

I would give up a huge load of our best prospects for Gimenez and Steven Kwan, their outfielder, but the Guardians are post season contenders now and would not trade two of their best players for prospects, especially since neither of those two is expensive.

But, just to play the Fred (Bums) Trade Game here:
Dodgers get Kwan and Gimenez
Guardians get Cartaya, Miller, Busch
(Trade Simulator says OK on this one, but I can’t believe Cleveland would).

Bumsrap

Every year there is a comparison between the two World Series teams where catcher v catcher, 1st baseman v 1st baseman, etc. I don’t like comparing teams position by position and instead want to compare leadoff hitter v leadoff hitter, etc.

A team does not need a stud offensive shortstop if it has enough offense elsewhere. Build a lineup and pay attention to pitching and defense, It’s great to have an offensive threat that plays great defense at short but he’s going to eat payroll that won’t be available elsewhere.

Is there a comparable bat to someone like Correa that plays third and not cost as much. Is that Devers?

Jim Bowden, The Athletic, had this to say about Swanson:
Swanson’s intangibles can’t be measured by statistics and analytics alone. There is no algorithm that can measure his ability to almost always be in the right place at the right time on the field. The angles he takes in the infield, his first-step quickness and his knack for getting the big hit are elite and can’t be fully captured by numbers.

If Atlanta repeats the Olsen/Freeman scenario, they would opt for Trea Turner over Swanson. Swanson, although a Georgia native unlike Freeman, would follow Freeman to the Dodgers, right?

Singing the Blue

Swanson would follow Freddie to the Dodgers.
Bogaerts would follow Mookie to the Dodgers.
Correa would follow the boos to the Dodgers.

Bumsrap

Tis the season for boos.

Badger

Boos is never out of season.

Last edited 1 month ago by Badger
Bluto

God, I hate Dusty Baker.

To me, the Dodgers acquisitions fall into two groups.

Love how Houston runs their club. Almost as much as the Dodgers’ management.

1 Upside. Gallo, Duffy, Tyler Anderson. Low to medium low cost that the Dodgers feel their batting/pitching development can increase the value.

2 Superstars. Friedman said this many times. You do everything you can (within your own parameters) to get the superstars. This year’s playoffs have proven their worth. Soto, Machado, Harper. Those guys are worth the money.

That’s why I think if it’s not Trea Turner or Correa or Boegarts, then the team will look for either an internal or an upside play. It won’t be Adames, nor Swanson.

There’s

Last edited 1 month ago by Bluto
Singing the Blue

Why do you hate Dusty Baker?

Bumsrap

I would like an infield of Freeman, Nico Hoerner, Lux, and Zack Gelof

Singing the Blue

I’m with you on Hoerner, Fred, but he’s one of the very few decent Cubs players. Why would they trade him?

By the way, for you and Jeff, someone asked Keith Law if Gelof was a guy or a GUY. His answer, a GUY, so obviously he likes Zack as much as you guys do.

Fred Vogel

Dusty was a part of my favorite all-time Dodger outfield along with Jimmy Wynn and Reggie Smith.

Last edited 1 month ago by Fred Vogel
Badger

Yeahbut, he hasn’t been a Dodger in 40 years, he spent more years in SF than LA and now he manages the A**tros. I moved on from him years ago.

Swanson. I hope he stays in Atlanta. If he doesn’t, which Swanson leaves, the ‘22 version or the ‘16-‘21 version.

Kwan. I don’t think he’s available. Gimenez. Ditto.

I still like Bogaerts. If not him, and not Turner, then Correa is fine with me.

Singing the Blue

Isn’t he a top 3 Twins prospect and a top 50 MLB prospect? Why would the Twins trade him?

Bumsrap

Jefe’, you ask a lot of why’s.

Badger

Drop a because on him Fred.

I think the guys we would most likely get are guys most like the ones we’ve been getting.

Singing the Blue

AF has traded prospects for major stars (Machado, Scherzer, Trea) and he’s traded unnecessary players for almost-ready guys (Gray), but I don’t remember his trading multiple prospects for an almost ready or young player.

With the Rule 5 situation and his mentioning they’d like to get younger, maybe that’s what we’ll see this off season.

Badger

Along with the stars and those guys you mentioned there’s more. Thompson, Treinen, Hudson, Duffy, Nelson, Kahnle, Pillar, Anderson, Heaney. And of course Gallo. What I don’t see them doing is going after young stars, especially those that are team controlled.

If Friedman really wants someone, he will go hard after them. The question is, who does he really want?

Singing the Blue

When you think of me, think of wise, not why’s.  🤓 

Badger

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” 

I’ll cop to that.

Last edited 1 month ago by Badger
Singing the Blue

What do you know about Lewis’ defense?

Badger

Impact Lewis tore his right ACL for the second time in late May and will now embark on what’s expected to be a year-long recovery program. The silver lining for Lewis is that he’s already familiar with the process, but he’ll carry significant injury concerns for the foreseeable future after undergoing the same major procedure twice in a 16-month span.
JUNE 21

The good news he’s walking without crutches now.

Singing the Blue

Wow, how many instances are there of athletes successfully coming back from tearing the same ACL twice? I’d really like to know, because that seems an awfully big chance to take if you give up good prospects for him.

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