BETTING À DAY
The Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies face off in the 2022 World Series. These two teams, who have shrugged off pitfalls on their respective journeys, are led by some of the brightest stars major league baseball.
Here are a few to watch:
Author of an incredible regular season that could lead him straight to a third Cy-Young trophy, Verlander will nevertheless have a lot of pressure on his shoulders. Starting with the Astros for that first game at Minute Maid Park, he was still looking for a first World Series victory. The 39-year-old veteran went just 0-6 with a 5.68 points-against average in seven starts in the final leg of a major league season. This is the perfect opportunity to redeem yourself.
Harper is the heart and soul of the Phillies. Confined to a designated hitter role as he struggles to throw the ball due to an elbow injury, the 30-year-old has taken advantage of his situation. He drove in 11 runs in as many playoff games on 18 hits and five long drives. He was also named MVP of the National League Final.
Like Harper, Pena was his team's best player in the previous round. The 25-year-old freshman was the Astros' hero in the final game against the Seattle Mariners with the home run in the 18th inning. He added two long balls and four runs against the New York Yankees. His batting consistency is nearly unmatched so far in the playoffs.
Hoskins has shown the same offensive stats as Harper this spring schedule: five homers and 11 runs. Brilliant against the San Diego Padres, however, he was silenced for more than one game in the playoffs. Retired 14 times on strikes, a high for both teams, it seems to be all or nothing for the first baseman.
Here is another who was silent in the final of the American, but who had exploded in the previous round. Alvarez had had a dream first game, racking up five points against the Mariners on Oct. 11. Since then, only crumbs. If he gets his touch back, the 25-year-old could hurt the Phillies badly.
Receiver J.T. Realmuto makes the difference in Philadelphia on defense. According to the Major League Baseball website, he pinned a league-high 44.1 percent of runners in stealing position in the playoffs. Endowed with a good stick, he hit 10 times in a safe place and crossed the plate as many times. He is a safe bet for his team.
Bonus: Philly Phanatic
The Phillies' famous and mischievous mascot has energy to spare and more than one trick in his bag. Whether it's with his hot dog thrower or his multiple dance steps, the green bug knows how to disturb the opposing team. Attention, Orbit does not give its place with the Astros either.