World Series Preview, Predictions, and Everything You Need to Know

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World Series Preview, Predictions, and Everything You Need to Know

Chicago Cubs

The World Series begins on Friday night between the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Soak it in baseball fans, because we’ve only got a week-plus of baseball left this season, and it’s a long winter when she’s gone.

Let’s set the table for this year’s Fall Classic, check out what Vegas is saying, make some predictions, and more in our World Series Preview.

Dates, Times, and Broadcast Info

Game 1: Friday, October 28 at 7:03 PM — Minute Maid Park, Houston, Tx.
Game 2: Saturday, October 29 at 7:03 PM — Minute Maid Park, Houston, Tx.
Game 3: Monday, October 31 at 7:03 PM — Citizens Bank Ballpark, Philadelphia, Pa.
Game 4: Tuesday, November 1 at 7:03 PM — Citizens Bank Ballpark, Philadelphia, Pa.
Game 5*: Wednesday, November 2 at 7:03 PM — Citizens Bank Ballpark, Philadelphia, Pa.
Game 6*: Friday, November 4 at 7:03 PM — Minute Maid Park, Houston, Tx.
Game 7*: Saturday, November 5 at 7:03 PM — Minute Maid Park, Houston, Tx.

TV: FOX

Radio: ESPN

(Note: *denotes, if necessary; all start times listed are central)

How They Got Here

The Philadelphia Phillies have been riding a roller coaster all season, and it’s taking a turn back to a place that saw them uncork champaign bottles earlier this month, hoping they can do it one more time.

Aaron Nola took a perfect game into the seventh inning, and Kyle Schwarber hit a home run to help propel the Phillies to a 3-0 victory over the Houston Astros on October 3 in Houston. That clinched a Postseason berth for Philadelphia, their first since 2011. The win not only clinched a Postseason berth but helped the Phillies avoid a monumental collapse down the stretch.

So, poetically, the Phillies will now head back to Houston for Game 1 of the World Series just weeks later on Friday night.

Philadelphia looked like a team destined for another October filled with tee times rather than first pitch times on June 3 when they fired former manager Joe Girardi. But under Rob Thomson, the Phillies finished the season 65-46 and fought their way to an 87-win season and a Wild Card berth.

In an interview with ESPN’s Jess Rogers, veteran outfielder Nick Castellanos praised Thomson’s approach and credited his style for the resurgence in Philly this season:

 “Sometimes managers manage for the ‘W’ that day but in the process hinder the feelings and personalities of other players. We didn’t have everyone feeling the best versions of themselves. When Thomson was able to come in, with no pressure on him, he just went out and let baseball be played.”

Thomson’s efforts in the Philadelphia dugout this season earned him a two-year contract to be the permanent head coach of the Phillies, but the job isn’t complete yet this season with Philadelphia needing four more improbable victories to cap off one heck of a storybook season in the city of brotherly love.

Aaron Nola will take the mound again on Friday night, and Kyle Schwarber will surely be in the lineup. Will the Phillies have the same performance in them? An answer in the affirmative will go a long way in the Phillies continuing their Cinderella October run against the heavily favored Houston Astros.

As for the Houston Astros, they’ve been on a crash course with the World Series all season long. The Astros won an American League-best 106 games, cruising to a 16-game cushion over the 90-win Seattle Mariners for the AL West title this season.

Managed by the seasoned veteran Dusty Baker, Houston is looking to complete their mission and win another World Series. Led by Cy Young candidate Justin Verlander, the Astros boast arguably the best starting rotation in baseball and certainly the best in the MLB Postseason.

But Houston can hurt you in more ways than one, also boasting a prolific offense featuring the likes of Yuli Gurriel, Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, and rookie Jeremy Pena who has been a hero for the Astros in this Postseason.

The Phillies have their work cut out for them the next week-plus, with the Houston Astros providing them with as formidable a challenge as you can find in baseball. Still, we all know teams can ride hot Octobers into early November and eventually a World Series parade.

Bets

Here’s what DraftKings Sportsbook has listed for the series winner at the time of publishing:

  • Houston Astros: -185
  • Philadelphia Phillies: +160

Here’s what DraftKings Sportsbook has listed for potential World Series MVP Award winners:

  • Houston Astros: Yordan Alvarez (+650), Justin Verlander (+1000), Kyle Tucker (+1000), Alex Bregman (+1200)
  • Philadelphia Phillies: Bryce Harper (+600), Kyle Schwarber (+1300), Rhys Hoskins (+1800), Aaron Nola/Zach Wheeler (+1800)

BN Staff Predictions

Here’s who we’ve got winning the World Series and the WS MVP:

World Series Reading


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Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.