When the 2022 World Championships opens Friday night at Minute Maid Park, the Houston Astros will take the first step toward their first title since 2017.
While the Philadelphia Phillies have had one of the best stories of the postseason, going from sixth seed to National League champion, the Houston Astros have too much firepower that the Phillies can’t beat.
Yes, the Astros have Jordan Alvarez, Alex Bergman, and a bunch of guys who can turn the game into one swing, but let’s dig a little deeper to find some of Houston’s strengths over the Phillies in the fall classic.
Here are 3 reasons why the Houston Astros won the World Championships
3. Weakness becomes strength
When ALDS first started, I wrote from Houston about how the Astros are trying to figure out how to solve their offensive problems on center field. Heading into the post-season, Astros manager Dusty Becker was simply trying to find some consistency in the center field, a position where minus 0.2 bWAR was posted during the regular season. Of the 30 teams in MLB, 20 had higher teams in the war than Houston.
“The midfield was kind of like a round robin for whoever I think should play against whoever we have, the pitch we’re on, the pace, who we’re playing against,” Becker said before ALDS started. “It was hard not to have such a single person, but that’s part of the job.”
That was then, however. Since Baker’s statement, Chas McCormick has made himself someone Baker can’t get out of the squad, going 5-16 in his first five post-season games with a pair of teammates.
With McCormick adding pop and production at the bottom of the lineup, the Astros eliminated one of their true “weak spots,” making Houston an even greater offensive threat.