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. The World Series begins Friday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston. It was the Astros’ fourth pennant in the last six years and the Phillies’ first since 2009.

The pair have a bit of postseason history. Philadelphia defeated the Astros in the NLCS to qualify for the 1980 World Series, the Astros were in the National League and the NLCS was a best-of-five. That streak went the distance and then some — Harry Maddox provided the game-winning hit in Game 5 with his tenth-inning double.

The series also featured several all-time greats, most notably Pete Rose and Hall of Famers 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 will happen in 2022, and the same goes for this final regular-season series when the Astros and Phillies square off in Houston. The Astros won two of three, but the Phillies ran the lines there, earning a postseason berth in games 161 and 162.

Anyway, with the World Series starting on Friday night, let’s make some bold statements. Come with me, will you?

There will be a record number of homers


If you’ve ignored the last few seasons, you know home runs reign supreme in October. With the caliber of pitching these days, it’s very difficult to string together hits and walks, so your best bet is to put runs on the board with one swing. The last few years tell you all you need to know:

2022 regular season



2022 postseason



2021 regular season



2021 postseason



Differences between the regular season and the postseason have persisted over the years; Not the last two seasons. In October, the home run rate will drop, but the home run rate will stay the same. Homers have added value in the postseason. You can win without a long ball. It’s really hard.

It’s no surprise that three of the four happiest World Series have come in the past six years. Here are four of the best 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. 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’ll say that the Astros and Phillies combine to set a new World Series record with 26. Average home ballparks, according to Statcast’s park factors. This is a recipe for dingers.

That said, those pitching staffs were two of the top four in limiting home runs. This leads to boldness. Employees who gave up on Homer. In the end, I think there’s too much power and too much offensive talent packed into two attractive groups to counter that many homers. A new World Series record would be 26 homers.

Astros tie record winning streak


Well, not this one that’s it Audacious because the Astros have already done the hard part. Despite the close games, they went a perfect 7-0 this postseason thanks to surgical dismantling of the Mariners and Yankees. Four one-game wins, two two-game wins and one five-game hitting streak. Houston didn’t race anyone in October this year.

The Astros’ seven wins this year are the fewest they’ve had to start a postseason. Here are the longest winning streaks to start the postseason. Of course, these are all recent because you need more rounds and more games to extend your winning streak. At one point, when you won your first four postseason games, that was it. You won the World Series.

  1. 2014 Royals: 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 that audacity, I’ll say the Astros beat the 2014 Royals and won eight straight the following season, but they won’t break the record. So this bold prediction is an Astros win in Game 1 and a Phillies win in Game 2. Assuming each team has a 50/50 chance of winning each game (unrealistic, but let’s play with it), the Astros win Game 1 and the Phillies win Game 2 with a 25 percent chance. Is this bold? Well, how about this…

There will be a complete game of the World Series


Do you know who threw the last complete game in the World Series? My first guess in 2014 was Madison Bumgarner. This is a good assumption, but not correct. The last World Series complete game was in 2015 by Johnny Cueto. He pitched a two-hit, one-run complete-game shutout in Game 2 of the 2015 Fall Classic for four Mets. At one point that night, Cueto had hit 15 straight.

There have been only five 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 and Randy Johnson in Game 2. . 2001 – and it’s been six years since the last complete postseason game. The last was Justin Verlander in Game 2 of the 2017 ALCS.

My next bold prediction calls for a complete World Series game, but with a twist: it will be a complete game to lose. They had seven of those in nine games during the regular season (plus a few rain-shortened game losses, but those don’t count), which is more than I thought. 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. 2-1 Blue Jays win in eight innings. The last pitcher to throw nine innings in a complete World Series loss was Dave Stewart in Game 4 of the 1990 World Series.

I’ll tie this bold prediction to the last bold prediction and say Houston’s projected Game 2 starter, Framber Valdez, will be the first pitcher since Glavine to throw a complete game in the World Series and the first since Stewart. while throwing him a full nine innings. Here’s how I envision his game:

  • Valdez gives up two quick spots in the first inning. Let’s call it a two-run Rhys Hoskins homer in the Crawford box.
  • Valdez then settled down, including at one point retiring 21 in a row. He needs just 98 pitches to get through nine innings.
  • Zach Wheeler and the bullpen dominated on the other end, suffocating the Astros and holding those two first-inning runs.

Valdez led the league with three complete games this year, and he averaged just 15.0 pitches per inning this season, one of the best in baseball. He’s very good and very efficient, and is actually 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 a groove, he gets a ton of weak ground balls and makes it very easy. I’m going to make a bold statement that it will be Game 2 and Valdez will lose a complete game nine innings.

Realmuto steals two bases


Only one catcher has stolen a base in the postseason since 2011: Austin Barnes in Game 2 of the 2017 NLDS. That makes sense, doesn’t it? Catchers aren’t known for their speed, and when October and the World Series come around, these guys will have several hundred innings behind the plate on their feet. Catching is the toughest position in sports.

For that feat, I’ll say Phillies backstop JT Realmuto not only steals a base in the World Series, he steals two bases in one game. In Game 2 of 2008, Carlos Ruiz is the last catcher to steal a base in a 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, marking the only time in baseball history that a catcher stole two bases in a single postseason game.

Some metrics have Realmuto as the best run catcher, 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 catchers in history (Rodriguez had 35 homers and 25 steals in 1999). Remember his inside-the-park homer in the NLDS? Realmuto is fast and simply a great base runner. You don’t have to qualify to “hold” it.

As a team, the Astros posted a mediocre steal rate in 2022 (23 percent), but they have several individual pitchers close to stolen bases. Runners were a perfect 7 for 7 stolen bases against Valdez and 8 for 8 against setup man Rafael Montero. Runners have been successful in 10 of the last 11 stolen base attempts against Verlander.

Pick your spots and you can steal a base against the Astros, and few players (and zero catchers) are as adept at picking their spots as Realmuto. I’m calling for him in Game 3: Realmuto steals a base against a starter (either Christian Javier or Lance McCullers Jr.), then grabs a late bag against Montero. Two steals for a catcher in a World Series game. Can’t be faster than that. If…

The Phillies win the World Series…


… and Kyle Schwarber will be the World Series MVP. hey I found Jorge Soler to be the MVP of last year’s World Series. Schwarber went 1 for 20 with three walks (two intentional) in the Wild Card Series and the NLDS, and started the postseason horribly. He then went 6-for-15 in the NLCS, slugging three homers with six walks against just three strikeouts. When Schwarber gets hot, he gets hot and can hit 7-8 homers in 10 games. Sometimes even more.

All eyes are on Philadelphia senior lefty slugger Bryce Harper, and understandably so. Harper has been phenomenal this October and is the team’s biggest star. Schwarber should not be overlooked. Houston’s pitching is very tough and both teams are friendly to lefty hitters. Schwarber, too, has shown himself to be unafraid of big moments. I think he hits four homers in the World Series and the Phillies make a seven-game sweep. It was predictable.


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