Phillies Beat Padres, Astros Beat Yankees, Paving the Way for an Unusual World Series

Phillies Beat Padres, Astros Beat Yankees, Paving the Way for an Unusual World Series


Another year, another underdog team from the National League’s Eastern Division is making its way to square off against the Astros in the Fall Classic. In 2019, it was the surging Washington Nationals that squared off against Houston to win the trophy. In 2021, the Atlanta Braves came out of nowhere–without star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr., no less–to defeat the Astros in a rousing 4-2 series win.

This year, it might be the Philadelphia Phillies. After spending 11 years out of playoff contention, the Phillies have taken full advantage of the new playoff format to battle through the Wild Card, the Division Series, and the Championship Series to earn their way to a final seven-game marathon against one of the best teams in baseball. Can the underdogs do it again and demonstrate just how tough the NL East is?

Astros Have a Reputation to Defend

Houston has been to the World Series a lot lately, but it’s only got one Fall Classic win under its belt–the contentious 2017 victory over the Dodgers. That trophy has a big asterisk next to it, as an MLB investigation determined that the 2017 team used cameras to steal the signs of opposing pitchers. This means that hitters in that postseason knew which pitches were about to sail over home plate, an enormous advantage.

Since that cheating scandal, the Astros have made their way to the World Series three other times–in 2019, when they lost to the Nats, in 2021, when they lost to the Braves, and now once more in 2022. And, again, a surging NL East team awaits them.

The Phillies Seek WS Glory

The Phillies have been spinning their wheels against some ferocious opponents in the NL East for a decade. This year, the Phillies had only the third-best regular season out of the five teams in their division. The Mets and Braves each scored 101 wins, and the Braves narrowly got ahead of the Mets in their season series in the final days of the regular season. And yet, the humble Phillies with just 87 wins will carry the NL East to the World Series for the third time in four years.

For Philadelphia fans, this is as inspiring as sports stories can be. The underdog has made it all the way to the finals. Can they come through against the towering Astros, or will Houston complete its clean sweep of the playoffs without even breaking a sweat?