Momentum was an important part of the 2022 World Series. Houston blew a 5-run lead in Game 1 of the series, but rallied to win Game 2 to even the series at one apiece. The Astros were shutout in Game 3 in Philadelphia, but returned the favor in Game 4 pitching a combined no-hitter to even the series at two apiece. At that point the Houston Astros would not relinquish the series and came away with their second World Series title in franchise history.
Two narratives are forming from the 2022 Postseason. One argument has formed that argues the top teams are at a disadvantage because of the layoff i.e, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves getting ousted in the Division Series with relative ease. The other argument is to never discount the Wild Card team in any given Postseason. The latter argument still holds water while the other I would retort with if you don’t handle your business when it’s your turn, why should anyone try to defend your poor play? Either way with this World Series matchup we have a Wild Card team in the Philadelphia Phillies. Their last appearance was in 2009. They won the World Series in 2008, but have been in rebuild mode for over a decade. Now they’ve returned and will go up against the Houston Astros who are making their fourth appearance in the Fall Classic in the last six seasons. So far the Astros haven’t lost a game this Postseason, but that could change with the Phillies vaunted offense and solid bullpen. Houston boasts a stacked lineup and a near shutdown bullpen, but their rotation could be the x-factor in this series. Lets hope for a good series that doesn’t involve a one-sided affair.
NL MVP – 1B Matt Olson – Atlanta Braves
AL MVP – P/DH Shohei Ohtani – Los Angeles Angels
NL Cy Young – Max Scherzer – New York Mets
AL Cy Young – Jose Berrios – Toronto Blue Jays
NL Rookie of the Year – P Hunter Greene – Cincinnati Reds
AL Rookie of the Year – OF Julio Rodriguez – Seattle Mariners
NL Manager of the Year – Craig Counsell – Milwaukee Brewers
AL Manager of the Year – Charlie Montoyo – Toronto Blue Jays
NL Division Winners – Dodgers, Brewers, Braves
NL Wild Card Winners – Cardinals, Padres, Mets
AL Division Winners – White Sox, Blue Jays, Mariners
AL Wild Card Winners – Rays, Astros, Angels
NLCS – Dodgers over Brewers
ALCS – Blue Jays over White Sox
World Series – Dodgers over Blue Jays
In an eerily similar fashion to 2019 when the Washington Nationals went on an improbable run to win the World Series. The Atlanta Braves in 2021 went on a similar run from August to October. This is a franchise that went on one of the most dominant runs in sports history winning 14 consecutive division titles from 1991-2005. That run of success resulted in only one World Series title in 1995. They have won the NL East for four consecutive seasons currently and they could be starting another long run of success.
The last time the Atlanta Braves made an appearance in the World Series was in 1999. Their last World Series championship was in 1995. The irony of them being in the Fall Classic this season is that the commissioner’s office took the All-Star game away from Atlanta, Georgia due to what they saw as ‘racist’ voter ID laws. Now they are here on the sports biggest stage. For the Houston Astros they are in their third World Series appearance in the last 5 seasons. They won their first World Series title in 2017, but that championship has an asterisk next to it due to the fact they were cheating for most of the season by stealing signs electronically. The irony around the 2021 World Series looms quite large this year. Let’s see if the play on the field will take away from what’s happening off of it.