The 2022 World Series kicked off Friday night as the Houston Astros host the Philadelphia Phillies at Minute Maid Park in Game 1. The Phillies went through the St. Louis Cardinals, the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves, and San Diego Padres to reach this stage. The Astros quickly dispatched the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees.
For the Astros, this is their fourth American League pennant in the last six years (also 2017, 2019, and 2021). The Phillies reached the postseason for the first time since 2011 this year -- that was the National League's longest postseason drought -- and this is their first NL pennant since 2009. The Astros have won one World Series (2017), the Phillies two (1980 and 2008).
You can view the full postseason schedule by clicking here, and here's the 2022 playoff bracket. Now, let's get to the important stuff for Game 1.
How to watch
Date: Friday, Oct. 28 | Time: 8:03 p.m. ET
Location: Minute Maid Park (Houston, Texas)
TV channel: FOX | Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Odds: PHI +143; HOU -170 | 6.5 o/u (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Starting pitchers: RHP Justin Verlander (18-4, 1.75 ERA) vs. RHP Aaron Nola (11-13, 3.25 ERA)
Friday will be the first MLB game in five days. The Astros and Phillies both wrapped up their Championship Series wins Sunday, so they've had four days to rest up and get their pitching in order. Also, the usual 2-3-2 best-of-seven format returns, with off days for travel between Games 2 and 3, and Games 5 and 6. Philadelphia's defense will be a major X-factor in the World Series. It's not very good and the Astros put the ball in play more than almost any other team. The Astros will test the Phillies, and how they respond will help determine the series. Overall though, it's two very good offenses and two very good pitching staffs, with Philadelphia's not getting as much credit as it deserves.
With one more win, the Astros will tie the 2014 Kansas City Royals for the most wins to begin a postseason with eight. I think they get there and take Game 1 behind a good but not truly great Verlander outing, and a middle innings rally featuring a Yordan Alvarez homer into the Crawford Boxes.
Pick: Astros 5, Phillies 3