2022 World Series bold predictions: Onslaught of home runs, a Framber Valdez complete game and more

The 2022 World Series is fast approaching. The Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies will meet in this year’s Fall Classic after eliminating the Yankees and Priests in the Championship Series, respectively. The World Series begins Friday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston. This is the Astros’ fourth pennant in the last six years and the Phillies’ first pennant since 2009.

The pair have some postseason history. Philadelphia beat the Astros in the NLCS en route to their World Series championship in 1980, back when the Astros were in the National League and the NLCS was a best of five. That series went the distance and then some — Garry Maddox providing the series-winning hit with his tenth inning double in Game 5.

The series also featured several all-time celebrities, most notably Pete Rose and Hall of Famers Steve Carlton, Joe Morgan, Nolan Ryan, and Mike Schmidt. New Rangers manager Bruce Bochy played in that series as well.

Of course, what happened in 1980 has nothing to do with what’s happening in 2022, and that also applies to the final series of this regular season, when the Astros and Phillies touched each other in Houston. The Astros won two of three, even though the Phillies had just clinched a postseason berth and ran hungover lineups out there in Games 161 and 162.

Anyway, with the World Series starting on Friday night, let’s throw out some bold predictions. Come with me, won’t you?

There will be a record number of home runs hit

headshot image

Unless you’ve been paying attention to the last few postseasons, you know that home runs reign supreme in October. It’s extremely difficult to coordinate hits and walks because of the caliber of pitching these days, so your best bet is to put runs on the board in one swing. The last few years tell you everything you need to know:

2022 regular season



2022 postseason



2021 regular season



2021 postseason



Those differences between the regular season and postseason held stable for years; the last two seasons are not extraordinary. Run scoring goes down in October but the home run rate stays the same, if not increases. Homers take on added importance in the postseason. You can win without the long ball. It’s just really, really hard.

It’s no surprise, then, that three of the four most home-hit World Series have come in the last six years. Here are the four most homegrown Fall Classics in baseball history:

  1. 2017: 25 home runs (15 Astros, 10 Dodgers in 7 games)
  2. 2019: 22 home runs (11 Astros, 11 Nationals in 7 games)
  3. 2020: 21 home runs (12 Dodgers, 9 Rays in 6 games)
  4. 2002: 21 home runs (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 home run record with 26. These two clubs ranked fourth and sixth in home runs during the regular season, plus this series will be played in two better than . average home run stadiums, according to Statcast’s park factors. That’s a recipe for dingers.

That said, these pitching staffs were two of the four best in limiting home runs. That’s what makes this bold. Non-home run hitters giving up home runs. Ultimately, I think there is too much power and too much offensive talent packed into two favorable stages to bet against many home runs being hit. A new World Series record 26 home runs will be hit.

The Astros will tie a record winning streak

headshot image

Okay, this is not that bold, because the Astros have already done the hard part. They are a perfect 7-0 this postseason thanks to their surgical dismantling of the Mariners and Yankees, although the games were close. Four one-run wins, two two-run wins, and one five-run win. Houston hasn’t driven anyone this October.

The Astros’ seven wins this year are one short of the most ever to start a single postseason. Here are the longest winning streaks to start a postseason. Obviously these are all recent because you need more rounds and more games to extend winning streaks. Back in the day, 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 Rockies: 7 wins
  5. 2017 Dodgers: 6 wins
  6. 2016 Cleveland: 6 wins

For this bold prediction, I’ll say the Astros match the 2014 Royals with eight straight wins to start the postseason, but they won’t break the record. So this bold prediction boils down to an Astros win in Game 1 and a Phillies win in Game 2. If we assume each team has a 50/50 chance of winning each game (not realistic, but let’s roll with it), Astros- victory in Game 1 and a Phillies win in Game 2 has a 25 percent chance of happening. Who qualifies as daring? Well, how about this…

It will be a complete World Series game

headshot image

Any idea who pitched the last complete game in the World Series? My first guess was Madison Bumgarner in 2014. That was a good guess, but it was wrong. The last World Series complete game was Johnny Cueto in 2015. He struck out four Mets in a two-hit, one-run complete game in Game 2 of the 2015 Fall Classic. At one point that night Cueto had retired 15 straight batters.

There have been only five World Series complete 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 in 2001 — and it’s been six years since the last postseason complete game. The last to do it 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 a loss. There were seven of those in nine-inning games during the regular season (plus a few in rain-shortened complete game losses, but those don’t count), which is more than I would have guessed. Complete games are becoming a rarity, especially in the postseason.

There hasn’t been a complete game shutout in the postseason since Marco Estrada in Game 1 of the 2016 ALDS and there hasn’t been a complete game shutout in the World Series since Tom Glavine in Game 4 of the 1992 World Series when he allowed two runs. in eight innings in a 2-1 Blue Jays victory. The last pitcher to throw a nine inning World Series complete game loss was Dave Stewart in Game 4 of the 1990 World Series.

I’m going to tie this bold prediction into the last bold prediction and say that Framber Valdez, Houston’s presumptive Game 2 starter, will become the first pitcher since Glavine to throw a complete game shutout in the World Series, and the first since Stewart to do so. it while throwing a full nine innings. Here’s how I imagine it playing:

  • Valdez gives up a quick two-pointer in the first inning. Let’s call it a two-run Rhys Hoskins home run in the Crawford Boxes.
  • Valdez then settles down, including retiring 21 in a row at one point. He only needs 98 pitches to get through nine innings.
  • Zack Wheeler and the bullpen dominate on the other end, stifling the Astros and making those first two innings hold up.

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 rates in baseball. He’s very good and very effective, and really one of the few pitchers in the world who would 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 look very easy. I boldly predict that will happen in Game 2 and Valdez ends up with a nine-inning complete game loss.

Realmuto will steal two bases

headshot image

Only one catcher has stolen a base in the postseason since 2011: Austin Barnes in Game 2 of the 2017 NLDS. That makes sense, right? Catchers aren’t known for their speed to begin with, plus by the time October and the World Series roll around, these dudes have a few hundred innings of crouching behind the plate on their legs. Catching is the sport’s most brutal position.

For this bold prediction, I’m going to say Phillies backstop JT Realmuto won’t just steal a base in the World Series, he’ll steal two bases in a single game. Carlos Ruiz in Game 2 in 2008 is the last catcher to steal a base in the World Series. The last catcher to steal two bases in a World Series game was… nobody? It was never done. Hall of Famer Johnny Bench stole two bases in Game 4 of the 1972 NLCS, marking the only time in baseball history a catcher stole two bases in a single postseason game.

Some metrics have Realmuto as the best baserunning catcher ever, and he’s clearly 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 homer in the park in the NLDS? Realmuto is fast and just a great base runner. You don’t need to qualify it with “for trap”.

As a team, the Astros posted a league average caught stealing in 2022 (23 percent), although they have some individual pitchers who are prone to stolen bases. Runners were a perfect 7 for 7 stealing bases against Valdez, and 8 for 8 against reliever Rafael Montero. Runners have been successful in 10 of their last 11 stolen base attempts against Verlander as well.

Pick your spots and you can steal a base against the Astros and few players (and zero catchers) are as good at picking their spots as Realmuto. I call it in Game 3: Realmuto steals a base against the starter (either Cristian Javier or Lance McCullers Jr.) then also grabs a bag late against Montero late. Two steals for a catcher in a World Series game. It hardly gets bolder than that. Unless…

The Phillies will win the World Series…

headshot image

… and Kyle Schwarber will be World Series MVP. hey I totally nailed Jorge Soler as last year’s World Series MVP. Schwarber started the postseason terribly, going 1 for 20 with three walks (two intentional) in the Wild Card Series and NLDS. He then took off with a 6 for 15 showing in the NLCS, slugging three home runs with six walks against just three strikeouts. When Schwarber gets hot, he gets molten hot and can hit 7-8 home runs in a 10 game span. Sometimes even more.

All the attention is on Bryce Harper, Philadelphia’s top lefty slugger, and rightly so. Harper was incredible this October and he is the biggest star of the team. Schwarber is not overlooked. Houston’s pitching staff is extremely righty heavy and both ballparks are friendly to lefty pullers. Schwarber has also shown himself to be unafraid of big moments. I think he hits four home runs in the World Series and the Phillies make it a seven-game sweep. It was predicted.


Also Read :  Live updates: Paul Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi's husband, attacked at couple's home

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Back to top button