The 2022 World Championship is a classic case of overwhelming favoritism against the brave underdog.
The Houston Astros, seeded No. 1 in the Major League Playoffs, go into Game One on Friday with most of them, bookmakers included, going for the franchise’s second World Series title.
However, the Philadelphia Phillies have already turned the odds three times on their way to the Fall Classic, entering the National League playoffs as the lowest seed among the six teams.
The Astros, who have now reached the world championships for the fourth time in six years, are rightly considered the favorites after being undefeated in the playoffs, sweeping the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees.
Astros pitcher Justin Verlander says the team is focused on creating the breed.
“I’m sure I’d like to promote another tournament to bring that point home, and here we have a chance to do that,” he told reporters.
“But, yeah, we’ve obviously been one of the best franchises in the history of the game since this round we’ve been on.”
However, the previous two teams that have been sweeping the Division Series and Conference have lost the World Championships: the Kansas City Royals at the 2014 Royals and the Colorado Rockies in 2007.
Houston will want to correct the heartbreak of their previous two visits to the World Championships, losing to the Washington Nationals in 2019 and the Atlanta Braves in 2021. The Astros’ only previous World Series win came when they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017.
But this victory was marred by controversy.
After the win, Astros owner and manager Jim Crane fired then-manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow after MLB suspended them for a season without pay over a signal-stealing scandal.
Major League Baseball discovered that the club illegally set up a system that decodes and transmits signals for opposing teams during the 2017 championship season.
The team lost their regular picks in the first and second rounds in the 2020 and 2021 drafts and paid a $5 million fine.
The Astros retained their title – but for many fans outside of Houston, that title will remain shrouded in scandal.
“Peles are good at a lot of things, but all they’re good at – the spin, the line-up, the bulls – the stars are a little better, except for defense, where the stars are a lot better,” said MLB analyst Mike Petrillo. MLB.com.
But with play-off victories over the St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres, the Phillies and their fans will feel confident of their fourth and final win.
Victory would give Philadelphia their third World Championship title, with the franchise returning in 2008.
Rob Thompson, director of Velez, urged his team to remain calm and not let the situation confuse them.
“Really stay loose, that’s what it’s up to,” he told reporters.
“It’s the world championships, it’s a big stage, but they were losers the whole time during this whole process.
“They’re not busy at the moment, they’re staying for now, and they just have to keep going the same way and get out, put your game on autopilot, and go play.”
according to Philadelphia InquirerSoon, superstitious fans started talking about a possible global financial disaster after Velez booked their place in the world championships.
When the Velez last won the world championship in 2008, the world was going through a major recession and in 1980, their victory was followed by a double dip. In 1929, Philadelphia’s victory in the World Championships in Athletics was followed by the crash of Wall Street.
It may come as some relief for baseball’s most superstitious fans that this is one of the most lopsided games in World Series history, according to MLB.com, which features the second-largest regular season winning variance (19) ever.
“I chose against the Phillies for the playoffs. I chose against the Phillies to win the Wild Card series. I chose against the Phillies to win the NLDS. I chose against the Phillies to win the NLCS title. I wouldn’t make the same mistake five times,” New York Mets writer Anthony DiComo told MLB.com.
A StubHub spokesperson told CNN that total ticket sales for the World Championships have increased more than 145% since Monday on StubHub.
“The excitement is really strong for the World Championships, especially in Philadelphia, where pent-up demand for the Phillies’ debut in the championship since 2009 is mirrored in what we see fans are willing to pay compared to games in Houston,” Adam Bodelli, a StubHub spokesperson, said.
The cheapest ticket on StubHub for Game 1 in Houston is $435 and the most expensive is $16,597. For Game 3, the first of the series in Philadelphia, the cheapest ticket is $560 and the most expensive is $48,345.
First match: Friday, October 28
Second match: Saturday 29 October
Third match: Monday, October 31
Fourth match: Tuesday, November 1
Match 5 (if required): Wednesday, November 2
Match 6 (if necessary): Friday 4 November
Game 7 (if necessary): Saturday 5 November
All games begin at 8:03 PM ET
In the US, the World Championships will be broadcast exclusively on FOX, as well as through digital streaming services such as DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, Hulu+ and YouTube TV.
In Canada, the World Championship will be shown on Sportsnet; In the UK, it will be available to watch on BT Sport; and in Australia on Foxtel and ESPN.
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