Philadelphia had to win three different series matchups and has won nine of 11 this postseason, while Houston has yet to lose a game after sweeping the Mariners and Yankees. With plenty of time between the LCS and World Series on both sides, the two clubs had ample time to set their rotations the way they wanted.
Game 1 will start with Justin Verlander and Aaron Nola on the mound for their respective sides. The former will be making some history when he throws his first pitch.
Justin Verlander will join Roger Clemens as the only pitchers ever to start a World Series game in three different decades.— Anthony Castrovince (@castrovince) October 27, 2022
Verlander has struggled in seven career World Series starts (four with Houston and three with Detroit), going 0-6 with a 5.68 ERA. Verlander’s teams are 1-6 in his seven World Series starts, with the only win coming in the Astros’ 11-inning victory over the Dodgers in Game 2 of the 2017 Series.
Nola is in the middle of his first postseason in his eighth year at the major league level. The 29-year-old was excellent in his first two starts in these playoffs, giving up only an unearned run in 12.2 innings pitched. The last time out was a different story, allowing six runs over 4.2 innings in a Game 2 loss to the Padres in the NLCS.
Nola and Zack Wheeler have already started seven of the 11 games for Philadelphia and will start four of the first six in this series if necessary.
That brings us to Bryce Harper, crusher of all baseballs this postseason. It seems impossible that he just turned 30 in the last couple weeks, given that it feels like he has been playing baseball for a very long time since his debut at 19.
In the 11 games his team has played, Harper is a scorching 18-for-43 (.419) with six doubles and five homers. With an OPS north of one in all three of the series wins and an MVP trophy for his performance in the NLCS, it’s safe to say that stopping his bat is priority number one for the Astros.
World Series: Phillies at Astros
Game 1, 5:03 p.m. PT
Aaron Nola vs. Justin Verlander
TV: FOX (Joe Davis, John Smoltz, Ken Rosenthal, Tom Verducci)
Streaming: Fox Sports