Who will win the SM? Who will be the MVP? The experts say

With the 2022 World Series between the Astros and Phillies set to get underway on Friday, it’s time for Fall Classic predictions.

We posed the following questions to a panel of MLB.com experts:

These are the results of the survey.

Who will win the World Series?

Stars: 58 votes
Phillies: 17 votes

After leading the American League with 106 wins during the regular season, the Astros are undefeated this postseason with a 7-0 record, sweeping the Mariners in the ALDS and the Yankees in the ALCS. This is the fourth time the Astros have made it to the World Series in the last six years, but Houston has lost the last two times, to the Nationals in 2019 and the Braves in 2021. Most of our voters don’t think anything so it happens again.

“The Phillies are good at a lot of things, but everything they’re good at — rotation, lineup, bullpen — the Astros are a little bit better, maybe with the exception of defense, where the Astros are MUCH better,” the analyst said. Mike Petriello.

Based on the regular-season record, this is a lopsided Fall Classic, with the second-largest win disparity (19) in World Series history.

However, not all MLB.com voters chose Houston. Anthony DiComo, the reporter who covers the Mets, for example, isn’t about to second-guess the Phillies anymore.

“First I said the Phillies weren’t going to make the playoffs. After that they were not going to win their Wild Card Series, nor their SDLN, and I did not give them as winners in the SCLN either. I’m not going to make the same mistake five times,” DiComo said.

With the depth of the Astros’ pitching, the pressure is on Phillies rotation 1-2 Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler to get past pair of Houston aces Justin Verlander and Framber Valdez. If they pull it off, Philly’s bats could take care of the rest.

“This series will decide which starters pitch better, and I’m going with the Phillies,” executive reporter Mark Feinsand wrote. “I also like the Phillies’ lineup a little better, and I’m really not prepared to pick against what clearly looks like an inspired club like Philadelphia.”

How many games will the World Series last?

6 games: 39 votes
5 games: 23 votes
7 games: 11 votes
4 games: 2 votes

The series stretched to at least six games in each of the Astros’ last three World Series appearances, going to seven twice. Among the 75 people who responded, 50 think that this year’s will also go to six or seven. But Arturo Pardavila, MLB.com’s vice president of content operations, isn’t one of them.

“The Phillies are good. They are warriors. But the Astros are an unstoppable machine that will clean the table and finish the postseason 11-0,” said Pardavila, who chose an Astros sweep.

While editor Scott Chiusano also thinks the Astros have the upper hand, he doesn’t think the Phillies are going to make things easy for them.

But Adrian Garro, editorial producer, not only sees the Phillies getting crowned, but also doing it in five games.

“As good and unbeatable as the Astros may seem, the Phillies have that aura of a ‘fated’ team that is hard to shake,” Garro said. “Kyle Schwarber has been impressive so far, with all those mile-long home runs, and how short Minute Maid Park is in some corners, it looks perfect for the guns to fly.”

Who will hit the most home runs?

Yordan Alvarez (HOU): 22 votes
Bryce Harper (FIL): 16 votes
Kyle Schwarber (FIL): 16 votes
Alex Bregman (HOU): 9 votes
Kyle Tucker (HOU): 5 votes
Jose Altuve (HOU): 3 votes
Rhys Hoskins (FIL): 3 votes
Jeremy Pena (HOU): 1 vote

There are real power sluggers in this World Series, including NL home run leader Schwarber and Alvarez, who finished second in the LA Harper and Bregman have 40-homer seasons on their résumés, and Altuve is second of all times with 23 home runs in the postseason, only behind the Dominican Manny Ramírez, although he has not given a single one in 2022.

Álvarez’s bat has been in a slump since he homered in the first two games of the ALDS, including the golden shot in Game 1, but he received the most votes in this category.

“After an ALCS cold by his standards, Álvarez shows why he – and not Harper – is the best left-handed hitter in the Major Leagues today,” says reporter and editorial producer Sam Dykstra, who also selected the Cuban to be MVP of the the World Series.

Harper was tied with Schwarber for first among Phillies players. Harper has had an all-time postseason stint so far, with five home runs and a 1,351 OPS. He was recognized as NLCS MVP after hitting a two-run homer that put the Phillies ahead in the eighth inning of the deciding game.

doWhich pitcher will add the most strikeouts?

Justin Verlander (HOU): 39 votes
Zack Wheeler (FIL): 17 votes
Framber Valdez (HOU): 12 votes
Aaron Nola (FIL): 4 votes
Lance McCullers Jr. (HOU): 1 vote
Ryan Pressly (HOU): 1 vote
Ranger Suarez (FIL): 1 vote

Not surprisingly, all but three of the votes went to the four pitchers likely to pitch more than one game in this World Series — Verlander and Valdez for the Astros, and Wheeler and Nola for the Phillies.

Verlander, who retook the career postseason strikeout lead in ALCS Game 1 by striking out 11 Yankees to reach 219, received 35 votes.

“Wheeler and Nola have a lot of strikeouts, but Astros hitters had the second fewest strikeouts in the majors while the Phillies were in the middle of the league, so I went with Verlander, who was on pace against the Phillies. Yankees and probably starts more games than Valdez,” said Andy Werle, an editor.

Who will steal first base in the World Series to give all of America a free cue?

Jean Segura (FIL): 18 votes
Jose Altuve (HOU): 17 votes
Kyle Tucker (HOU): 13 votes
Jeremy Pena (HOU): 7 votes
JT Realmuto (FIL): 7 votes
Kyle Schwarber (FIL): 4 votes
Bryson Stott (FIL): 3 votes
Yuli Gurriel (HOU): 2 votes
Alex Bregman (HOU): 1 vote
Bryce Harper (FIL): 1 vote
Brandon Marsh (FIL): 1 vote
Chas McCormick (HOU): 1 vote

Taco Bell’s “Steal a Base, Steal a Taco” promotion returns for the 2022 World Series, so everyone in America will win a free taco when the first Fall Classic rip-off occurs.

In recent years, speedy players like Ozzie Albies (2021), Mookie Betts (2018 and 2020) and Trea Turner (2019) have been the first to steal bases in the World Series, but editorial producer Daniel Conroy has a reason. strategic for leaving with Schwarber.

“Schwarber isn’t known for his speed, but he set a career-high 10 stolen bases this year (he was only caught once), and he just stole two bases in the five-game NLCS,” said Conroy, one of four voters who leaned toward the NL home run leader. “And he’s likely to be the leadoff hitter for Game 1.”

It could be a wise decision. A year ago, Albies stole second base in the top of the first inning of Game 1. It was the fourth straight World Series in which the first stolen base came in Game 1.

Segura beat Altuve here with 18 votes. Reporter Michael Clair expects Segura, who is making his first postseason appearance in more than 1,000 regular-season games, to be aggressive early in the series.

“No active player had played more games in his career without a postseason appearance than Jean Segura (before the 2022 playoffs),” Clair writes. “As the free cue stolen base has become something to brag about among players, this is where Segura – who was on pace to steal 20 bases had he been healthy for the full season – will look to shine.”

The World Series MVP will be…

Alex Bregman (HOU): 20 votes
Yordan Alvarez (HOU): 14 votes
Jose Altuve (HOU): 8 votes
Bryce Harper (FIL): 7 votes
Kyle Tucker (HOU): 7 votes
Kyle Schwarber (FIL): 4 votes
Justin Verlander (HOU): 4 votes
Yuli Gurriel (HOU): 2 votes
JT Realmuto (FIL): 2 votes
Jeremy Pena (HOU): 2 votes
Framber Valdez (HOU): 2 votes
Zack Wheeler (FIL): 2 votes
Rhys Hoskins (FIL): 1 vote

Bregman is hitting just .188/.247/.400 in the World Series, but has driven in 15 runs in 20 games, including a single in the 10th inning of Game 5 in 2017. The third baseman has been strong this season, with identical lines .333/.375/.600 in 16 plate appearances in each of Houston’s first two rounds.

“In a quiet way, Bregman has been the Astros’ most consistent hitter on offense this postseason, but he was overshadowed by Yordan in the ALDS and by Peña in the ALCS,” says Kennedi Landry, a reporter in charge of Rangers coverage, a of 20 voters who chose Bregman as World Series MVP. “The perfect opportunity for him to grow up with a big opportune moment (or two or three) in the World Series.”

Álvarez was also another popular MVP selection.

“Alvarez was pretty quiet in the NLCS, but he’s the best hitter on the best of two teams, and one of the best hitters on the planet,” executive editor Matthew Leach said. “You don’t have to be inventive when weighing the MVP.”

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Who will win the SM? Who will be the MVP? The experts say