HOUSTON — The Houston Astros are 7-0 this postseason after finishing off a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series. Alex Bregman's go-ahead single keyed a 6-5 win Sunday night.
After losing the World Series last year, Houston opened as a solid favorite to win the title this year, according to FanDuel.
Odds are crowds might witness a Schwar-bomb from Kyle Schwarber or the Chas Chomp from Chas McCormick along the way.
There's no possibility of seeing a sibling rivalry. Astros reliever Phil Maton broke a finger on his pitching hand when he punched his locker after a shaky performance in the regular-season finale, an outing that included giving up a hit to his younger brother, Phils utilityman Nick Maton.
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The City of Brotherly Love, not so much, but a nice treat for fans in both cities: The Philadelphia Eagles, the NFL's only unbeaten team, visit the Houston Texans on the travel day between Games 5 and 6 if those are needed.
Weather won't be an issue with the retractable roof in Houston. No telling what the elements will be with the open air in Philly.
History of Astros vs Phillies
With the likes of Jose Altuve, ALCS MVP Jeremy Peña, Rhys Hoskins, and Alec Bohm, this World Series is a best-of-seven matchup representing some of the game's best present and future. Plus, a good piece of the past — remember, these teams have played each other nearly 600 times.
There was the thrilling 1980 NL Championship Series, when Mike Schmidt, Pete Rose, Steve Carlton and the Fightin' Phils outlasted Nolan Ryan at the Astrodome on the way to their first World Series title.
Years later, closers Brad Lidge, Billy Wagner, Mitch Williams and Ken Giles spent time with both clubs. So did future Hall of Famers Joe Morgan and Robin Roberts.
In this neat piece of history — the Phillies were the first team to ever beat Houston, back in 1962 when the expansion Colt .45s lost at Connie Mack Stadium.
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Funny, the Phillies are also the most recent team to beat the Astros. Way back on Oct. 3, Philadelphia opened the final series of the regular season with a 3-0 win at Houston, with Schwarber homering twice as Aaron Nola outpitched Lance McCullers Jr.
The Astros then closed out an AL-best 106-56 record by winning the next two behind Verlander and Framber Valdez — Philadelphia still leads 297-283 in their head-to-head matchups, mostly all before Houston moved from the National League to the American League in 2013.
Houston then swept Seattle in the AL Division Series and the Yankees in the ALCS featuring its winning formula of imposing starting pitching, a dominant bullpen, and a lineup full of home run hitters such as Alvarez and Kyle Tucker.
This marks the Astros' fourth trip to the World Series in six years. Last season, they lost to the Atlanta Braves in six games.
At 73 and in his 25th season as a manager, Dusty Baker is looking for a crown to cap his ample resume.
“I mean, victories drive me. And I’ll get it,” he said during the ALCS. “You can’t rush it before it gets here because it ain’t here yet. So you just got to put yourself in a position to do it.”