The MLB postseason is marching right along, and the 2022 World Series matchup is all but set. If you’ve been peripherally following the MLB playoffs and want to get caught up in the action, now’s your last chance before the World Series gets underway. Here’s a brief look at all four remaining teams.
NEW YORK YANKEES
This year was supposed to be different for the Yankees, who had higher levels of postseason optimism surrounding the team than in most years. The Bronx Bombers’ especially high expectations may have come as a result of their early domination of the American League, and Aaron Judge’s historic slugging season. Unfortunately for Yankee fans, the team has stalled out in the ALCS and are currently losing three games to none to the Houston Astros.
The Yankees bats have gone from quiet to silent throughout the series, as they laid an egg on Saturday, scoring no runs on just three hits. It would take a miracle to propel New York to the World Series at this point, especially with the lethal Lance McCullers Jr. starting on the mound for the Astros in game four.
Nestor Cortes will oppose him for the Yankees. Cortes was strong in his one postseason start this year, and will surely need to pull out all the stops against a high-powered Astros lineup if the Yankees even want a chance of sniffing the World Series.
SAN DIEGO PADRES
Like the Yankees, the Padres have their backs up against the wall, and currently sit at the brink of elimination. Unlike the Yankees, the Padres’ postseason ascent seemed to take people by surprise.
Expectations were low to begin with for southern California’s little brother team after they lost their young star, Fernando Tatis Jr., for the season due to an injury and a PED suspension. To compensate, San Diego’s platoon kept up the slack until the trade deadline, when the front office decided to go all-in. The Padres acquired big bat Josh Bell, breakout player Brandon Drury, star reliever Josh Hader and most notably, young dynamo Juan Soto.
Unfortunately for the Padres, their meteoric rise late in the regular season and subsequent postseason series victories over the Mets and Dodgers may feel less sweet as they have sort of rolled over against Philadelphia, and are trailing three games to one. Crazier things have happened, but a comeback seems unlikely. It has been a memorable postseason for San Diego fans, as the Padres took out two World Series favorites within two weeks, and looked pretty cohesive as a unit the whole time.
Baseball’s famous Houston Astros seem to be headed back to the World Series, provided they can complete the series victory over New York, who they lead three games to none.
Recent years have seen no shortage of Astros postseason success, made possible in part by 2017’s infamous trash can sign-stealing scandal. However, a roster overhaul including the loss of Carlos Correa and George Springer gave people in the baseball world doubts about Houston’s ability to go far this season.
Surprising very few, Houston has been able to make it work regardless, and are careening towards what may become their fourth World Series appearance in the last six seasons. Justin Verlander’s ridiculous resurgence at 39 and UMaine alum Jeremy Peña’s postseason heroics have lifted the Astros to this position with relative ease, as they look to add another trophy to the shelf.
The current favorites to reach the World Series in the NL, the Phillies were not the team that people expected to see here. Most predicted the Mets or defending champion Braves to have gone the distance, but instead, Philadelphia has outlasted them all.
Questions have surrounded this team all year, as they are seeing their first postseason action since 2011. The holes in their rotation are often covered by their high-powered lineup, featuring stars like Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins and Kyle Schwarber. Philly fans must feel pretty good about where they stand, on the precipice of their first World Series appearance since 2009.