And then there were two. The Philadelphia Phillies and the Houston Astros are set to battle it out in the 2022 MLB World Series. It’s not the matchup many would have predicted even a few weeks ago. But in the end both teams emerged from their respective League Championship Series as decisive winners.

In this new era of legal betting, there will be a special kind of interest in the Phillies. Pennsylvania sports betting is well established while sports fans in Texas are still waiting for their state lawmakers to get the job done. You can expect plenty of action supporting the home team on PA’s online sportsbooks.

Road To The World Series

So how did they get here? In the National League, the Phillies entered as the #6 seed only to easily eliminate the #2 seed Atlanta Braves (3-1) and the #5 seed San Diego Padres (4-1), a team that dismissed the heavily favored Los Angeles Dodgers (3-1).

Meanwhile in the American League, the Astros were nothing short of a juggernaut. First, they eliminated the #5 seed Seattle Mariners (3-0), followed by a total thrashing of the #2 seed New York Yankees (4-0).

Philadelphia Phillies Back In The Big Time

It’s been 13 years since Philadelphia Phillies baseball fans last saw home World Series action. And that one didn’t work out quite as they would have liked. The Phillies lost the 2009 Fall Classic to the New York Yankees 4-2.

The 2022 Phillies are a team that has struggled at times during the season. One look at their stat sheet makes it clear that consistency was elusive. While the offense was fairly potent (ranked 8th in MLB for batting average – .253, 7th for runs scored – 747), the pitching staff was ordinary.

That is not something a fan or sports bettor would normally expect to see from the NL representative in the World Series.

On the other hand, what this team had in its favor was explosiveness. With a lineup that includes OF Kyle Schwarber (.218/46/94/100), OF Bryce Harper (.286/18/65/63 over 99 games), and C J.T. Realmuto (.276/22/84/75), the Phillies have shown the ability to pile up runs in a hurry.

Houston Astros Balanced Threat

So what is standing between the Phillies and ultimate baseball glory? With a record of 106-56, the Astros had the second-best record in MLB, just behind the 111-51 Dodgers. Factor in the way they have cruised through the playoffs, there is no doubt this is a scary team.

In recent seasons (all good), the Astros have depended heavily on a dangerous lineup of bats. But they are now a more balanced proposition. In 2022, the Astros had the second-best team ERA (2.9) and WHIP (1.09). Led by probable Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander (18-4, 1.75 ERA, .83 WHIP), they don’t have a single pitcher on the roster with an ERA of over 3.94.

And they still have bats, led by OF Yordan Alvarez (.306/37/97/95), SS Jose Altuve (.300/28/57/103), and OF Kyle Tucker (.253/30/107/71).

Betting the World Series

Before a pitch is thrown, the Astros are widely favored to win the World Series at -190 with the Phillies coming in at +170. For Game 1, the hometown Astros are favored at -170 with Verlander on the mound against Zach Wheeler and the Phillies at +143. The over/under is set at 6.5 with the over favored at -125.

This could be a tough betting series for devoted Phillies fans and PA sports bettors. Verlander is not only the best pitcher in baseball, but he is also a workhorse. With scheduled days off for traveling, it’s very likely Verlander could be pitching games 1, 4, and 7 if needed. That makes betting on the Phillies to win the series tough, something that seems undervalued at +170.

It might be a better idea to simply wager on individual games. For Game 1, the under 6.5 looks attractive at +105. Also, the Phillies are prone to Ks and Verlander throws a lot of them. You might not be too far off base if you look for the Astros win the game 4-1.