World Series Game 5 Preview: facts and storylines for Astros vs. Phillies

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Eric Gay/AP/Shutterstock (13476426a) Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander warms up during a practice ahead of Game 1 of baseball’s American League Championship Series, in Houston ALCS Astros Baseball, Houston, United States – 18 Oct 2022

World Series Game 5 Preview: facts and storylines for Astros vs. Phillies

After trading games in Houston to start the series, each of the first two games in Philadelphia has been a very different contest. The Phillies took Game 3 by blanking the Astros behind their raucous crowd; then, in Game 4, the Astros evened the series by tossing a combined no-hitter.

The 2022 Fall Classic now becomes the best of three, and the Astros have flipped home-field advantage back in their favor. But first, one more in Philly:

Game Facts

 When: Thursday, 11/03/2022, 7:03 p.m. CT

Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia

TV/Streaming: FOX / FOX Sports App

Pitching Matchup:  Justin Verlander (18-4, 1.75 ERA) vs. Noah Syndergaard (5-2, 4.12 ERA). 

Series: tied 2-2

Series Schedule

Date & Time (Central)LocationPitching Matchup
Game 1PHI 6, HOU 5Minute Maid Park, HoustonVerlander vs. Nola
Game 2HOU 5, PHI 2Minute Maid Park, HoustonValdez vs. Wheeler
Game 3PHI 7, HOU 0Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia McCullers Jr. vs. Suárez
Game 4HOU 5, PHI 0Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia Javier vs. Nola
Game 5Thu 11/3, 7:03 p.m.Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia Verlander vs. Syndergaard
Game 6Sat 11/5, 7:03 p.m.Minute Maid Park, HoustonValdez vs. Wheeler^
Game 7*Sun 11/6, 7:03 p.m.Minute Maid Park, HoustonTBD
* If necessary.
^ Projected starters

If there was ever a time, it’s now

After the dominance on the mound by Cristian Javier in Game 4, the Astros will look to Justin Verlander to rebound from his rough Game 1 outing and perform well enough to give Houston a chance to grab their first lead of the series. After eight World Series games, Verlander is still searching for his first win in the Fall Classic. 

While any of the others would have been memorable in their own right, getting the first one under his belt now in Game 5, which would put the Astros up 3-2 and heading back to Houston needing one win in two games, would taste so sweet.

Houston’s bats have to keep taking advantage

The Astros’ five runs in Game 3, which were the difference, came in an inning in which they capitalized on opportunities. First, they chased a struggling Aaron Nola out of the game with singles to load the bases, then put the pressure on Philadelphia’s bullpen, which resulted in the big inning. The recipe for success may be peppering more of that throughout Game 5, leaving fewer runners stranded and ideally converting any early scoring opportunities they are given. 

They’ll be facing a semi-familiar face, Noah Syndergaard, whom they squared off with twice this season when he was a member of the Angels. He’s only appeared three times this postseason, twice in relief and then once in a three-inning start. The Phillies would love to get as many innings as possible out of Syndergaard; in turn, it will be a massive win for the Astros if they can knock him out early and put even more stress on Philadelphia’s bullpen. 

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