Mandatory Credit: Photo by Maria Lysaker/UPI/Shutterstock (13463382f) Houston Astros Yordan Alvarez is congratulated by Alex Bregman after hitting a two-run home run in the sixth inning to give the Astros a 3-2 lead over the Seattle Mariners in game two of their American League Division Series at Minute Maid Park in Houston on Thursday, October 13, 2022. Alds Astros Mariners, Houston, Texas, United States - 13 Oct 2022

Astros-Phillies position by position comparison: Who has the edge in the Fall Classic?

Catcher: 

J.T. Realmuto (PHI) over Martin Maldonado (HOU)

J.T. Realmuto is one of the game’s best backstops, and he’s shown flashes of why so far this postseason. He’s clubbed two home runs (one of the inside-the-park variety) and is tied for the team lead in runs scored during the playoffs. He’s an exceptionally athletic catcher who bats in the middle of Philadelphia’s order. 

First Base: 

Rhys Hoskins (PHI) over Yuli Gurriel (HOU)

This one is close. Gurriel is having an excellent postseason for the Astros, batting .367 with an OPS of .934 and two home runs – but Hoskins has been on another planet of late. He’s more than made up for a low Postseason batting average with five home runs and 11 RBIs, each tied with teammate Bryce Harper for the most in baseball in the postseason. 

Second Base: 

Jose Altuve (HOU) over Jean Segura (PHI)

Jean Segura has certainly had some clutch moments for Philadelphia this postseason, while Jose Altuve has been ice cold – but here I’m going to lean on what we’ve seen from players throughout their careers. Altuve has had more than his share of clutch moments in past playoffs, and I wouldn’t count out the .307 career hitter because of a few cold weeks. 

Third Base: 

Alex Bregman (HOU) over Alec Bohm (PHI)

Alex Bregman has had a stellar postseason, batting .333 with an OPS of almost 1.000. He brings 14 career postseason home runs to the tableas well, while Alec Bohm has struggled in October, hitting just .189. This one is pretty easy. 

Shortstop: 

Jeremy Pena (HOU) over Bryson Stott (PHI)

Each of these teams has gotten a glimpse of their future at the shortstop position this season, as Stott and Pena are each top prospects – but Jeremy Pena just won ALCS MVP after also hitting the decisive 18th-inning home run that sent Houston past the Seattle Mariners. Bryson Stott has had a few moments, but Pena is having a postseason full of them.  

Left Field: 

Yordan Alvarez (HOU) over Kyle Schwarber (PHI)

While I’d pay good money to watch these two duke it out in a home run derby, Yordan Alvarez is one of baseball’s premier hitters. He hit two huge home runs in the Seattle series and is the type of intimidating force in the middle of a lineup that teams constantly have to think about. He also has an absolute cannon of an arm in left field. 

Center Field: 

Chas McCormick (HOU) over Brandon Marsh (PHI)

Both players are very solid defensively in center field, but McCormick has to have the edge for what he’s accomplished offensively this postseason. His two home runs and .898 OPS have been a huge lift to the bottom of the Astros’ lineup, while Marsh finished the San Diego series without recording a hit. 

Right Field: 

Kyle Tucker (HOU) over Nick Castellanos (PHI)

Neither of these two has truly been at their best this postseason, but Tucker has brought more to the table all year. He’s the only one of the two to connect on a home run this Postseason, hit 30 versus Castellanos’ 13 during the regular season, and plays the better defense in right field. 

Designated Hitter:

Bryce Harper (PHI) over Trey Mancini (HOU)

Like Yordan Alvarez, Harper is one of the game’s best hitters and has owned clutch moments on the Phillies’ postseason run. He’s mashed five home runs, none bigger than a two-run shot to put Philadelphia ahead for good in Game 5 versus San Diego. Batting .419 and OPSing 1.351 this postseason, he is public enemy number one in the Philadelphia lineup. 

Starting Pitching: 

Houston over Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s top two starters (Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola) will always be tough customers, but Houston’s rotation is stronger all around. The Astros’ starting pitching was better than Philadelphia’s all season (2.95 ERA to 3.80 ERA) and won’t be at a disadvantage in any game. Justin Verlander dominated the Yankees in his NLCS start, while Framber Valdez has a 1.42 ERA this postseason. While Wheeler has been excellent, the Padres roughed up Aaron Nola in Game 2, and the Houston starting pitching advantage only gets bigger in Game 3 and beyond with the likes of Lance McCullers Jr. and Cristian Javier waiting in the wings. 

Relief Pitching: 

Houston over Philadelphia 

The Astros have had the best bullpen in baseball all season, and not a whole lot has changed since the playoffs began on that front. They’ve allowed just a 0.82 ERA over 33 innings of work, striking out 42 batters while allowing a batting average of just .127. If Houston has a lead late, it’s likely a done deal. 

Overall Takeaways: 

Houston is 7-0 this postseason, and it is really no surprise when you take a minute to acknowledge the depth and talent of their roster. They enter the World Series with a relatively massive pitching advantage and get the nod at six of nine spots in the lineup as well. Give me Houston in five games, completing a completely overwhelming postseason run at 11-1. 

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