2022 World Series predictions, Phillies-Astros pick: CBS staff predict NL will win trophy at home

The Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros will play Game 1 of the 2022 World Series on Friday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The Astros will be vying for their second championship in the past six years and second in franchise history, while the Phillies seek to reach the top of the MLB heap for the first time since 2008 and third time in franchise history.

The Astros reached the Fall Classic by sweeping the Yankees in the ALCS. League-wide, the Phillies have beaten the Padres in five games in the NLCS.

In this series, the Astros are the big favorites. That’s because during the regular season, Houston topped Philly by 19 games in the standings and by 157 points in point differential. Yes, the Phillies have played the tougher schedule as measured by opponents’ average winning percentage, but that’s not enough to close the aforementioned gaps. Plus, the Astros come in more rested — they’ve played in seven playoff games against Philadelphia’s 12 — and they have home-court advantage. That said, baseball is designed to defy such expectations, and the Phillies did a lot of defying those expectations in October.

As for how this might play out, your four CBS Sports MLB scribes and two editors are here to provide (theoretically) educated guesses on the winner of the 2022 Fall Classic. Note that accuracy is not guaranteed or even encouraged.

2022 World Series Staff Picks

RJ Anderson: Anything can happen in four to seven games. I pick the team that was obviously better during the regular season, and I pick them in the max number of games, so I have plausible deniability if/when I’m wrong. (Also, I think Houston is the better team.). TAKE: Houston in seven; World Series MVP: Kyle Tucker.

Mike Axisa: I think the Astros are the better team, but if this postseason has shown us anything, it’s that the better team doesn’t always win a short streak. The Phillies have two posts at the top of the rotation, a deeper and fuller roster than you might think, and pristine vibes. Similar to 2019, I predict a long, entertaining and hard-fought series that will end with an NL East team celebrating a title at Minute Maid Park. PICK: Phillies in seven; World Series MVP: Kyle Schwarber.

Dayn Perry: By any reasonable standard, the Astros are the better team, and they’re much more rested overall for this series. That said, the difference in mood between these two teams is almost incalculable, and that’s what matters most at this time of year. PICK: Phillies in seven; World Series MVP: Zack Wheeler.

Matt Snyder: I have very little conviction on this. The Astros are much better. They have more talent and more depth. The Phillies are also on a special run and I can’t help but think that winning seven straight for the Astros means a cold streak is coming. Then again, for much of the season, I’ve been saying the Phillies are the most variably good team we’ve seen in a while; they could win the World Series or lose 12 in a row and miss the playoffs. There is a greater likelihood of a cold streak falling on the Philadelphia side. I will go with Jose Altuve as MVP. He started the playoffs 0 for 25 and he’s better than that. A series of hot games lurks just around the corner. PICK: Astros in six; World Series MVP: Jose Altuve.

Etienne Pianovich: At the start of these playoffs, I picked the Phillies to win the World Series. In the 20 days that followed, the Phillies went 9-2 and knocked out two division winners and another upset darling. Bryce Harper has had the swing of his life. Rhys Hoskins has a spellbinding new bat flip seemingly every game. Kyle Schwarber hit a ball 488 feet. Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler put zero after zero. Three of my colleagues pick the Phillies based on vibes. Sure, the Astros are the most complete team on paper, but you don’t have to be Jose Altuve in 2017 to know what’s next for my prediction. PICK: Phillies in five; World Series MVP: Rhys Hoskins.

Kate Feldman: The Astros are better than the Phillies in almost every measurable way and yet there’s no doubt in my mind that the Phillies are going to win the World Series. The vibes are just too good. Bryce Harper will hit a 500 foot bomb in Game 4 and the Phanatic and Miles Teller will recreate a scene from “Top Gun” and the city will burn and from the ashes will rise Rob Manfred’s piece of metal. Men will cry and women will tell stories to their grandchildren and the streets will be flooded with beer and there will be joy in the world for one night. PICK: Phillies in six; World Series MVP: Bryce Harper.

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