World Series 2022: Stat Predictions for Astros vs. Phillies Game 3

Joe TanseyOctober 30, 2022

World Series 2022: Stat Predictions for Astros vs. Phillies Game 3

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    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 23: Lance McCullers Jr. #43 of the Houston Astros pitches in the first inning in game four of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on October 23, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
    Sarah Stier/Getty Images

    World Series Game 3 will have a change scenery from Houston to Philadelphia, and it will feature a shift in strategy.

    The Philadelphia Phillies got out of Houston with a split behind their two aces, Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola, and now they have to call on their pitching depth to bridge the gap to Game 5.

    The Houston Astros are sticking with the same strategy that worked in the previous two rounds. Lance McCullers Jr. will get the ball, and the hope is for him to deliver a quality start.

    The Phillies are countering with Noah Syndergaard and saving Ranger Suárez for Game 4, which means there should be a heavy bullpen influence on Game 3.

    Rob Thomson's strategy could be a success, like when he was aggressive with his relievers in Game 1, or it could come back to haunt him if McCullers is on point.

    Houston has the advantage on paper, but as we have seen throughout the postseason, the Phillies raise their performance inside their home ballpark.

Starting Pitchers

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    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 22: Noah Syndergaard #43 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches during the sixth inning against the San Diego Padres in game four of the National League Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 22, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
    Michael Reaves/Getty Images

    When it comes to starting pitching, the approaches of both teams should differ in Game 3.

    Lance McCullers is expected to deliver five or six innings on the road, while Noah Syndergaard will open for the Phillies.

    Syndergaard threw three innings in his lone postseason start for the Phillies in Game 4 of the NLDS. He has thrown 2.1 innings in two other relief appearances.

    Syndergaard's arm likely is not stretched out enough to match McCullers in length, but he can produce similar success. Syndergaard faced the Astros twice as a member of the Los Angeles Angels this season, conceding three earned runs on five hits in 9.1 innings.

    The Phillies should expect no more than three innings out of their Game 3 starter, but if he performs well, they could be in position to take the advantage on the scoreboard.

    McCullers produced six shutout innings in the ALDS and conceded three earned runs on eight hits in his ALCS start. Houston would love to see the former results come alive in Philadelphia, though McCullers just needs to keep the Philadelphia threat at bay before Houston's dominant bullpen takes over.

    Houston's goal should be to take the crowd out of the contest in the first five innings and chip away at the pitchers that directly follow Syndergaard. Philadelphia's high-leverage relievers likely will not enter until the fifth or sixth inning.

    Stat Predictions

    Lance McCullers: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 5 K

    Noah Syndergaard: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 K

Bryce Harper

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    HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 29: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits into a double play in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in Game Two of the 2022 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 29, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Bryce Harper's last swing inside Citizens Bank Park sent the Phillies to the World Series.

    Harper's eighth-inning, game-winning home run was the best moment of the first three rounds, but now he has to produce at home in the Fall Classic.

    Harper was 2-for-8 in Houston with both of the hits coming in the Phillies' Game 1 win. He went 0-for-4 in Game 2, but he only had one strikeout.

    The left-handed hitter has four multi-hit games inside his home stadium this postseason. He has a hit in each of the five games in Philadelphia.

    Harper is likely to get on base, but the question remains if he can deliver that series-changing moment again versus a tougher pitching staff.

    Houston's staff conceded a single home run in the first two games, so it may be hard for Harper to change the game with one massive swing.

    However, Harper can still make a difference with a single in a crucial spot or a knock that starts off a rally.

    Stat Prediction: 2-for-4, double, RBI

Jose Altuve

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    HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 29:  Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros  hits a single in the fifth inning during Game 2 of the 2022 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, October 29, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
    Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

    Jose Altuve is officially out of the slump that plagued him during Houston's first two playoff series.

    Thus far in the World Series, Altuve leads the Astros with four hits. He came alive in Game 2 with a trio of base knocks to propel the home team to victory.

    The Houston leadoff man will be vital in Philadelphia, because he can set the tone for the next three games. The Astros would love an early rally against Syndergaard, Ranger Suárez or Aaron Nola to put all the pressure on the Phillies.

    Altuve had a pair or two-hit games on the road in Atlanta in last year's World Series. He also had one two-hit game on the road against Washington in 2019.

    His biggest asset in Philadelphia could be speed. J.T. Realmuto is hard to run on, but Altuve stole a base off the Phillies catcher in Game 1.

    Altuve likely will not affect the game with his power, but if he gets on base, he could allow Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker or Alex Bregman to do damage against Syndergaard and Philadelphia's long men in the bullpen.

    Stat Prediction: 2-for-5, 1 run, 1 stolen base