10 numbers that explain the Houston Astros World Series win

So what made this version of the Astros such a special team in baseball history? Here are 10 stats that define the 2022 World Series champions.

.846 – Astros playoff winning percentage

There were rumors that the Astros would become baseball’s first undefeated playoff team since 1976 this postseason, although the Phillies had different ideas as they stormed back and stole Game 1 of the World Series. Aside from that hiccup and Lance McCullers Jr.’s implosion in Game 3, the Astros have been an absolutely dominant force in the playoffs. They swept the Mariners into the ALDS with a trio of clutch home runs, and they quickly sent the Yankees into the ALCS.

The last three games of the World Series have cemented the Astros’ position above the rest of the league. They didn’t hit Philadelphia in Game 4, then held the Phillies to just three points over the next two games en route to a six-game win. Houston finished the playoffs at 11–2, becoming only the fourth team in the Wild Card era with less than three playoff losses.

.998 – Yordan Alvarez’s OPS against southpaws

Houston left-handed slugger Yordan Alvarez had arguably the two biggest swings of the playoffs with his outbursts in Game 1 of the ALDS and Game 6 of the World Series. Both circuits took place under similar circumstances. Seattle manager Scott Servais brought in left-hander Robbie Ray to face Alvarez in the bottom of the ninth to kick off the 2022 playoffs, and Alvarez quickly threw a ball 450 feet for a walk-out homer.

Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson was no exception to Servais’ strategy in the World Series. He pulled starter Zack Wheeler and put Jose Alvarado in the game to face Alvarez in the sixth inning of Game 6, thinking his ace reliever would be able to get out of a jam in a left-left game. Thomson’s strategy quickly backfired.

Perhaps a brief look at Alvarez’s 2022 splits would have informed Servais and Thomson’s decisions. Alvarez is not your typical left-handed batsman who struggles with left-handed throwing. He is one of baseball’s finest hitters, one who combines prodigious power with advanced knowledge of the strike zone. He hit .321 against lefties this season and posted a .998 OPS. Managers need to think twice before the next time they blindly turn to a left-handed reliever with Alvarez coming at home plate.

2.90 – Astros 2022 team ERA

While Alvarez’s home runs will live on in Houston lore, it’s the Astros’ pitching staff that has really fueled the 2022 World Series run. The Houston team is just one of three teams in pitchers since 2000 to post a team ERA below 3.00, and most impressive of all was the Astros’ arm depth. All five Houston starters who pitched more than 140 innings finished with ERAs below 4.00. Three different relievers posted an FIP (field independent launch) of less than 2.70. Even in today’s offensive-repressed environment, Houston’s 2022 personnel were still dominant over the rest of the American League.

1.75 – Justin Verlander’s 2022 ERA

Houston’s depth has shone throughout 2022, but we’d be remiss not to mention the personnel ace. Justin Verlander had one of the best 39-year-old seasons of all time this year, posting a vintage season as he led the AL with a 1.75 ERA.

Verlander hasn’t missed a step this season after effectively missing the entire 2020 and 2021 seasons due to Tommy John surgery. He’s likely to win his third Cy Young Award this season, and he continues to climb the franchise rankings in wins, strikeouts and WAR for pitchers. We could see Verlander in another uniform next season after he opted out of his contract on Wednesday. If his Houston career is really in the rearview mirror, he ended with a bang in Game 5 of the Fall Classic.

5 – Earned runs allowed by Astros relievers in the playoffs

Houston’s bullpen was effectively untouchable in the 2022 playoffs. That’s not hyperbole. The Astros relievers allowed just five runs in the playoffs overall en route to an .83 ERA, and they allowed just 23 total hits through 13 games. No matter what number Baker called in late innings in October and November, the bullpen team delivered.

There was no shortage of impressive relievers in the Houston bullpen, including closer Ryan Pressly, who had six saves with a 0.00 ERA. But perhaps the most impressive force has been Bryan Abreu. The 25-year-old led the Astros with 11 1/3 innings and, like Pressly, didn’t let a single run in that span. Abreu recorded his first full major league season in 2021. At the end of the 2022 season, he became one of the most electric arms in the sport.

1.005 – Jeremy Peña OPS playoffs

Jeremy Peña had little trouble replacing Carlos Correa this playoff. The Houston rookie had brilliant playoff runs on both sides, as the Gold Glove winner paired his usual defensive excellence with consistent production in the batter’s box. Peña became the first rookie to field a six-game hitting streak in the World Series. He is the first rookie shortstop to hit a home run in the Fall Classic, and he is also the first player in a rookie position to win the World Series MVP title. And Peña’s production is impressive even if you remove the rookie modifier. He posted a playoff OPS of 1.005 and delivered critical moments throughout the playoffs.

Peña’s early composure served him well throughout the playoffs. He should now be the face of the Astros for years to come.

.907 – Alex Bregman’s OPS over the past two months

Alex Bregman’s production on the board has seen a noticeable decline in the 2020 and 2021 seasons, and he’s struggled offensively to start 2022. He’s suffered a number of injuries in recent seasons, including injuries to the hand and wrist that deprived him of his power. The tide started to turn in August. With his body in perfect health for the first time in years, Bregman closed out the regular season with a flurry, posting a .907 OPS with 23 extra hits in the final two months of the season. Houston’s third baseman stayed hot in the playoffs. He hit .294 with three home runs, adding 11 RBIs to the heart of the Astros’ order.

12–5 – Astros playoff record against Yankees since 2017

Few series in Houston’s six-year dynasty had as much drama as the 2017 ALCS. The upstart Astros fell to a 3-2 series deficit against the Baby Bombers, but a pair of pitching performances dominant in Games 6 and 7 sent Houston to the Fall Classic for the first time since 2005. New York has yet to get revenge. . Game 6 by Jose Altuve sent the Astros back to the World Series in 2019, and the 2022 ALCS wasn’t even close. The Astros swept the Yankees as they closed the series in the Bronx, and by the end of four games, Houston held a surprising 50-25 advantage in team strikeouts.

The Astros and Yankees are expected to be one of the great rivalries in recent memory after the 2017 ALCS. New York hasn’t held up its end of the bargain so far.

6 – Consecutive Astros ALCS Appearances

The Astros won their second championship in franchise history this season, but the real testament to the greatness of this current run is Houston’s ALCS streak. Bregman and Co. have now been one of the last four teams in the playoffs in each of the past six years, standing as an unmatched playoff mainstay in the American League. The streak could very well continue into 2023. Houston will return almost its entire core from the 2022 team next season, paving the way for another potential run to the ALCS and beyond.

1 – Dusty Baker’s championships as a manager

There was no shortage of intrigue for the 2022 Astros as they headed for their second championship, but no character sparked more intrigue than their manager. Dusty Baker is a baseball legend after more than five decades as a player and coach, despite still not winning a World Series title in his previous 24 seasons as a coach. Baker finally broke through this season, setting course for a Hall of Fame career.

Baker isn’t quite done yet either. He will return to the Astros dugout in 2023 after signing a one-year contract extension with the franchise on Wednesday.

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