2022 World Series: How Game 3 rain affects Phillies and Astros pitch plans for remainder of Fall Classic

PHILADELPHIA CREAM – For the first time since Games 6 and 7 were pushed back a day in 2011, the World Series has been postponed. Game 3 was scheduled to be played Monday at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, but with rain expected for most of the night, Major League Baseball decided it was best to postpone everything for a day.

Instead of cramming in the rest of the scheduled games, MLB decided to leave on a holiday Friday to travel. The series could end in Philadelphia, sure, but if both teams win at least one game in Philadelphia, the series will return to Houston with Game 6 now scheduled for Saturday and a potential Game 7 for Sunday.

As for how this affects each team, eyes immediately turn to the team with pocket aces and only a small handful of others they would like to use in high leverage places. Rain, in theory and on paper, helps the Phillies. That doesn’t hurt the Astros, obviously, but they have so much throwing depth that a no-rest streak would have benefited them by hurting the Phillies.

Ranger Suárez, who pitched in relief in Game 1, is now set to start Tuesday’s Game 3. Not only that, but Game 1 starter Aaron Nola can now kick off Game 4 on regular rest. Noah Syndergaard (originally slated to start Monday in Game 3) will likely be the Game 5 starter, and that clears the way for Zack Wheeler to go into Game 6 on extra rest. If there is a Game 7, they would have Suárez ready and Nola would be available as a relief.

In the bullpen, the Phillies would like to rely very heavily on José Alvarado and Seranthony Domínguez with a few sprinkles of Zach Eflin and David Robertson. They can more easily rely almost exclusively on those four relievers now with Suárez and Wheeler getting an extra day with Nola able to start Game 4.

Of course, Phillies manager Rob Thomson has said there’s a chance they could use Syndergaard as a relief in Game 3 and/or 4, in which case Kyle Gibson is an option to start Game 5.

On the Astros’ side, they’re so deep with pitching that they don’t move the needle a ton. They stay with Lance McCullers Jr. in Game 3 and, according to Dusty Baker, “probably” Cristian Javier in Game 4. That leaves Justin Verlander for Game 5 on extra rest and Framber Valdez in Game 6 on extra rest. Game 7 would then likely be McCullers, if we get that far.

The Astros have such a deep bullpen that, as noted, this day off doesn’t do much for them while giving the Phillies additional ways to rest their relievers and manipulate the rotation to their advantage.

We have a long way to go, and it was probably too much in the weeds before we see how Game 3 unfolds – and one of the teams could win the series in five games! — but we had nothing else to do. This is of course the first postponement in 11 years. Enjoy the evening and we’ll be back after Tuesday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *