Astros - Phillies Matchup 4/28/23- 4/30/23
Before every series I will post these charts to help you get ready for the games, The methodology is described below.
It's rematch time! The Astros return home finally from a GREAT road trip and face their 2022 World Series opponent, the Phillies. The Phillies have started with their own challenges, but they are 7-3 in their last 10. How will these two teams matchup with the Astros being back at home?
Overall Preseason WAR Comparisons
Before the season this is how the two teams compared from a projected WAR standpoint.
The two teams are close. The Astros bats projected to be better and the Phillies pitching (particularly the starters) projected to be better.
We added last series a modified table that shows the WAR by position so far, the projected WAR for the ROS, and then what the cumulative total WAR would be.
From a WAR standpoint overall these two teams have been even so far. The bats are overall even. The starting pitching is even. The relief pitching is even. They both started slow and have gotten on a roll. It's been even folks.
With that said you can see where the Phillies project to have positional advantages and you can get a sense of how much of a fun this series will be. The Astros project to have a positional advantage. The Phillies project to have a pitching advantage. Again, these are the season projection numbers and NOT my opinion.
By the preseason WAR method, Philadelphia would be predicted to win 85 games in 2023 vs. the 89 for the Astros. Projected after their starts, the Phillies would track to 86 wins while the Astros remain at 89.
Let's compare the competition these two teams have faced.
According to the website MLB Strength of Schedule Rankings (powerrankingsguru.com),
The Phillies have played the 7th easiest schedule so far in the MLB. Don't worry they have the fourth hardest remaining schedule.
The Astros have played the third hardest schedule so far. Their remaining schedule is only the 9th hardest remaining schedule.
This data says expect a fun series. Almost anything is possible. Let's look at the grades.
I am going to write this assuming Alvarez is available. If not, we can revise.
Chart 1- Position Player Roster
Defensive Positions and rosters with bench and key minor league players. Who is injured? Then, the relative scores to arrive at who is better.
The numbers here validate that the Astros SHOULD have the batting advantage. Castellanos and Marsh have started HOT, and Realmuto and Turner have been slow to heat up. It will be interesting to see how that plays out in this short series. The Phillies have several key injuries. Most notably, Harper is out,
Chart 2- The Projected Batting Orders
In this section I predict the general batting order I expect both teams to use this series. I MIGHT update this as the series progresses. You also see how the batting lineup compares with the 2023 projected grades.
This will be an interesting but not impossible test for the Astros pitching.
Chart 3- Pitching Rosters
Starters and Relief pitcher rosters with key minor league players. Who is injured? Then, the relative scores to arrive at who is better.
The Matchups come up virtually even for the two pitching staffs with the Phillies Starters having an advantage and The Astros relievers having an advantage.
Both teams have some pitchers out.
Chart 4- Starting Pitching Matchups,
In this section we look at the SP matchups by game.
Both teams send out the top 3 in their pitching rotation. This gives the Phillies an advantage with Nola and Wheeler except neither has pitched like the aces they have been.
Folks, I will say it again. Buckle in. This might be a rough series for the Astros.
Series Prediction- I need to address this. THIS Article is about the matchup and not a prediction. Predicting three games series results is nearly impossible. I do these predictions as a SUMMARY of what I think all of the matchup data is saying.
I believe the Astros will take two in this series but almost any result COULD happen. The Phillies are a good team and both are doing well lately.
As we have discussed in the previous Astros Report Card Articles here is the grading scale for the position players.
To account for the value of defense a player can get a letter grade bump up or down based on their projected defensive WAR (or actual defensive WAR for 2022) for their primary defensive position.
For the pitchers we will use these two scales- one for 2023 based on projected FIP and the other for the 2022 actual FIP- data.
The overall score will be based on the point values to the right. The differences are tallied in the columns to the right.
Overall Score = Starter Differences + Bench Differences / 2 + MiLB Players Differences /4