Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 16: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies enters the dugout following a 5-3 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game One of the Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 16, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Let’s be frank folks, it appears we are destined for a World Series matchup between the Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers.

I know, I know, we got a long way to go, but, with the Rangers up 2-0 on the defending champion Astros, and the Phillies already staked to a 1-0 series lead over Arizona, it’s all but inevitable at this point. Here are five reasons why:

  • Starting Pitching

    When it comes to the postseason, we all know it’s about pitching, and both the Phillies and Rangers have displayed consistently good starting pitching this month. For Philly, Zach Wheeler (2-0, 2.37 ERA in 19 innings pitched) and Aaron Nola (2-0, 1.42 ERA in 12.2 innings pitched) are as good as it gets as top of the rotation starters. Wheelers has become an ace. Nola is looking to cash in big on a free agent contract this winter, so of course he’s pitching great.

    As for Texas, a big reason the Rangers are unbeaten this October is their starting pitching. Even without Jacob derom and Max Scherzer, the Rangers depth in the rotation stands out. Ex-Red Sox Nathan Eovaldi (3-0, 2.29 ERA) and ex-Yankee Jordan Montgomery (2-0, 2.08 ERA) are a solid 1-2 punch.

  • Rangers Bullpen

    The much maligned Rangers bullpen was a problem in the regular season, but in the playoffs they have been stellar. A 2.07 ERA in 26 innings of work thus far. Aroldis Chapman has settled into a set-up role, while Jose Leclerc has been very good at closing games this October. He already has three saves. That is a problem for the Astros who are down 0-2 in this ALCS.

  • Bryce Harper & Trea Turner

    The Arizona Diamondbacks already had their hands full pitching to the Phillies lineup, but now they pitch to a Phillies lineup that is red hot. Tre Turner is hitting an even .500 (14 hits in 28 at bats) this postseason. Bryce Harper is hitting .407 with four bombs and seven RBI. You can even throw in Nick Castellanos and his five homers this October. The Phillies are a incredible hitting team that can launch the ball in any ballpark.

  • Bruce Bochey and Rob Thompson

    No disrespect to Dusty Baker, a Hall of Fame manager and World Series champion in his own right with the Houston Astros, but Bruce Bochey is the master of postseason, at least in the last decade. Bochey won three World Series titles in San Francisco, and in his first year managing in Texas has the Rangers two wins from the World Series. The guy just knows which buttons to press.

    On the National League front, Rob Thompson has been a miracle worker in Philly. He turned around a downtrodden team in June last year when Joe Girardi was fired, and they rolled to the World Series before falling to the Astros. This year — with a new contract in hand — he’s about to do it again. And to think Rob Thompson was once the Yankees bench coach.  The Yankees loss has been Philly’s gain.

  • Everyone Hates the Mets

    Ok, someone had to mention it. Let’s be real a Rangers – Phillies World Series is the ultimate barf bag moment for Mets fans. So of course, the baseball gods would find a way to stick to the long suffering fans of the team from Queens.

    On one side you have ex-Met Zach Wheeler twirling strikes like Curt Schilling for the Phillies, and on the other side you have ex-Mets Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom on the precipice of winning rings for someone NOT named the Mets.

    Talk about the ultimate swift kick to the gonads that only true Mets fans can understand.  Remember when Zach Wheeler wasn’t any good and used to walk the ballpark? Yeah, when he was a Met. Remember when the Mets had Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer in their rotation? Yeah, 2022 feels like a century go now.

    Look away Mets fans, if you can.

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