There is no doubt that the Houston Astros are one of the top teams in baseball. This has certainly been true in recent years, where they have been on fire overall. 2021, for example, saw them make the World Series for the third time in just five years! Although they lost to the Braves eventually, it shows what a class act they are.
2022 has been another great year for the side and they have been a total winning machine in the main. This has not only been during regular season but also in the playoffs so far. With the team looking almost unstoppable due to top players like Jeremy Peña, José Altuve, Yordan Álvarez and Kyle Tucker performing at their best, it has left many people wondering if anyone left in 2022’s playoffs can stop them.
Wise to take a look at what the bookies think
Before we look at who could potentially stop the Astros, a good tip for any fan is looking at the latestbaseball odds today to get an overall idea. Bookmakers, after all, spend a lot of time researching their odds and this means they usually give a good idea of what might happen. By taking a close look at not only the odds being given for the Astros to win their playoff games but also the odds for their opponents to beat them, you can see just how likely it is that anyone can prevent them grabbing a World Series.
When it comes down to it in 2022, it is now only the Yankees, Padres and Phillies who have any chance of doing this. It won’t be easy, though, after the Astros’ superb regular season form and 3-0 series win over Seattle in the ALDS game (even Julio Rodríguez could not save Seattle!). But can any of them pull it off?
New York Yankees
The first team to have a shot at stopping the Astros in the 2022 playoffs are the Yankees. They face off against Houston in the ALCS series and as such represent the next challenge for manager Dusty Baker.
In truth, there are reasons why the Yankees could win the ALCS series in 2022 – but also just as many reasons why they could struggle. In terms of why they could stop the Astros, you have to start with Aaron Judge. As someone who has hit 62 home runs this season, he has enough talent and skill to blast the Yankees to victory.
You also have to factor in that the side enjoyed their 30th straight winning season in 2022 and should come into this series full of confidence. The Yankees will be extra motivated to beat the Astros in 2022, after the controversy over the Houston’s 2017 ALCS series win.
Houston, though, rightfully go into this set of games as top seed. It is crucial that the Yankees do not let the two ALCS losses in 2017 and 2019 play on their minds, and try to tackle the Astro’s more stacked bullpen.
Phillies or Padres in the World Series
If the Astros do make it through the ALCS series, they will face either the Phillies or Padres in the World Series. But what chance do either side have of stopping the team from Houston?
The Padres beat the heavily fancied Dodgers in the Division Series playoff games and really showed what they were all about. They certainly have the depth at pitcher to trouble Houston and this is crucial in big games.
Players such as Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove and Blake Snell not only bring variety but also much-needed playoff experience to the Padres. When you combine this with great team spirit and big hitters like Manny Machado and Juan Soto, you could see the Padres giving the Astros a tough World Series test, if both make it there.
Could the Phillies stop the Astros?
But what about the Phillies? They too could give Houston a test if the two sides do meet in the 2022 World Series. Depth at pitcher is a big plus for them, especially with players such as Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola starring in the playoffs. This side will also be full of confidence if they make it into the World Series and will be classed as underdogs by many. This will see them playing without any pressure and they could be dangerous opponents for the Astros – if they also make it there.
Can anyone stop the Astros in 2022?
There is no doubt that the Astros have had another great season so far and have really showed their class in the playoffs so far. With only three teams left that could potentially stop them in their tracks, it will be interesting to see what happens next.