This World Series is a beautiful juxtaposition

If styles make fights, then this World Series is for you. While the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies have their similarities (like green mascots), they also occupy opposing poles in a lot of ways. And also the perception of them is actually opposite to reality in some ways as well. There are plenty of currents running in opposition to each other for this Fall Classic.
At the very top, the Astros are basically MLB royalty now. Their fourth World Series appearance, after yet another 100+ win season, has become their territory even more so than the Dodgers. They have been a fixture for seven seasons. Meanwhile, the Phillies are the party-crashers, the last one into the whole thing who have then fucked everyone’s shit up upon arrival, sticking their fingers in the Cardinals’ drink, sneezing on the Braves’ food, peeing on the Padres’ seat (you can easily picture Kyle Schwarber doing all of this). It’s hard to know if MLB truly wanted a wildcard team in the first year of its expanded playoffs to get this far or not. It is likely the owners did, for nefarious reasons.
Which is where the perception of these teams also diverges in strange ways. Yes, the Phils are only an 87-win team and the lowest seed in the National League. While most fans know better, you can be sure there will be ownership groups pointing their front office at that 87-win total and asking for no more because hey, look where it got the Phightins. This was always the drawback of the expanded playoffs, combined with its inherent randomness and variance.
And yet the Phillies are built to be much more. They are a wildly collected group of mercenaries, as it were, with Bryce Harper, Zack Wheeler, J.T. Realmuto, Kyle Schwarber, Nick Castellanos all either expensive free-agent signings or trade acquisitions that were then paid appropriately. This is a Dave Dombrowski team after all, and there is no waiting around in Dombrowski’s world, nor ever keeping the financial powder dry. 162 games showed the roster’s overall wonkiness — horrible defense, strikeout-heavy tendencies, especially top-heavy when Harper was hurt — and yet it was built to be right here, if not via the path they took. They aimed big and got it, just through the side door.

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