Bryce Harper Philadelphia Phillies
Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Phillies' unexpected run to the NL pennant has them just 4 wins away from being crowned World Series Champions. In front of them is their biggest challenge yet, as the Houston Astors have yet to lose a playoff game and are coming off their sixth straight ALCS appearance. To come out on top, here are the 5 things the Phillies must do:

  1. Power Bats Need To Stay Hot

The Phillies were powered to victory behind huge homers from their sluggers. Namely Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, and Kyle Schwarber who all had massive home runs that Phillie fans will remember forever. Keeping those bats hot, along with getting more contributions from Nick Castellanos and J.T. Realmuto will give them a shot against the Astros strong pitching staff.

2. Starting Pitching Going Deep Into Games

Starting pitching is crucial to any team going deep in the postseason and winning a World Series. The Phillies have two top-end starters in Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler who give them a shot every game they pitch in. Those two must continue to perform at the elite level they have been performing at and the Phillies will need those two to pitch on short rest at some point in the series. Ranger Suarez has also been solid and has helped solidify their starting rotation.

3. Keeping Astros’ Hitters At Bay

The Astros have a strong lineup of their own filled with guys who have World Series experience. José Altuve and Yordan Álvarez have struggled of late and keeping them down would go a long way for Philadelphia's chances. ALCS MVP Jeremy Peña has been hot and the rookie is showing up big when the Astros have needed it most. Alex Bregman is another big bat who can have a huge impact on the series. Keeping these hitters at bay will be key for the Phillies.

4. Timely Hits

It’s not how many hits you get, but when you get them. The Phillies have gotten timely hits all postseason long and that will have to continue in the World Series. Jean Segura’s two-run single propelled them in Game 3 of the NLCS. Bryce Harper’s homer in Game 5 sent the Padres home. If the Phillies want to be World Series Champions, they’ll certainly need more huge hits.

5. Bullpen Needs To Shut Down Bats

The Phillies’ bullpen has come up huge for the Phillies in the postseason. What once was a major question mark, has become a strength for them. Noah Syndergaard, Connor Brogdon, David Robertson, Seranthony Domínguez, and company have all had big moments. With the quality of hitters on the Astros roster, the Phillies bullpen will have to continue to shut down bats, especially if the Phillies get late-game leads.

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