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The Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies will continue the 2022 World Series on Thursday night with Game 5 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. The Astros evened the best-of-seven series at 2-2 on Wednesday night, with four pitchers teaming up to throw the first combined no-hitter in World Series history. The Astros and Phillies are now engaged in what amounts to a best-of-three series. The first team to win two will be crowned this year's World Series champion.  

With the series knotted and the stakes ahead crystal clear, we here at CBS Sports wanted to take our first swing at analyzing who might win the World Series Most Valuable Player Award. We know what you're thinking -- there are still up to three games left, it's too early to have a firm grasp on who might win. That's fair, but think of this as a snapshot in time that we can refer back to once the series concludes.

Picking an MVP is an inherently subjective exercise. For this article, we've chosen to make it more objective by highlighting the five players who have posted the series' highest Championship Win Probability Added scores. Win Probability Added, for those unaware, is a metric that uses historical data to determine how much any given play increases (or decreases) a team's chances of winning. In laypeople's terms, a home run that ties the game is worth significantly more in this metric's eyes than a home run to cut the lead to 10. 

WPA is a descriptive stat, not a predictive one. For what it's worth, Bryce Harper is the World Series MVP betting favorite at Caesars Sportsbook but (spoiler alert) does not crack this list.

Anyway, enough with the nerd talk. Let's get to some rankings.

1. J.T. Realmuto, Phillies C, 13.3% cWPA

Realmuto is 3 for 16 entering Game 5, but he's in the catbird seat because two of those three were instrumental to the Phillies' Game 1 victory. Realmuto not only delivered the go-ahead home run in the 10th inning, he tied up the game with a two-run double in the fifth. Those plays remain the No. 1 and No. 3 most important of the series, as determined by Championship Win Probability Added. (The No. 2 most pivotal play, for those wondering, was Aledmys Díaz grounding out to end Game 1.)

2. Cristian Javier, Astros RHP, 9.6% cWPA

You knew Javier would be somewhere high on this list. You can certainly make the argument that he deserves the award based on what we know right now about the series and his role in the Astros' historic Game 4 performance -- he threw six of their nine no-hit innings, striking out nine and walking two. It's possible that Javier makes an appearance in a Game 7 scenario, giving him a chance to pad his cWPA.

3. Alex Bregman, Astros 3B, 7.6% cWPA

Bregman, like Realmuto, is just 3 for 16 throughout the series' first four games. He's made them count all the same, tallying the Astros' first and third most important knocks so far. The first was his double in the bottom of the 10th of Game 1 that gave the Astros a prime opportunity to even the score. The second was another double, this one in Game 4 that plated a pair of runs to extend the Astros' lead to 3-0. 

4. Ranger Suárez, Phillies LHP, 7.5% cWPA

Suárez made a relief appearance during the Phillies' comeback win in Game 1, but most of his cWPA was accumulated during his Game 3 start. He threw five shutout innings, allowing three hits and a walk while punching out four. It should be noted that Suárez is in line to start a potential Game 7, meaning he may have the opportunity to bolster his statline and his legacy come this weekend.

5. Seranthony Dominguez, Phillies RHP, 6.9% cWPA

This may seem aggressive, seeing as how Dominguez has pitched just once so far in this series. To that, we'd respond that you have to keep the leverage of the situation in mind. Two of the four games have been blowouts, and another was decided by three runs.

Dominguez pitched 1 2/3 innings of the only close game, and he faced spots where a baserunner represented either the go-ahead or winning run. In both instances, he escaped without damage, giving him a huge cWPA boost.