The Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros both send inexperienced, yet talented, young pitchers to the hill in Game 3 of the World Series. We’ll look at whether they can tame potent offenses in our Astros vs Braves picks.
The Braves took Game 1 of this series in convincing fashion to steal home-field advantage away from the Astros. Houston responded with a dominant win of its own in Game 2 by a score of 7-2. Game 1 went Under the total of 8.5 by the hook, while Game 2 pushed on a projected total of 9 runs.
Here are my picks and predictions for Friday’s World Series matchup between the Astros and Braves (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
Astros vs. Braves Game Info
Date/Time: Friday, October 29, 8:09 p.m. ET
Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, GA
Astros vs. Braves Odds Analysis
The Braves opened as -110 favorites, and the public has taken a clear side on this one, betting them to -115 and even -120 at some books. The total has stayed put, even though we’ve tracked a ton of money coming in on the Over. The oddsmakers seem to be set on this game going Under.
Astros vs. Braves Picks
Braves (-115) (★★★★★)
Under 8.5 (-115) (★★★)
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Astros vs. Braves Predictions
As I alluded to in the open, both of these pitchers are a little problematic. Braves RHP Ian Anderson took a disappointing step back this season, and Astros RHP Luis Garcia pitched poorly down the stretch of the regular season. With that said, I think there’s a clear choice as to who’s better.
Anderson’s 2.25 ERA through three starts this postseason has been extraordinary and is reminiscent of his 0.96 ERA last October. He has struck out 12 hitters across 12 innings in a return to the strikeout prominence we saw a year ago.
Garcia hasn’t had that same touch, aside from his stellar scoreless outing in Game 6 of the ALCS. His xERA in the regular season indicated he was in line for regression, and we have seen that in three of his past four outings. He walked six batters and allowed 10 earned runs over his first two starts this postseason, and he averaged more than two walks per start across his last six outings of the regular season.
Astros relievers kept them afloat, but after working 11 innings this World Series to bring them to 61 for the postseason, they could be a little gassed on Friday. Should they be called upon early, things could potentially get out of hand.
Under 8.5 (-115)
Both of these offenses have been great — and Atlanta’s has actually out-hit Houston's — but the overall numbers for both aren’t necessarily great, at least based on OPS. While I think things could unravel fast for the Astros’ pitching staff, I have confidence in Anderson against the Astros.
Houston ranked 11th in pitch value against fastballs in the second half of the season, and despite all of his troubles in 2021, that’s still the one thing Anderson did well. He actually added some velocity to his fastball this season and was effective behind it.
I think Atlanta wins this game rather lopsidedly, and with some strong pitching, this game should go Under.
SEE ALSO: All MLB Odds and Lines
Picks made 10/29/2021 at 10 a.m. ET.