The Houston Astros evened the World Series at two games apiece in emphatic fashion. Will Houston carry that momentum into Game 5 before returning home? Read on for our Astros-Phillies MLB picks.
Move over, Don Larsen; you have company. The Astros are riding high after Cristian Javier and three relievers combined to no-hit the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. That was just the second no-hitter in World Series history. The Astros tied the 1939 New York Yankees for the longest consecutive no-hit innings streak in World Series history (11).
Here are my MLB picks and predictions for Thursday's World Series Game 5 between the Astros and Phillies (odds via Caesars Sportsbook and Draftkings Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
Astros vs. Phillies Game Info
Date: Thursday, Nov. 3, 8:03 p.m. ET
Location: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
Weather: 70 degrees, 8% chance of precipitation, 6-mph E wind
Astros vs. Phillies Odds
Astros vs. Phillies Odds Analysis
The Astros range from -155 to -160 moneyline favorites. Early bettors expect them to ride Wednesday's momentum into Game 5, as they have attracted 60% of the bets and 86% of the cash.
All sportsbooks offer a total of 7.5 runs, with most juiced to the Under. The Over has attracted 75% of the bets and 84% of the cash thus far.
Astros vs. Phillies Projected Pitchers
RHP Justin Verlander (18-4, 1.75 ERA, 0.829 WHIP) vs. RHP Noah Syndergaard (10-10, 3.94 ERA, 1.255 WHIP)
Verlander is a bonafide first-ballot Hall of Famer and is likely on his way to winning his third Cy Young Award this year. However, he has yet to be able to solve the conundrum of pitching in the World Series. In eight World Series starts, Verlander is 0-6 with a 6.07 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. That includes a Game 1 performance against Philadelphia, where he was rocked for five runs on six hits in five innings.
Syndergaard went 5-2 in 10 appearances (nine starts) after joining the Phillies at the trade deadline. However, his WHIP, H/9, and strikeout rates were worse with Philadelphia than when he pitched for the Los Angeles Angels. Syndergaard has made three appearances this postseason, totaling 5 1/3 innings, with just one earned run on three hits and a walk.
Astros vs. Phillies Picks
Astros vs. Phillies ML Pick
Astros (-155) ★★★★
Syndergaard is not likely to be given a long leash in this game, seeing as his longest postseason appearance this year was three innings in Game 4 of the NLDS. With Philadelphia likely needing to piece at least 18 outs together among four or more relievers, the advantage shifts mightily to Houston, whose bullpen has allowed no earned runs in its last 10 1/3 innings.
Some will be concerned about Houston heading into this game, as it struck out an unusually high 11 times (while walking once) in Game 4. However, the Astros had the second-fewest strikeouts from August 1 to the end of the regular season, so we are confident in them putting the bat on the ball more in Game 5.
Astros vs. Phillies O/U Pick
Under 7.5 (-110) ★★★
Verlander’s World Series struggles are well-documented, but we believe his whole body of work will eventually win out. Verlander ranked fifth in xERA and ninth in walk percentage. In addition, he allowed a .240 BABIP and an 80.5% LOB rate, and his 0.62 HR/9 rate was the second-lowest of his career.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia’s Nick Castellanos, Alec Bohm, Bryson Stott, and Jean Segura all had a wRC+ of 92 or lower against right-handed pitching this season. By comparison, Houston has three players (Jose Altuve-148, Yordan Alvarez-186, Alex Bregman-151) with the same or better wRC+ against righties than Philadelphia’s best hitter (Bryce Harper 148). Thus, we expect the best from Verlander in the most pivotal game of this series.
Astros vs. Phillies Prop Pick
McCormick to record a hit (-145) ★★
With much of the attention paid to Altuve, Bregman, and Alvarez in the Astros lineup, outfielder Chas McCormick has been a silent killer. He has now hit safely in 11 consecutive games against National League opponents and has slashed a respectable .286/.412/.469 this postseason.
Do not forget about him just because he hits at the bottom of the lineup.
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Astros-Phillies picks made 11/3/2022 at 6:24 a.m. ET.