Max Fried gets the ball with a chance to put Atlanta up 2-0 on the road. Read why we’re backing the lefty in our Braves and Astros picks for Game 2 of the World Series.
The Atlanta Braves’ offense was too much for the Houston Astros’ pitching in Game 1 as the National League champs registered a dozen hits and plated six runs to draw first blood. Jorge Soler and Adam Duvall provided the big sticks, each swatting a home run, while Atlanta’s pitching held Houston to just a pair of runs on eight hits.
It seems a bit overwrought to consider this a must-win game for the Astros but packing up and traveling to hostile territory, down 2-0, against a Braves team whose offense can ignite at any given moment is a tall hill to climb.
Here are my picks and predictions for Wednesday’s World Series matchup between the Braves and Astros (odds via DraftKings; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
Braves vs. Astros Game Info
Date/Time: Wednesday, October 27, 8:09 p.m. ET
Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
Braves vs. Astros Odds Analysis
The MLB odds on this game opened at a coin flip with -110 lines on both sides. We have seen the pendulum swing in the direction of the home team, though, since that early line was released.
As we scan the lines across sportsbooks, we see that Houston is now as high as a -125 favorite over DraftKings while other books are dealing the Astros as low as -115 depending on where you shop. The SBR consensus for this matchup is showing bettors slightly leaning toward Atlanta.
The Over/Under has not moved one iota at any of the major books and is still listed at 8.5 (-110). The juice on that 8.5 total does vary by a few pennies but the number itself has been a rock since the opener.
Braves vs. Astros Picks
Atlanta (+105) (★★)
Under 8.5 (-120) (★)
Atlanta to Score First and Win (+180) (★)
Braves vs. Astros Predictions
The heat is on the Astros now after dropping Game 1. If any team will be bound in knots it will be Houston, while the free-swinging Braves lineup will continue to grip it and rip it.
Jose Urquidy (8-3, 3.62 ERA, 0.99 WHIP) will take the bump for the Astros and hope to improve upon his last outing when he was touched for six runs on five hits in just 1.2 innings of work. That could indicate the 26-year-old righty is getting gassed as he has not looked the same since mid-September, surrendering 15 runs over just 18 innings during that span.
Fried (1-1, 3.10 ERA, 1.09 WHIP), meanwhile, endured one of his worst outings of the season when the Dodgers rinsed him for five runs on eight hits in four-plus innings in Game 5 of the NLCS. But the difference between the 27-year-old lefty and Houston’s Urquidy is that Fried has looked sharp as the season has wound down. The notable exception was his last performance versus Los Angeles, but he has otherwise been sharp during the playoffs. He allowed a combined two runs with no walks and 14 strikeouts in his previous two postseason outings before that.
Fried will be a difference-maker tonight and is a big reason why we're backing Atlanta to go up 2-0 in our Braves and Astros picks.
Under 8.5 (-120)
Fried will hold strong over the six to seven innings he gives his club while Urquidy will likely last about five innings and allow a pair of runs while he’s in there.
Both bullpens are tough enough to limit the offenses when called upon. If the Braves heat up early it will look great for our bet on the Atlanta moneyline but not so good for our total. That's why Under 8.5 for our Braves and Astros picks is a one-star play.
Atlanta to Score First and Win (+180)
Both teams have essentially been a wash at the plate this postseason, with similar marks across the board. Houston has hit for a better average and has a higher OPS but Atlanta has gone deep more.
But if you believe the Braves will prevail tonight, as I do, then it would only stand to reason they will score first and ultimately win the game.
At +180 over at DraftKings, the price is right on this World Series prop pick.
Picks made on 10/27/2021 at 11:07 a.m. ET.