MLB Picks of the Day: Don't Mess with the Pens in Astros-Dodgers Game 3

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Mark Lathrop

Friday, October 27, 2017 12:24 PM UTC

Friday, Oct. 27, 2017 12:24 PM UTC

Chaos ensued in Game 2 of the World Series, as all handicapping rules went out the window in the late innings of that crazy game. Our MLB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, moves past his Game 2 "Under" loss and dials in the value for us in Game 3.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3350436, "sportsbooksIds":[19,139,1096,180,93], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":2 }[/]Free MLB World Series Pick: Astros -120 in the 1st 5 at 5Dimes

When analyzing the series price for this matchup I came upon Houston’s lack of winning record against left-handers on the season. That was my basis for my Under pick in Game 2, which was well on its way to proving my thesis before the Dodger bullpen got involved. Epic randomness ensued with the Astros finally winning a dinger filled game in the 11th inning. This does make my script a little more interesting, as I am fully prepared to back the Astros against an opposing right-handed pitcher on the mound. And so the scene is set for Game 3 with righty Lance McCullers on the mound for the Astros against Yu Darvish of the Dodgers.

The injury-prone McCullers missed August of this year and came back into the rotation with diminished sinker velocity, but that sinker had a greater sink as it were. It didn’t lead to a leap in success though, as McCullers accrued a 4.16 FIP in September and hasn’t had a winning decision since June 24th. He did, however, have an excellent 4-inning save last week against the Yankees, in which he put up a 6/1 K/BB rate in relief of Charlie Morton in Game 7 of the ALCS. McCullers’ home split will be at play in this game, where he has an excellent .221 BAA on the season with a 3.20 FIP and 2.90 xFIP. He also has a great .229 BAA split against left-handers on the season.

The new midseason addition to the Dodgers lineup, Yu Darvish, gets his World Series start in Game 3. Darvish as won 3 decisions in a row, including two in the postseason, and has given up one run or less in 5 decisions straight. He did pitch against Houston as a member of the Rangers in June with some success. The first game was a 3 earned run loss in which the Astros put up a .462 BABIP. The second game was a 1 earned run win in which the Astros put up a .065 BABIP. The BABIP numbers tell me that the real expected outcome of this game should be somewhere in the middle, and with 1 and 3 earned runs given up in each game that is not such a bad thing.

In season-long trends, the Astros have the upper hand in this game. They enter this matchup 84-40 against right-handed starters with an amazing +26.2 unit of profit. They are also 54-33 at home with +1.6 units of profit. On the other hand, the Dodgers are 50-35 at -2 units and 74-45 at -1.6 units of profit on the road. The form favors the Astros at home in this matchup.

Current odds have skewed towards the Astros since the lines have opened. The moneyline has seen significant movement from -115 to -130 at some books favoring Houston. The total has opened at 8.5 and has had some movement towards the Under, with BookMaker hanging an 8 as of writing this analysis. In the end, I will follow the series analysis I conducted and take Houston against any right-handed starter. Instead of bringing their bullpen into play I will take the Astros at -120 at 5Dimes on the first 5 inning moneyline as my Game 3 MLB Pick.

2017 MLB Record, 225-200-11, +10.44 units

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