Astros vs. Braves World Series Game 3 Odds, Projections: Betting Preview & Prop Picks (October 29)

Astros vs. Braves World Series Game 3 Odds, Projections: Betting Preview & Prop Picks (October 29) article feature image
Credit:

Patrick Smith/Getty Images. Pictured: Freddie Freeman

  • The Astros and Braves head to Atlanta tonight for Game 3 of the World Series, which the odds a virtual coinflip.
  • Luis Garcia takes the mound for Houston and will be opposed by Atlanta's Ian Anderson.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown and projections for this game, the series, as well as some props picks.

Looking for a breakdown of Saturday’s Game 4? Click here.

Throughout the MLB postseason, I will provide a daily breakdown summarizing my thoughts on futures and individual games.

I will also address betting these playoff series, whether on the series moneyline or a game-by-game basis while using my daily MLB Model projections.

Let’s talk series prices and World Series prop bets before digging into Game 3 between the Astros and Braves.

Series Moneyline Corner

Here are my updated ML projections for the 2021 World Series:

Houston improved its chances by 15% following a 7-2 win over Atlanta on Wednesday. We’re back to the status quo in terms of series probability — albeit without Charlie Morton.

Before the World Series, I projected the Braves as 45% series underdogs with Morton on their roster. Still, they were able to steal a split on the road in Houston and can sweep their way to a championship at home in the next three games.

That said, Game 3 feels like close to a must-win for the Atlanta. It’s hard to imagine them piecing together more than one win with some combination of Drew Smyly and Kyle Wright eating innings in Games 4 and 5.

Before Game 3, I would need -113 (53% implied) to bet Houston at a two percent edge compared to my projection. Conversely, I would need +133 (43% implied) to bet Atlanta at a comparative advantage.

As a refresher, here’s how my World Series projections have evolved throughout the season:

World Series Props

In addition to the series ML, or the ML and totals for the individual games, there are numerous ways to bet the World Series from an exotic or prop perspective.

Two of the most popular prop markets are the total number of games and the exact series outcome.

I’ll update my projections for those two prop markets after each game of this series:

Astros at Braves, Game 3

Friday, 8:09 p.m. ET

Ian Anderson (4.30 xERA, 3.96 xFIP, 4.38 SIERA) thrived after being tossed into the postseason fire as a rookie last year, and his role in the World Series has taken on significant importance following the Morton injury.

Atlanta will get (at most) three more starts out of Anderson and Max Fried in this series, and they probably need to go 2-1 in those games if they want to get past the Astros. It isn’t easy to imagine Atlanta winning a pair of bullpen games against Houston where Drew Smyly and Kyle Wright play significant roles.

The 23-year-old Anderson shows reverse splits (career .262 wOBA vs. lefties; .298 wOBA vs. righties) thanks to heavy changeup usage (31.4%), which he deploys against both lefties (36.6%) and righties (26.6%).

Anderson also utilizes a four-seam fastball (47.1%) and a curveball (21.1%). He relies on his secondary stuff against lefties (43.4% fastball usage) but cranks up the heat against righties (50.6%).

The curveball has returned a negative pitch value in Anderson’s short career, but scouting grades place it closer to an average pitch, while the changeup is a plus offering.

Houston crushed changeups all season, ranking second on a per-pitch basis, and particularly in the second half where it outpaced the league by a wide margin.

I have mentioned Jose Altuve’s fastball prowess throughout this series. However, the Astros’ leadoff man rates closer to average against changeups, whereas Yuli Gurriel (+8 Run Value), Carlos Correa (+7), Kyle Tucker (+7) and Alex Bregman (+4)  all excel against offspeed stuff.

Tucker (+11) is the best fastball hitter in that group and the best curveball hitter on the team (+7). He shows equally good splits against lefties (career 131 wRC+) and righties (130), but as a lefty he’ll see a higher share of changeups and curveballs from Anderson.

Anderson is seemingly a dream pairing for Tucker in a matchup between former top-five draft selections. Look to bet Tucker’s Over 1.5 total bases prop (to +110)

Luis Garcia (3.96 xERA, 3.93 xFIP, 3.91 SIERA) had as impressive a debut season as Anderson — after a shorter cup of coffee in 2020 — and will likely secure more Rookie of the Year Votes in his respective league.

The Astros appeared in deep trouble after Garcia’s short start (1 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 2 K) in Game 2 against the Red Sox, on the heels of the Lance McCullers Jr. injury and a poor outing from Framber Valdez.

Garcia was roughed up in his ALDS start against Chicago (5 R in 2 2/3 IP) and his final regular-season start on September 29 against Tampa Bay (6 R in 5 IP). Then he left Game 2 against Boston with knee soreness, which may have been a blessing in disguise.

Pitching coach Brent Strom made some mechanical adjustments, alleviated the issue, and helped Garcia find his arm slot.

The righty generated a 45% CSW% in a dominant Game 6 effort (14 called strikes or whiffs with the fastball, 12 with the cutter). He peaked at 97.8 mph on the radar gun, 1.6 mph above his peak in his previous three outings, and he averaged 96 mph on the fastball, 2.7 mph faster than his season-long average (93.3 mph).

Astros rookie Luis Garcia has come to PLAY

“Thrown the 4 hardest pitches of his major league career, including one at 97.8 mph. And after a season in which his fastball averaged 93.3 mph, he's sitting at an average of 96.3 tonight” via @JeffPassan

pic.twitter.com/fRAJ2ptdbJ

— Farm To Fame (@FarmToFame_) October 23, 2021

Garcia throws his fastball or cutter more than 2/3 of the time (67.2%) combined. That is the one way to neutralize Atlanta’s offense, which ranked 21st against fastballs and 27th against cutters (on a per-pitch basis) after revamping its offense at the trade deadline.

He increased that combined fastball/cutter usage rate to 87% against Boston in Game 6 (from 70% in Game 2), and I expect a similar plan of attack to work against the Braves.

I would certainly look to bet Garcia’s strikeout total under AL rules in Houston. However, with the Astros playing sans a DH in Atlanta, they should have a few solid bats on the bench, and I expect Dusty Baker to continue to be aggressive with his bullpen usage coming off of a rest day.

Garcia might look fantastic but get lifted for a pinch hitter with runners on in the top of the fifth inning — and that’s a terrible way to lose a strikeout total over.

Still, I would project Garcia for 5.2 strikeouts, and I would look to bet over on his strikeout prop up to 4.5 (-110).

His pitch velocity graphs are volatile, but the results from his last start are both an outlier and appear to be sustainable.

Freddie Freeman (+21 Run-Value against fastballs) and Austin Riley (+14) may offer some resistance against the heater. But Jorge Soler (+6) and Joc Pederson (+3) are the only current Braves hitters who have a positive return against cutters.

And while whoever starts between Pederson and Soler would typically grab my attention, those two form a natural platoon and may split plate appearances at home.

As a result, I’m not necessarily interested in any Atlanta player props for Game 3.

However, I do show value concerning the game total:

I would bet the Over 8.5 (to -115) and play the game up to 9 (at +103). Additionally, I would bet the F5 Over 4.5 up to -115.

Truist Park in Atlanta is an underrated hitters venue (106 Park Factor), especially compared to Houston’s league-average run environment (100 Park Factor).

I project the Astros as very slight road favorites in Game 3, concerning their matchup advantages, but I would need +105 (48.8% implied) to bet the Houston ML at two percent edge, or +100 to bet their First Five Innings (F5) ML.

Conversely, I would need +112 to bet the Atlanta ML at a comparable edge and +116 to bet their F5 ML.

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Summary

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The Bets

  • Houston ML (bet to +105)
  • Houston F5 ML (bet to +100)
  • Over 8.5 (bet to -115)
  • F5 Over 4.5 (wait for -115)
  • Kyle Tucker, Over 1.5 Total Bases (bet to +110)
  • Luis Garcia, Over 4.5 Strikeouts (bet to -110)

Watching

Game 2 Sides and Totals

  • N/A

Game 2 Props

  • N/A

Series Props

  • Atlanta — Series ML (value to +133)
  • Houston — Series ML (value to -113)
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