Braves vs. Astros Odds, Expert Picks: World Series Game 3 Best Bets (October 29)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: Yuli Gurriel and Alex Bregman.
- Game 3 of the World Series is tonight and the Astros and Braves are knotted at a win a piece.
- Atlanta is slight favorites with Ian Anderson on the mound against Astros right-hander Luis Garcia.
- Continue reading for our staff's best bets for tonight's matchup in Atlanta.
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We’ve reached the critical Game 3 of the World Series knotted at a game apiece, and whoever wins tonight’s matchup will be in the driver’s seat, a mere two wins away from the crown.
Luis Garcia takes the mound for Houston after his sterling performance in the clinching win against Boston, while young right-hander Ian Anderson will toe the rubber for Atlanta. Lineups and matchups will be all the more important as the series shifts to the National League park, as managers will have to weigh pitcher usage vs. scoring opportunities when the pitcher’s spot in the lineup comes around.
There’s plenty of intrigue, and our analysts have found three ways to tackle it, including a first five inning total, a straight moneyline play, and a full-game total play.
Here are our three best bets for Game 3 of the World Series.
Astros First Five Innings Over 2 (-120)
Odds via PointsBet
DJ James: The Astros had the best offense against right-handers this season with a 116 wRC+. With Game 3 moving to Atlanta and no DH, Houston shouldn’t lose anything offensively, with Yordan Alvarez likely moving to the outfield alongside Kyle Tucker and Michael Brantley.
Luis Garcia and Ian Anderson are comparable starting pitchers. Garcia held a 3.95 xERA, while Anderson’s was 4.30. Garcia gets a slight edge, but neither team has a strong starting pitching staff at this point with injuries to Lance McCullers Jr. and Charlie Morton.
The Astros have absolutely crushed righty fastballs lately, which Anderson will throw more than 47% of the time. In the month of September, Houston’s xwOBA off of this pitch was .401 with an average exit velocity of 93.1 mph. They will have trouble with Anderson’s curve, but since he only utilizes this pitch 21.1% in his arsenal, they should be fine.
Take the Astros first five over. It sits at 2 (-120), so take this to 2.5 (-120). They should jump on Anderson early.
Odds via DraftKings
Kenny Ducey: Game 3 of the World Series should come down to pitching, given the fact that the Braves have been on level terms offensively with the Astros, at the very least. With that, I’d tip the scales towards the Braves here.
Ian Anderson has followed up his electrifying postseason from a year ago, where he pitched to a 0.96 ERA, with another great performance in 2021. Through three starts, the young righty has recorded a 2.25 ERA, but more importantly he’s averaged a strikeout an inning. Swings and misses were how he did his damage a year ago, and it appears that fastball is as good as it’s ever been — he’s even added a little velocity to it.
The Astros just so happened to rank outside the top 10 in weighted runs per 100 pitches against fastballs after the All-Star break, and prefer to hit offspeed. This is just one thing that gives me confidence in Anderson, but it helps you believe that he can keep up his form.
Speaking of form, Luis Garcia was incredible the last time we saw him, but prior to that performance in Game 6 of the ALCS he had been bad for almost three months. His expected ERA hinted that regression may be coming, and boy did it ever. He averaged more than two walks per start in his final six of the regular season, then walked six batters over his first two postseason starts, which lasted just 3 ⅔ innings after he allowed 10 earned runs.
There are serious concerns about Garcia here, especially when you consider the Braves have actually had the better OPS through two games of this series and have hit two more home runs. They have bats that can do serious damage against righties and I think they have enough to take this game.
It doesn’t help matters for Houston that its bullpen could be a little gassed, too, working 61 innings now this postseason and 11 already through two games of the World Series.
Over 8.5 (-105)
Odds via BetMGM
Collin Whitchurch: Luis Garcia was phenomenal in his last playoff start. After tweaking his knee in Game 2 of the ALCS against the Red Sox and getting shelled in the process, he shut down Boston through 5 2/3 innings in Game 6, allowing just one hit and no runs with seven strikeouts against one of the best offenses in baseball.
Ian Anderson has had an up-and-down postseason. In three starts he’s only made it through five innings once, but hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of them. He ran into trouble a few times against the Dodgers and was given a quick hook.
The Astros’ offense is another tough one for Anderson. One of his primary offerings is a changeup, and that’s a pitch the Astros feast on. Yuli Gurriel, Carlos Correa and Kyle Tucker all thrive against changeups, and it could be a rough day for the Braves’ young right-hander.
This over play has more to do with the move to the National League park than the pitchers, however. Both Brian Snitker and Dusty Baker have shown they’re not afraid to lift their starters early in any situation, and for Snitker specifically in a situation where the pitcher’s spot comes up in the order with an opportunity to score runs.
That means we’ll once again be diving into the bullpens early and often. While the travel day should help some overused arms, I still trust these offenses more than either stable of relievers. Garcia and Anderson should both get dinged up a bit early, and when we get to the bullpens, there should be plenty more fireworks in store.
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