Astros vs. Braves Odds, Picks, Predictions: World Series Game 5 Betting Preview (October 31)

Astros vs. Braves Odds, Picks, Predictions: World Series Game 5 Betting Preview (October 31) article feature image
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Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: The Astros bench looks on during Game 4.

  • The Houston Astros are favorites in a must-win game tonight against the Atlanta Braves.
  • Framber Valdez looks to rebound from a rough Game 1 and extend the series, sending it back to Houston for Game 6.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of the matchup, including a betting prediction.

The Houston Astros stranded an astonishing 11 runners on bases in Game 4. Perhaps what was even more shocking was that they went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Their inability to tack on runs is a big reason they now trail 3-1 in the series.

It took only 15 pitches for Houston to chase Atlanta’s opening starter, Dylan Lee, out of the game. He managed only five strikes before departing with the bases loaded. If Houston was more clinical, it might’ve been able to kill off the game in the first inning.

The Braves have yet to announce a starter for Game 5. However, it will be another bullpen game after their Game 1 starter, Charlie Morton, suffered a fractured right fibula.

Tucker Davidson replaced Morton on the World Series roster so he could make his postseason debut. Jesse Chavez and Chris Martin are also potential candidates to feature in the game. While this uncertainty makes the handicap more difficult, I’m expecting another fast start for the Astros on Sunday, just as we saw in Game 4.

Astros vs. Braves Game 5 Odds

Astros Odds -115
Braves Odds -105
Over/Under 8.5 (-110 / -100)
Time 8:15 p.m. ET
TV FOX
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Astros Need To Break Out Of Offensive Funk

Houston will start left-hander Framber Valdez in Game 5. He took the loss in the series opener after allowing five runs on eight hits in just two innings. Since it was his only career start against the Braves, you can imagine that the batter vs. pitcher splits aren’t in his favor.

Valdez will need to rediscover his form from Game 5 of the ALCS against the Red Sox when he pitched eight innings and allowed just one run on three hits. He was a quality pitcher during the regular season as he went 11-6 with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Baseball’s a game of adjustments, and after his poor outing, he’s more than capable of making the necessary changes the second time around.

Offensively, it always felt like the Astros needed to outslug their opponents to have a chance in this postseason. They did just that in the previous two series as they averaged 6.7 runs per game. However, in the Fall Classic, they’re averaging just 2.75 runs through the four games.

I’d be surprised if this Astros team is as bad at the plate on Sunday as they were in Game 4. While Atlanta’s used a lot of different pitchers in the series, I think by now that Houston should have enough video and be familiar with exactly how they’re being attacked at the plate.

It wouldn’t hurt if the Astros also considered a little situational hitting: some hit-and-run or small ball to snap out of this recent funk. Either way, this Houston team is too good with too many quality hitters to be written off. Remember that this is the same group of players that led all of baseball with a .267 batting average and a wRC+ value of 116.

Braves’ Pitching Again In The Spotlight

If the Braves open with Davidson on the mound, I think they’d be doing the Astros a favor. He’s essentially coming in from the cold as he’s yet to pitch in the playoffs. He made four starts during the regular season but didn’t factor in any decisions.

However, the second-year left-hander managed to produce a 3.60 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. A closer look at his advanced numbers reveals he was probably a bit fortunate given his 5.96 xERA and 4.42 xFIP.

But here’s the kicker with Davidson. He hasn’t pitched in the majors since a June 15 start against the Red Sox.

Chavez is certainly another option as he’s yet to allow a run in 4 2/3 innings this postseason. He also did pretty well with Atlanta during the regular season, as he went 3-2 with a 2.14 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. However, like Davidson, his advanced numbers would also suggest a slight regression, as evidenced by his 3.12 xERA and 3.69 xFIP.

Braves manager Brian Snitker might also be a bit alarmed at Chavez’s head-to-head splits against Houston’s lineup. The 14-year veteran spent 10 years in the American League, so Houston’s hitters already have some familiarity with him. In 115 at-bats against him, they have a .368/.431/.766 line with 10 home runs and 22 RBI.

I’m not sure that the Braves will have many good options on the mound in this spot. We’ve certainly seen instances of players performing above expectations, and we also know that Atlanta is playing with a bit of house money at the moment.

While it’s clear that the Braves outpitched the Astros, it’s also been benefitted from some very timely hits. They’ll need to try to continue that given the uncertainty of their pitchers in Game 5.

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Astros-Braves Pick

It won’t be an easy task for Atlanta to put away Houston in Game 5. This will be the Astros’ first elimination game this postseason. In last year’s playoffs, they rallied to force a Game 7 after falling behind 3-0 against the Rays in the ALCS.  I think that experience will help them in this spot.

Game 5 has also been a bit of a bugaboo for Atlanta in the playoffs. Dating back to 1999, they’ve lost eight straight Game 5s. While that’s undoubtedly an intriguing angle, I will focus my action on the first five innings.

Our BetLabs database shows that road teams coming off a two-game losing streak are 6-2 (+4.74 units) on the first five moneyline. Furthermore, road favorites in this situation are a perfect 2-0. I’m looking for a swift response from Houston in this spot, and I think we’ll get it on Sunday night.

Pick: Astros F5 ML (-115)

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