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

World Series Game 5 Odds, Projections, Predictions: Astros vs. Braves Betting Preview (October 31) article feature image
Credit:

Darren Georgia/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Ozzie Albies, Eddie Rosario and Adam Duvall celebrate during Game 4.

  • The Braves are slight underdogs as they look to clinch their first World Series since 1995 tonight.
  • Rookie Tucker Davidson will open for Atlanta, while Houston will start ace Framber Valdez, looking to extend its season.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of the matchup, including odds and projections.

Astros vs. Braves Game 5 Odds

Astros Odds -121
Braves Odds +103
Over/Under 8.5
Time 8:15 p.m. ET
TV FOX
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds 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 sgame-by-game basis while using my daily MLB Model projections.

Let’s talk series prices and World Series prop bets before digging into Game 5 between the Astros and Braves.

Series Moneyline Corner

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

Atlanta improved its chances by 20% following a come-from-behind win over Houston on Saturday.

I would need -426 (81% implied) to bet Atlanta before Game 5 at a two percent edge compared to my projection. Conversely, I would need +567 (15% implied) or better to back Houston.

If you’re sitting on a Houston World Series future, you might be tempted to hedge out of your position entirely and secure whatever profits you can.

However, hedging a 1 unit Houston future at odds of +2500, at current odds of -425 on Atlanta, would only net you a profit of 3.95 units at this point.

That +2500 ticket (3.9% implied) is still valuable in the context of the current series — with a 13.1% advantage compared to the series projection. You have ridden it this far, and there’s no sense — from a long-term perspective — in burning what’s left.

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 5

Sunday, 8:15 p.m. ET

The Houston Astros might be down 3-1 in this series, but in the context of Atlanta sports history, they have the Braves right where they want them.

Framber Valdez, who struggled in Game 1 for Houston (2 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 2 K), will hope to keep the Astros’ season alive with a better effort in Game 5.

I was high on Valdez going into Game 1 for numerous reasons: 1) Atlanta’s offense was much less effective against lefties than righties, both on the season (25th in wRC+) and after the trade deadline (19th in wRC+). 2) They struggled against the fastball, particularly after the deadline (21st on a per-pitch basis). 3) Valdez went to his sinker 53% of the time in the regular season and every Braves’ hitter except for Adam Duvall (+5), Eddie Rosario (+5), and Ozzie Albies (0) returned a negative run value against sinkers this season.

I suspected that Valdez could have success against Atlanta behind a sinker heavy game plan. Still, he went to the pitch less frequently (50%) than his season-long averages in Game 1, with his curveball (42%) and changeup (8%) playing a more prominent role.

The sinker and the curveball generated a combined 14 called strikes or whiffs on 48 pitches (29%), but the eight changeups came back to bite him.

Atlanta ranked first after the trade deadline against curveballs and changeups, and I gave out three players — Duvall, Albies and Riley — who I thought might have success against Valdez’s secondary stuff in Game 1.

Duvall (+18 run value) was twice as good against curveballs this season as any hitter in baseball, and his 2021 splits (64 wRC+ against lefties) aren’t representative of his career norms.

He cashed for us in Game 1 by homering off of a hanging changeup (-1 this season), and I would be happy to bet him again:

Duvall with a ROCKET to LF 😳@Braves lead 5-0! pic.twitter.com/h5uZjt85JM

— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 27, 2021

Albies (career 94 wRC+ vs. RHP; 146 vs. LHP; average or better against sinkers, changeups and curveballs) is noticeably better as a right-handed hitter, and he would be my second prop option.

Riley (+8 run value vs. curveballs and +8 vs. changeups) picked up a couple of hits on Saturday, but he hasn’t seen the ball particularly well of late (10 K, 0 BB in the last five games), and I’d be much more interested in betting Albies or Duvall.

In a regular-season game, I would project Valdez for roughly 5.8 strikeouts. However, with Houston in a must-win situation in Game 5, I can’t trust his playing time projection. Valdez will come out at the first sign of trouble.

Brooks Raley and Ryne Stanek have worked back-to-back days in the Houston bullpen, and Ryan Pressly may be fatigued after tossing 33 pitches on Saturday.

As for Atlanta, they will need to piece together another bullpen masterpiece. Luke Jackson, Tyler Matzek and Will Smith may all be fatigued after pitching on consecutive days in Games 3 and 4, in addition to their appearances in Game 1. However, Brian Snitker will unleash those arms for a third straight day if he has a chance to clinch a championship.

The question for the Braves is the bulk innings — which I surmised would be led by Jesse Chavez and Drew Smyly on Saturday — and Kyle Wright on Sunday.

Naturally, Wright tossed 4 2/3 effective innings to swing the momentum in Game 4, so I touched on Sunday’s pitchers a day early.

Smyly served as the bulk reliever in Game 4 of the NLCS (3 1/3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K) against the Dodgers.

I have mentioned Houston’s prowess against left-handed pitching, ranking as the top team (per wRC+) against southpaws in every season dating back to 2017. Smyly (career .286 wOBA vs. lefties, and a .333 wOBA vs. righties) may not have much success against an Astros lineup where two of the three left-handed bats (Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker) hit lefties just as well as they do righties — though they haven’t been able to crack Atlanta’s left-handed relievers in this series.

Smyly offers a curveball-heavy pitch mix (42% in 2021; 24.6% career) he moved to last season. He’ll likely follow an opener in Jesse Chavez (3.12 xERA, 3.69 xFIP, 3.58 SIERA), who throws both his four-seam fastball and cutter close to 80% of the time.

Chavez should get the first three hitters, Smyly should turn over the lineup once, and then the Braves’ bullpen will hope to seal the deal over the final four or five frames.

However they play it, the nature of the bullpen game makes it difficult to back any Houston player props, though you can always consider Yuli Gurriel if Chavez starts. Gurriel succeeds against righties, lefties, and all types of pitches (except for cutters).

One bit player who could factor into the outcome is Tucker Davidson — the roster replacement for Charlie Morton. With Dylan Lee starting in Game 4 and both Matzek and Smith making appearances on back-to-back days, Davidson and A.J. Minter are the only two rested southpaws in the Atlanta bullpen.

Ultimately, I still project Houston as road favorites in Game 5, and I will make them the favorite in the final three games (if necessary) of the 2021 season:

I would need odds of -107 (51.8% implied) or better to bet Houston before Game 5 at a two percent edge compared to my projection. And I would set the price target at -122 (54.9% implied) for the First Five Innings (F5).

Conversely, I would set those price targets on Atlanta at +127 and +143, respectively.

Concerning the total, I would look to bet an Over 8.5 (to -118) or an Over 9 (to +100).

You can also bet an F5 Over 4.5, up to -118.

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Summary

I will update this post immediately after tracking plays in the Action Network App. If you want bet notifications right away, make sure to follow me there.

The Bets

  • Houston F5 ML (bet to -122)
  • Over 8.5 (bet to -118) or Over 9 (bet to +100)
  • F5 Over 4.5 (bet to -118)
  • Ozzie Albies, Over 1.5 Total Bases
  • Adam Duvall, Over 0.5 Total Bases

Watching

Game 5 Sides and Totals

  • Houston ML (wait for -107)

Game 5 Props

  • N/A

Series Props

  • Atlanta — Series ML (value to -426)
  • Houston — Series ML (value to +567)
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