World Series Game 4 Odds, Picks, Projections: Astros vs. Braves Betting Preview & Prop Picks (October 30)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: Travis d’Arnaud
- The Astros and Braves meet tonight in Game 4 of the World Series in Atlanta.
- It will be a bullpen game for both sides, and the game is close to a toss-up, according to oddsmakers.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of the matchup, including odds and projections.
Looking for a breakdown of Game 5? Click here.
Throughout the MLB postseason, I will provide a daily breakdown summarizing my thoughts on futures and individual games.
Let’s talk series prices and World Series prop bets before digging into Game 4 between the Astros and Braves.
Series Moneyline Corner
Here are my updated ML projections for the 2021 World Series:
Atlanta improved its chances by 17% following a 2-0 win over Houston on Friday. Still, I project Houston as the favorite in each remaining game in this series.
I would need -156 (61% implied) to bet Atlanta before Game 4 at a two percent edge compared to my projection. Conversely, I would need +186 (35% implied) or better to back Houston.
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 4
Friday, 8:09 p.m. ET
Zack Greinke (4.42 xERA, 4.21 xFIP, 4.54 SIERA) will start Game 4 for Houston, though I doubt that he has an exceptionally long leash.
Greinke struggled mightily in the second half, posting a 5.34 ERA (4.31 xFIP) over his final 10 starts — with a 9.2% K-BB% — nearly half of his career average (16.5%). He only lasted 37 pitches in Game 4 against Boston before Dusty Baker pulled him, and he hasn’t completed three innings of work since September 19.
Cristian Javier (4.51 xERA, 4.35 xFIP, 3.93 SIERA) pitched the bulk of that Game 4 in the ALCS (3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K), and he should be ready to roll again on Saturday, after tossing 27 pitches in Game 2 on Wednesday.
Javier primarily throws a fastball (59.4%) and slider (26.8%) combination, and as I have mentioned throughout this series, the key to beating Atlanta is the fastball (21st on a per-pitch basis after the trade deadline).
Javier threw 15 sliders and 12 fastballs in Game 2. He recorded two called strikes (but no whiffs) on the fastball compared to five whiffs (on seven swings) with the slider.
Cristian Javier's Disgusting Slider and Sword. ⚔️
18" horizontal break. pic.twitter.com/V4mxhCUFqf
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 28, 2021
Javier owns significantly better numbers against righties (career .245 wOBA) than lefties (.333 wOBA) because he changes his pitch mix. He rarely throws the slider against lefties (6.4%) compared to righties (42.3%), while increasing his fastball usage to 65%.
In the late innings, I would expect Houston to summon Brooks Raley and Blake Taylor to handle lefty bats like Eddie Rosario and Freddie Freeman. Otherwise, Javier should turn over the lineup once.
Jake Odorizzi (4.63 xERA, 4.82 xFIP, 4.62 SIERA) might also be available in relief after tossing 42 pitches in Game 1. He has a pair of effective fastballs with his four-seam and sinker to potentially neutralize the Atlanta offense.
However, Dusty Baker will hand this game to his key relievers when he gets the opportunity, though it’s worth noting that Kendall Graveman is their only reliever who worked in both Games 2 and 3.
Atlanta used all four of its crucial bullpen arms on Friday, and will continue to ride Tyler Matzek (20 K, 4 BB in 12 2/3 postseason innings) in every tight contest. Brian Snitker has utilized Matzek in all but two playoff games.
Unfortunately, the Braves’ bulk innings over the next two days will come from Drew Smyly (5.02 xERA, 4.39 xFIP, 4.40 SIERA) and Kyle Wright (career 5.73 xFIP) following injuries to Charlie Morton and Huascar Ynoa.
Both men pitched in relief in Game 2 (22 and 12 pitches, respectively), and Smyly also 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.
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 a primarily rested Braves’ bullpen will hope to seal the deal over the final four or five frames.
While both teams have to account for Game 5 on Sunday, I don’t expect either manager to keep any bullets in the chamber.
With a mix-and-match pitching affair expected for Game 4, I wouldn’t touch any player props. The matchups are too unpredictable in this contest.
However, I am still able to provide a moneyline and total projection for this matchup, and I make Atlanta a slight home favorite:
I would need even money (+100) or better to bet the Atlanta ML before Game 4. And I would set the price target to +105 (48.7% implied) for the First Five Innings (F5).
For Houston, I would set the full game target at +118 and the F5 target at +111.
Concerning the total, I would bet the Over up to 8.5 (-110. And I would play the F5 Over 4.5 (to -112).
I reduced the total with a pitcher-friendly umpire in Dan Bellino (career 54.8% under, +25 units for a consistent $100 bettor) behind the dish, but I still show slight value to the Over.
Game 4 Sides and Totals
- Atlanta ML (wait for +100)
- Atlanta F5 ML (wait for +105)
- Houston ML( wait for +118)
- Houston F5 ML (wait for +111)
- Over 8.5 (bet to -110)
- F5 Over 4.5 (bet to -112)
Game 4 Props
- Atlanta — Series ML (value to -156)
- Houston — Series ML (value to +185)