Astros vs Phillies Predictions For World Series Game 3
Al Bello/Getty Images. Pictured: Citizens Bank Park.
Astros vs. Phillies Game 3 Odds
|Over/Under||8 (-105 / -115)|
|Time||8:03 p.m. ET|
Throughout the Major League Baseball playoffs, I will provide a daily breakdown summarizing my thoughts on both futures and individual games for that day.
Below, I will address how to handle betting on these playoff series, whether on the series moneyline or a game-by-game basis, while using my daily MLB Model projections.
You can also shop for the best lines on our odds page.
Using my projections, where can we find actionable value for Tuesday?
Series Moneyline Corner
First, let’s take a look at my updated projection for the 2022 World Series:
I opened the Astros as nearly a 60% series favorite before Game 1, dropped their odds by more than 18% down 1-0, and raised their chances by more than 15% following their Game 2 victory.
Before the series, I mentioned that you could wait to hedge and find a superior price on the Astros after Game 2 before a more desirable spot, with significant pitching matchup advantages in Games 3 and 4.
If you have Phillies’ futures and are looking to hedge, the -170 (at FanDuel) on Houston is slightly improved over the -185 before Game 1.
It’s a -EV wager to take Houston at these prices out of context, but I could understand wanting to lock in a profit on any Philadelphia tickets at this point if you stand to win a substantial sum of money.
This is the spot we picked out before the series — once Houston got past Nola and Wheeler and into the back end of the Phillies rotation.
I’m not going to hedge; it’s a 10-unit swing for me, not 40. But this is the correct time to hedge if you do it.
Astros vs. Phillies, 8:03 p.m. ET
Lance McCullers vs. Ranger (full projections here)
After Monday’s postponement, the Phillies will turn to Ranger Suarez – ahead of Noah Syndergaard – in Game 3.
While Suarez is a superior pitcher to Syndergaard on paper, he throws left-handed and will put Houston into their superior offensive split for Tuesday.
Houston’s offense ranked second (124 wRC+) against lefties behind the Cardinals this season. After the trade deadline, they ranked first (146 wRC+) by a wide margin. The Astros feature seven right-handed bats and a pair of lefties who rank above average against southpaw pitching.
Houston also smashed fastballs (third on a per-pitch basis) and changeups (8th) this season, so this is about as ideal of a splits matchup as they can find:
Suarez throws a sinker (40%), changeup (21%), or four-seamer (18%) nearly 80% of the time. Houston struggled more against breaking pitches (14th vs. sliders, 11th vs. curveballs, 27th vs. cutters) than straight pitches, so I’m curious to see if Suarez takes a curveball/slider/cutter heavy approach into Game 3.
And I’m also curious to see how long his leash is, with a fully rested Phillies bullpen at the ready after a pair of off days.
Lance McCullers Jr. should give the Astros significantly more confidence.
Before his ALDS start, I noted McCullers’ increased reliance on his slider while posting a 3.08 xFIP over five starts in September. He then used the slider 52% of the time against the Mariners — a career-high — and 36% against the Yankees (compared to 14% curveballs).
I vividly recall when he threw 24 consecutive curveballs to beat the Yankees in the 2017 ALCS. McCullers only started throwing his slider last season, yet it has already become his most dominant pitch, and clearly a preferred weapon to the knucklecurve:
Lance McCullers, Wicked 85mph Slider. 🤢 pic.twitter.com/WPM1JnKFJt
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 24, 2022
Although McCullers has shown reverse splits throughout his career, that’s primarily due to his substantial curveball usage, which has now tapered off.
If McCullers saves the curve for lefties and maintains increased slider usage against righties, he’s likely found his optimal pitch mix and could hunt for a Cy Young if he can stay healthy for an entire season.
I do feel that the betting market is underrating McCullers if anything. He has a high floor with a vast upside. Syndergaard has moderate upside with a “loses the game in a first inning” type floor.
Lineups and Defense
Below are my projected lineups for Game 3, alongside their 2022 splits and defensive runs saved per 9 innings:
The Astros continue to hunt for production out of their DH/left field spot and will keep searching for a hot hand between Trey Mancini and Aledmys Diaz (with Alvarez functioning as either the DH or left fielder, depending on the counterpart).
Diaz is a far better hitter against lefties than righties, while Mancini has neutral splits for his career. In theory, Mancini should be playing against righties and Diaz against lefties; but Mancini’s Houston tenure has been a significant disappointment (.622 OPS in 51 regular season games; 0-for-16, 1 BB in the playoffs).
Martin Maldonado (in addition to usual suspects Altuve and Alvarez) stands out against Suarez’s sinker but could struggle with the changeup. Altuve is the most ideal fit from the Houston side, but his props are also juiced beyond playability.
On the Phillies side, both Rhys Hoskins and Kyle Schwarber have handled sinkers and sliders well this season; and they’re each going to face McCullers twice — if not potentially a third time — at the top of the Phillies lineup. Unfortunately, neither hitter handles the curve well, but that’s less of a concern for the righty, Hoskins.
The Astros’ bullpen is better when everyone is fully-rested (3.02 vs. 3.45 Model Weighted ERA for Game 3).
Both teams have now had two full days off to rest their pitchers; before three games over three consecutive days.
Astros reliever Rafael Montero (33 pitches in Game 2) and closer Ryan Pressly are the only two arms from either team to pitch twice in this series, so the extra day may have helped Houston more for Game 3.
The Phillies didn’t spend their key arms (Jose Alvarado, Seranthony Dominguez, Zach Eflin, David Robertson) in Game 2 after all four pitched in Game 1.
For me, the most vital relievers in this series are the reverse splits righties (Hunter Brown, Hector Neris, Pressly for Houston; Robertson for Philadelphia) who are getting the most challenging assignments (Schwarber, Bryce Harper, Alvarez, Tucker) on the other side.
It’s a good reminder that the Astros don’t carry a single lefty in their pen, while the Phillies can give the Astros hitters more looks. Perhaps that variety can overcome the talent gap to a small degree.
Venue and Umpire
Citizens Bank Park is a hitters’ park and plays about six percent above the MLB average run-scoring environment.
Slight wind blowing in, alongside moderate temperatures, should neutralize the park factor by a couple of percentage points for Tuesday.
The Game 3 plate umpire is Crew Chief Dan Iassogna, who owns a reasonably neutral 51.3% record to the under dating back to 2005 (267-253)
From 2010-2015, Iassogna’s games went under at a 61.1% clip (116-74), suitable for a $3,520 profit for a consistent $100 bettor (17.8% ROI) while covering by about a quarter of a run per game, on average.
In 2016, the trend flipped; Iassogna’s games have gone over the total at a 55.5% rate (96-77) since, by a significant margin of 0.92 runs per game. Most of that damage has come in the past two seasons (40-25, 1.27 margin).
While I’m not sure if Iassogna changed his strike zone at some point in the past two to five years — relative to earlier in his career — he’s likely to impact the outcome, regardless.
Per UmpScorecards, Iassogna ranked 75th out of 85 plate umpires this season (min. 15 games) in call accuracy.
I’ll take the robot umpires at plus money for Game 3.
Projection and Pick
I projected the Astros as 55% favorites (-122 implied) for the first five innings (F5) on Tuesday and as 53.8% favorites (-116 implied) for Game 3.
You can play Houston’s F5 moneyline — in addition to their first three innings (F3) moneyline — up to -113 (53% implied). I doubt that the full game line comes in to range.
Both my F5 total (projected 4.18) and my full game total (projected 7.70) align with the market. You can look to bet a live Under 9 or 9.5 if it pops up early, given the pair of rested bullpens.
Bets for November 1
- Houston Astros F5 (-110, 0.5u at Fanduel), bet to -113
- Rhys Hoskins Over 0.5 Hits (-150, 0.1u at Fanduel)
- Rhys Hoskins Over 1.5 Total Bases (+150, 0.1u at Fanduel)