World Series Picks, Best Bets for Astros vs Phillies Game 5
Photo Illustration by Matt Roembke. Pictured: Justin Verlander and Kyle Schwarber.
- The Astros are favored over the Phillies tonight in Game 5 of the World Series.
- Houston has Justin Verlander on the mound, while Philadelphia counters with Noah Syndergaard.
- Our analysts break down the game below and give out their favorite betting picks.
Astros vs. Phillies Game 5 Odds
|Time||8:03 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The Astros evened the World Series at 2-2 behind a historic no-hitter from Cristian Javier and three relievers in Wednesday's Game 4. The series now shifts to a pivotal Game 5 with one of these teams primed to move one win from the crown before we move to Houston on Saturday.
It's Justin Verlander vs. Noah Syndergaard on Thursday night, and our analysts are all over this one, with a couple of total picks on the first five innings, and strikeout total plays on our two starting pitchers.
Here are our best bets from Game 5 of the World Series between the Astros and Phillies.
MLB Odds & Picks
Phillies F5 Team Total Over 1.5 (+100)
Odds via DraftKings
Cristian Javier and the Astros' bullpen no-hit the Phillies on Wednesday night to even the World Series at two games apiece. But expect the Philadelphia offense to burst back onto the scene at home for the final game to take it back to Houston for Game 6 and possibly 7.
In the postseason, the Phillies carry four players with a .340+ xwOBA against right-handed pitching. Much of this offense comes down to Kyle Schwarber and the prospective MVP of the team, Bryce Harper. Both have gotten on against Verlander in the World Series.
In the regular season from August 1 until its completion, the Phillies sported a team 107 wRC+ against righties. They should expect to right the ship against Houston’s quasi-ace.
Take their first five over at 1.5 (+100), and play to 2 (-130).
F5 Over 3.5 (-130)
Odds via FanDuel
Mike Ianniello: These two teams have showed up ready to be aggressive and jump out to an early and the first five innings total has gone over in each game.
In Game 1, it was Houston taking a 5-0 lead early before Philadelphia tied it 5-5 in the fifth. In Game 2, it was Philly that jumped out to an early lead and was up 5-0 after five. Game 3 saw the Phillies pour it on early and often, leading 7-0 after five. Game 4 was a bit more of a sweat before Houston exploded for five runs in the fifth.
There have been a total of 12 runs scored in the fifth inning alone during this series. When these lineups see a pitcher for the third time, they’ve jumped all over them.
Despite having a Cy Young season, it’s clear that 39-year-old Justin Verlander is running out of gas. He has struggled to a 7.20 ERA in his three postseason starts, and was shelled or five runs against the Phillies in Game 1. Philly was hitless the first time through the order against Verlander in that start. Then they posted five hits and three runs the second time seeing him.
Noah Syndergaard is clearly not the superhero Thor we once saw. He posted a 4.12 ERA during 10 games with the Phillies in the regular season and his strikeout rate has dropped to 16.8%. He likely will only go through the Astros order one time but Houston is aggressive enough to put damage up early against him and the Philadelphia bullpen.
We have seen fireworks early and often during this series and I think we’ll see that again on Thursday. The price isn’t great, but I would still pay over 3.5 at -130 juice or take over 4 at +100.
Noah Syndergaard Over 2.5 Strikeouts (+105)
Odds via DraftKings
Tanner McGrath: Hold your nose, but over 2.5 Ks for Thor is where the value lies.
Houston posted a crooked number Wednesday night, but the box score is misleading. The Astros scored five runs on 10 hits, but half the hits and all the runs were scored in the fifth inning while Nola was wearing down.
Houston posted five hits, 11 strikeouts and zero runs in the other eight innings. Let’s not overvalue the Astros offense yet.
Noah Syndergaard should be able to sneak over this number, even with a minimal pitch count.
He managed three strikeouts over only 35 pitches in his NLDS start against Atlanta. He still has some moderate strikeout stuff, including a slider and changeup with a combined 25% whiff rate.
Syndergaard mainly relies on a sinker now, trying to force soft contact. But that might not be a bad thing for this prop.
Houston ranked 21st in Weighted Sinker Runs Created this season. Zach Eflin is even more sinker-heavy than Thor, and he struck out the side in his eighth-inning appearance last night.
This is mainly a projection play, however. All three models I trust for projections have Syndergaard crushing the 2.5 strikeout total, including:
- The Action Labs Player Props Tool: 4.4 Ks
- BallParkPal’s Pitcher Simulations: 3.0 Ks
- FanGraphs SaberSim Projections: 4.0 Ks
The plus-money price makes this prop a good value bet, too.
Justin Verlander Under 5.5 Strikeouts (+116)
Odds via FanDuel
Kenny Ducey: How many times have we been through this? Justin Verlander is not a good postseason pitcher. He owns a 7.20 ERA in three starts this October, marking his third straight playoff run with an ERA over four runs.
Rather than fade the Astros altogether, though, I’m going to focus in on one prop when it comes to Verlander. He’s gone under 5.5 strikeouts in three of his last four postseason outings and the one occasion where he hit the over was a couple of weeks ago against the Yankees, which doesn’t really say much. You and I could probably find a few punchouts if we faced 20 of those guys.
Regardless, I’m not sure Verlander has what it takes to stick around long enough in this game to cash the over. Not only are the Phillies 11th in weighted runs per 100 fastballs, they also teed off on Verlander the last time they saw him in Game 1 of this series.
There should be no reason for Dusty Baker to let Verlander stick around in this series given his bullpen is pretty well rested, with just a couple of guys getting work in Wednesday’s combined no-hitter and the bullpen being saved by Jose Urquidy in that Game 3 blowout loss.
With a pretty well-rested stable, I’d guess even if Verlander brings his best stuff that he only makes it twice through the order. This number is still very much inflated by that 11-strikeout performance against the Yankees.