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Phillies vs Astros World Series Game 6 Predictions

Phillies vs Astros World Series Game 6 Predictions article feature image
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Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Jeremy Pena and Jose Altuve

  • The Astros are favored over the Phillies in Game 6 of the World Series tonight in Houston.
  • Houston can clinch the World Series tonight behind Framber Valdez, while Philly looks to force a Game 6 with Zack Wheeler.
  • Continue reading for our our expert betting analyst, Sean Zerillo, is betting tonight's big matchup.

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 find my projections for every MLB game in the Action Network App (on both the PRO Projections tab and the game pages) and our Projections Hub (which you can bookmark).

You can also shop for the best lines on our odds page.

Using my projections, where can we find actionable value for Saturday?

Series Moneyline Corner

First, let’s take a look at my updated projection for the 2022 World Series:

Houston gained 19.9% toward their World Series win probability with their Game 5 victory.

I would need a price north of +500 on the Phillies to bet their series price before Game 6. The best available odds (+475 at WynnBET) offer a minuscule edge but are not actionable.

There’s little room to hedge out of Phillies futures, with Houston sitting around -550, at a minimum.

Some books keep live World Series futures up during these games, in addition to the live game markets.

You can look to hedge live if the Phillies grab an early lead. If you do, make sure to use our hedging calculator.

 

Phillies vs. Astros, 8:03 p.m. ET

Zack Wheeler vs. Framber Valdez (full projections here)

Starting Pitching

Throughout the playoffs, I’ve noted Zack Wheeler’s increased fastball velocity.

He sat at 95.8 mph with his fastball during the regular season, a tick down compared to previous levels (96.9 mph in 2020, 97.1 mph in 2021). After a late-season IL stint, Wheeler peaked during the playoffs, sitting at 96.9 mph against the Braves and Cardinals, and 97.2 mph in both starts against the Padres.

Whether he’s feeling fatigued after an extended playoff run or just had an off night, Wheeler’s fastball sat at 95.6 mph in Game 2, 0.3 mph below his season average, and 1.4 mph below his playoff average.

With slightly reduced stuff, Wheeler was still an excellent pitcher this season (3.10 xERA), but with a 97-mph fastball in 2021, Wheeler challenged for the NL Cy Young (2.79 xERA). That extra tick on his pitches is the difference between a true ace and a high-end No. 2 starter.

After the rainout, Wheeler gained an additional day of rest before his Game 6 redemption outing. He was best on extended rest this season, but career splits show that Wheeler is better on regular rest. Whatever the case, hopefully, the extra day gave him enough time to find the additional tick he needs on the fastball.

He went with a sinker-slider-heavy approach against the Astros‘ mostly-righty lineup. As a reminder, Wheeler only throws the sinker to right-handed hitters.

In Game 2, he threw his sinker at nearly twice his regular rate (17% vs. 32%) and cut his four-seam fastball usage in half (22% vs. 42%) while throwing his breaking balls about as often as he typically does.

The Astros are far better against fastballs and changeups than breaking balls. And the Phillies have relied on pounding the zone with fastballs throughout the playoffs. It’s likely been a difficult adjustment to focus on secondary pitches to get outs in this series rather than pounding the zone with fastballs on all counts.

Framber Valdez was the real story of Game 2 — and the southpaw could be in line for MVP honors with another dominant effort and a win in Game 6.

He threw a sinker or curveball more than 80% of the time in that start, about five percent higher than his season average.

Valdez incorporated a cutter this season against lefties, and the offering has proven dominant on a per-pitch basis. I wonder if it will become a more significant part of his arsenal moving forward.

He managed 15 whiffs, and 19 called strikes in that Game 2 outing (33% CSW%), gaining four on 10 total cutters.

And he netted nine strikeouts, which is necessary to succeed with Houston’s defensive infield. The Astros’ outfield was far better than their infield defensively this season (Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, and Yuli Gurriel all had down seasons). However, Valdez outperformed his expected ERA by half a run (2.82 actual ERA, 3.31 xERA).

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Lineups and Defense

Below are my projected lineups for Game 6, alongside their 2022 splits and defensive runs saved per 9 innings:

After a 1-for-4 game on Thursday, 6-foot-6, 26-year-old rookie David Hensley is now 2-for-8 in the playoffs, compared to the combined 1-for-40 performance from Aledmys Diaz and Trey Mancini.

The Astros are 2-0 in his playoff start, both in the World Series. I’d assume they stick with the lightly experienced Hensley as the DH again on Friday.

Given the starting pitching matchup, the Phillies return to their best splits matchup in the series. The Phillies hit much better against lefties (6th) than righties (12th) this season, particularly after the trade deadline (123 wRC+, 3rd).

They have continued to platoon shortstop Bryson Stott and center fielder Brandon Marsh against righties, with Edmundo Sosa and Matt Vierling against lefties.

Sosa and Vierling offer league-average bats against southpaw pitching, giving the Phillies a deep lineup against lefties. Sosa represents a defensive upgrade from Stott, while Vierling is a downgrade from Marsh.

Neither stuck around after Valdez left in Game 2. I bet the Under 0.5 hits for both players in that contest and did so again for Game 6. I wouldn’t expect more than two plate appearances for either player with the Astros’ righty-heavy bullpen.

The Astros remain in their lesser offense split. Houston ranked as a league-average team against righties over the season’s final two months but dominated left-handed pitching (146 wRC+, 1st) down the stretch.

I’m not interested in betting any lefty-on-lefty batter props against Valdez. Bryce Harper struggled against sinkers, while Kyle Schwarber succeeded — and vice versa against cutters. Additionally, the righties who performed well against curveballs struggled with sinkers and vice versa.

Altuve can take advantage of Wheeler’s right-on-right sinker usage. Kyle Tucker can hit everything Wheeler throws.

I’ll take Tucker Over 0.5 Hits (-160 at DraftKings) and back the Under 0.5 Hits on both Sosa (+100) and Vierling (+130).

Bullpens

Both managers should be aggressive with their bullpens in an elimination game. And both bullpens are relatively well-rested after an off-day.

Houston’s three key relievers — Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero and Ryan Pressly — worked in Games 4 and 5. Pressly (45 pitches and a five-out appearance in Game 5) had the most strenuous workload of the trio.

A Game 6 appearance would mark the third in four days for any of those arms and would likely reduce their effectiveness for a potential Game 7.

The Phillies are in the same potential three-in-four situation with Jose Alvarado, Zach Eflin and David Robertson. Andrew Bellatii and Connor Brogdon also pitched two of the past three games.

Houston’s bullpen projects as the superior unit when both teams are well-rested, but they are also in slightly better shape heading into the season’s final two games.

The Phillies need to find a way to win Game 6 without taxing their bullpen. they need something left behind Ranger Suarez in a potential Game 7.

On an exciting note, Pressly has the potential to pitch six times in a seven-game series if he takes the ball in Games 6 and 7, and he’s a sneaky longshot for MVP honors.

Venue and Umpire

Minute Maid Park is a slight pitcher’s park and plays about four to five percent below the MLB average run-scoring environment (assuming the retractable roof is closed).

The park dimensions increase home runs to left field (into the Crawford Boxes) but severely reduce extra-base hits into the power alleys.

The Game 6 plate umpire is Lance Barksdale, who owns a career 54.9% record to the Under (278-228-29)

Per UmpScorecards, Barksdale ranks 26th out of 105 umpires in called pitch accuracy over the past two seasons (94.3%).

Projection and Pick

I projected the Phillies as 51% favorites (-104 implied) for the first five innings (F5) on Saturday and as 47.8% underdogs (+109 implied) for Game 6.

For the same pitching matchup in Game 2, I projected those same lines at -110 and +105, respectively.

You can bet the Phillies F5 moneyline to +104 (49% implied) and their full game moneyline to +118 (45.8% implied), with either wager representing an edge of at least two percent compared to my projection.

Concerning the totals, my projections (3.5 F5 and 6.7 game) align with the betting market at current odds. I would play an Under 7 at -103 or better.

Bets for November 5

  • Edmundo Sosa Under 0.5 Hits (+100, 0.25u at DraftKings)
  • Kyle Tucker, Over 0.5 Hits (-160, 0.1u at DraftKings)
  • Matt Vierling Under 0.5 Hits (+130, 0.25u at DraftKings)
  • Phillies F5 (+115, 1u at BetMGM), bet to +104
  • Phillies (+130, 1u at WynnBET), bet to +118
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