World Series Odds, Picks for Astros vs Phillies Game 5
Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Verlander
- The Astros are road favorites in tonight's Game 5 of the World Series.
- With the series knotted at 2-2, Houston will have Justin Verlander on the mound against Philadelphia's Noah Syndergaard.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Astros vs. Phillies Game 5 Odds
|Over/Under||7.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||8:03 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
After a historic pitching performance from the Astros' staff on Wednesday night, the Phillies will try to take back control of the World Series with the score tied at two games apiece.
Noah Syndergaard will get things started for Philly, who will be reliant upon its bullpen to get out to a 3-2 series lead. Is that a scary proposition for bettors, or can we make some more money on the Phillies? Let's get into it.
Can Verlander Keep Astros' Pitching Humming?
The Houston Astros put forth a thoroughly dominating performance against the Phillies on Wednesday night. Not only did Cristian Javier, Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero and Ryan Pressly combine to throw a no-hitter, the offense also woke up in a big way.
Houston's offense racked up 10 hits — seven coming off of Aaron Nola — and earned that victory just as much as the pitching staff did. Though all the runs came in one inning for the Astros, they had men on base all night long.
Things set up pretty nicely here in Game 5. Because his team lost by seven runs on Tuesday, Dusty Baker was able to save his bullpen with Jose Urquidy handling mop-up duty. He was then able to deploy Abreu, Montero and Pressly just to keep his best arms in rhythm considering all three had had at least three days off. Hector Neris hasn't pitched since last Friday, and then there's the likes of Hunter Brown, Will Smith and Luis Garcia who have as much or more rest than Neris.
In terms of bullpen management, Baker can fire off whoever he wants. The only potential hang-up here is getting a lead to the bullpen. Playoff Justin Verlander reared his ugly head again in Game 1, yielding five earned runs on six hits and two walks in a devastating home loss to Philly, in a game where Houston had handed Verlander a five-run lead.
This is certainly becoming a pattern; Verlander's ERA in October now sits at 7.20, which would mark his third straight postseason with an ERA of at least four runs.
Phillies Need Sharp Bullpen Behind Syndergaard
The Phillies were done in by Javier on Wednesday night, but it's really hard to knock them. After all, Javier has been one of the most dominant arms in the American League, at least by the metrics, and has been absolutely sensational this postseason. In fairness to the offense, this really shouldn't have been an unattainable win, though.
Nola blew it once again. For a third straight outing this postseason, he gave his team no chance to win. He was bailed out by that unbelievable five-run comeback off of Verlander in Game 1, otherwise he'd surely be pegged as the goat should Philly lose this series.
He allowed three earned on seven hits, handing some runners to Jose Alvarado who was also part of the five-run fifth for the Astros. Those two earned runs were the first charged to the Phillies bullpen this postseason, and after that the committee of Andrew Bellatti, Davis Robertson, Zach Eflin and Brad Hand held the Astros to just one hit and one walk over four scoreless with five strikeouts.
The bullpen for the Phillies has absolutely become a strength, and it's worth mentioning here that they're just as well-rested as the Astros. Aside from Bellatti, who threw 13 pitches in Game 3, the relievers used by Rob Thomson had all had at least three says of rest, with Alvarado, Roberton and Eflin all working their first games since last Friday.
While the Astros' bullpen earned itself the title of best in baseball during the regular season, there's really not much between these two stables at this particularly moment.
That's certainly of importance in what is a de facto bullpen game for the Phillies, They'll start Syndergaard who, in his only start this postseason, allowed just one solo homer over three against the mighty Atlanta Braves, with three strikeouts. He now owns a 1.69 ERA this postseason in 5 1/3 innings.
It's hard to say the Astros have the upper-hand here when Verlander's been so bad (and been so bad in this series specifically), and when Syndergaard and the Phillies bullpen have been level, at best, with the Astros' bullpen.
Philly still owns the better OPS in the postseason and despite getting blanked on Wednesday I would still have to say this team has a comparable offense. There isn't this much between the two teams, and when you factor in home field advantage for the Phillies and the struggles of Verlander, I think you simply have to take the plus money here.
The Phillies were 11th in weighted runs per 100 fastballs this season and should match up pretty well against Verlander with guys like Kyle Schwarber and J.T. Realmuto well-equipped to deal with his patented high fastball. I think this series is 3-2 Phillies going to Houston.
Pick: Phillies ML (+135)