Braves vs. Astros Player Props Odds, Picks: World Series Game 1 Betting Preview
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: Jose Altuve
Welcome to the Fall Classic.
While Atlanta clinched their first NL pennant since 1999 and Houston reached their third World Series in five years, The Action Network player props team was looking for edges in the MLB prop market.
I believe the Astros will win this game, and I’m targeting two Astros players as a result — the starting pitcher and the All-Star second basemen.
For context: The Astros are currently -130 on the ML for Game 1, while the total sits between 8 and 8.5. The first pitch will be at 8:08 p.m. ET.
MLB Player Props & Picks
Framber Valdez Over 3.5 Strikeouts (-160 at BetMGM)
The Action Labs Player Props tool loves both Charlie Morton and Framber Valdez tonight, but I’m partial towards Valdez.
The Houston lineup is unbreakable. The Astros are incredibly disciplined, and their bat-to-ball skills make it tough to fade them. So, even though Morton is projected for seven strikeouts tonight, I’m going to pass on his over 4.5.
However, the Braves’ lineup is vulnerable against southpaws. While Atlanta strikes out at a league-average rate vs. LHPs (22.1%), the Braves posted the fifth-wost wRC+ against that side on the season (93) and the worst over the past 30 days (57).
Valdez has a chance to provide some length for Houston today — something he’s done all season. He provided eight shutout innings last time out against Boston and compiled 63 innings between his 10 August and September starts (6 1/3 per start).
Obviously, that’s big for strikeout totals, as it means he’ll earn plenty of opportunities to snag four strikeouts today. It might be worth betting his outs recorded over today, which DraftKings is offering at 14.5 (-120).
But I’ll stick to his strikeout total, as he’s struck out four or more batters in 12 of his 13 home starts this season. Plus, FanGraphs’ SaberSim projections have Valdez’s total at 5.34 Ks, while our Action Labs Player Props tool has him projected at 5.7.
Either way, we have about two strikeouts of an edge on Valdez in Game 1.
Action Labs Grade: 10/10
Jose Altuve Over 1.5 Total Bases (+120 at DraftKings)
There are plenty of great options for position player props today. But my favorite is Altuve, who’s cashed his bases prop in 17 of his last 30 games (57%).
At Minute Maid Park against RHPs this season, Altuve has posted a whopping 162 wRC+, which includes 27 extra-base hits in 73 games. He’s slugging .574 in those situations while striking out less than 10% of the time.
In those situations, Altuve’s making contact at a high rate, and it’s often hard contact. In fact, he’s posted just a 15.9% soft-contact rate at home vs. RHPs, which is below his 18.2% season average and way below his 21.6% rate on the road vs. LHPs.
Lifetime against Morton, Altuve is 6-for-19 with three extra-base hits. However, he’s posted a ridiculously low 4.8% Whiff rate in those ABs while recording a .634 xSLG on those batted balls.
Altuve’s going to make contact against Morton and it will likely be solid contact. Plus, Altuve’s managed a 13.1-degree average launch angle against the pitcher nicknamed “Ground Chuck,” so Altuve should smack it into the air tonight.
If Altuve doesn’t cash this prop against Morton, he’ll also get some late-inning, drama-filled opportunities against a fairly weak Braves bullpen. I love this prop, especially at the plus-money price.