Braves vs. Astros World Series Betting Odds, Series Schedule: Astros Favored To Beat Braves, Claim Title
Getty Images. Pictured: Houston’s Carlos Correa and Atlanta’s Eddie Rosario.
Braves vs. Astros World Series Betting Odds
|Braves Series Price||+130|
|Astros Series Price||-155|
- Game 1: Tuesday, Oct. 26, 8:09 p.m. ET, FOX
- Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 27, 8:09 p.m., FOX
- Game 3: Friday, Oct. 29, 8:09 p.m., FOX
- Game 4: Saturday, Oct. 30, 8:09 p.m., FOX
- Game 5: Sunday, Oct. 31, 8:15 p.m. ET, FOX (if necessary)
- Game 6: Tuesday, Nov. 2, 8:09 p.m., FOX (if necessary)
- Game 7: Wednesday, Nov. 3, 8:09 p.m. ET, FOX (if necessary)
The Atlanta Braves have made the postseason 13 times since the turn of the century, but this is the first time during that span that they’ve gotten over the hump to reach the World Series.
Atlanta’s last World Series appearance came in 1999 when they were swept in four games by the Yankees. They also made the World Series in 1996, losing to those same Yankees in six games. 1995 is the only year when the Braves have won the World Series since moving to Atlanta, a six-game victory over Cleveland.
The Astros are in familiar territory, reaching the World Series now for the third time in the last five years. Houston beat the Dodgers in seven games in 2017, and lost to the Nationals in seven games two years ago.
The Astros and Braves have some postseason familiarity with one another from Houston’s time in the National League, which ended after 2012. They were NLDS foes in both 2004 and 2005, with the Astros prevailing both times.
They played one of the most memorable postseason games in recent history in Game 4 of the 2005 NLDS, with the Astros clinching the series, 7-6 in 18 innings. The game lasted five hours, 50 minutes, and Roger Clemens got the win for Houston in relief.
Top Position Players
- Eddie Rosario, LF
- Freddie Freeman, 1B
- Ozzie Albies, 2B
- Austin Riley, 3B
- Adam Duvall, CF
- Joc Pederson, RF
- Dansby Swanson, SS
- Travis d’Arnaud, C
The only significantly notable change in the Braves’ lineup from game to game is that they can flip Albies and Freeman in the batting order. Otherwise this is more or less what you’re going to get on a game-to-game basis.
One possible addition could be Jorge Soler, who rejoined the team ahead of Game 5 of the NLCS after spending significant time on the COVID-IL and got a pinch-hit appearance. More likely than anything, Soler will see time at designated hitter in the games that take place in Minute Maid Park.
The Braves survived a season-ending injury to star outfielder and MVP candidate Ronald Acuna Jr., and it was mostly thanks to the continued brilliance of reigning NL MVP Freeman and the ascent to stardom by young third baseman Riley.
Atlanta finished slightly below-average offensively with a 98 wRC+, which tied for the 12th-best mark in baseball. Its wOBA of .323 ranked ninth, and the Braves also had a top-10 walk rate in the league.
- Charlie Morton, RHP
- Max Fried, LHP
- Ian Anderson, RHP
Both Atlanta and Houston enter the World Series with rotation questions, although Atlanta’s is far less severe than Houston’s. The Braves lost fourth starter Huascar Ynoa before Game 4 of the NLCS, and if he is unable to go, they won’t have a super obvious fourth starter candidate.
Given the late nature of Ynoa’s Game 4 scratch, Atlanta opted for a bullpen game while leading 2-1 and started reliever Jesse Chavez. The only other reasonable starting candidate on the NLCS roster was Drew Smyly, who pitched surprisingly well as a bulk guy that day, but is hardly someone the team would like to count on in a big spot.
The top three is pretty much set, though. Given that Anderson started the clincher in Game 6, the earliest he could start in this series is Game 3, which is probably what the Braves would want anyway. Either Morton or Fried could start the opener, but if previous series are any indication, it will probably go Morton and then Fried.
Key Bullpen Pieces
- Will Smith, LHP
- Luke Jackson, RHP
- Tyler Matzek, LHP
- A.J. Minter, LHP
- Chris Martin, RHP
Atlanta’s bullpen has been a sore spot for most of the season, ranking as the 12th-worst unit in the majors by xFIP. No team that qualified for the postseason had a worse mark than its 4.35.
The team was lights-out against Milwaukee, though. The only reliever who allowed even one run was the aforementioned Ynoa in relief in Game 4. Luke Jackson and Tyler Matzek both pitched in all four games, while Will Smith pitched in three. Jesse Chavez has acted as a fixer of sorts, coming in first if a starter gets pulled early.
Against the Braves, the bullpen mostly held up, save for a blowup by Jackson in the Game 5 loss. Matzek and Minter were particularly brilliant, and the team got good effort out of Chavez as well.
Projected Staring Lineup
- Jose Altuve, 2B
- Michael Brantley, LF
- Alex Bregman, 3B
- Yordan Alvarez, DH
- Carlos Correa, SS
- Kyle Tucker, RF
- Yuli Gurriel, 1B
- Chas McCormick, CF
- Martin Maldonado, C
More than any other team in this year’s postseason, the Astros’ lineup is relatively easy to predict. The top seven stays pretty much unchanged, with the only difference coming in who starts at center field — Jake Meyers and Jose Siri should get some starts — and the very occasional spelling of Maldonado at catcher in favor of the offensive upgrade that is Jason Castro.
Houston finished the regular season with a 115 wRC+, tops in the majors, and its .335 wOBA is second only to Toronto.
The Astros’ biggest asset offensively, though, is how difficult they are to strike out. They only strike out in 19.5% of their plate appearances, the lowest mark in baseball by a considerable margin.
In terms of recent performance, the “small sample size” caveat applies, but nobody was hotter during the last series than ALCS MVP Yordan Alvarez. The big, young DH went 12-for-23 with a home run and six driven in. Another one of their youngsters, Tucker, went 6-for-23 with two home runs, including the one that ended Boston’s hopes in Game 6.
Houston’s lineup is solid 1-through-7, including Gurriel, who was the AL batting champion this season and had 10 hits in the ALCS, including a home run.
Projected Starting Rotation
- Framber Valdez, LHP
- Luis Garcia, RHP
- Jose Urquidy, RHP
There’s only three guys listed here because there are only three starters on whom we can rely.
Framber Valdez is likely to get the Game 1 nod. He last started on Wednesday in Game 5 when he put together one of the best performances by any starting pitcher in this postseason, going eight innings and allowing one run on one hit with five strikeouts to give Houston the 3-2 series lead.
Behind him, the Astros will go with Garcia and Urquidy in some order. Garcia could start Game 2 on regular rest after his sterling performance in the clincher. Urquidy last pitched in Game 3 of the ALCS so he will be well-rested regardless.
Lance McCullers Jr., the ace of the staff, missed the ALCS after suffering an injury in the clincher against the White Sox in the ALDS. If he’s unable to go, it leaves an obvious hole in the rotation.
The Astros plugged it poorly with the shell of future Hall of Famer Zack Greinke in Game 3 of the ALCS. Whether they go that route again, opt for a strict bullpen game, or go with something else altogether will be worth keeping an eye on.
Key Bullpen Pieces
- Kendall Graveman
- Ryne Stanek
- Ryan Pressly
- Brooks Raley
- Yimi Garcia
The Astros remade a shaky bullpen at the deadline, too, acquiring Kendall Graveman from the division rival Mariners, and Yimi Garcia from the Marlins.
Graveman has been more of a setup man since joining Houston after closing in Seattle. The Astros’ closer is Pressly, who put up an entirely deserving All-Star campaign.
The Astros have several intriguing arms outside of the expected late-inning relief corps who could be utilized in a variety of ways, including Greinke and occasional starter Cristian Javier, the latter of whom gave five big innings of relief across two appearances in the ALCS.
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