Charlie Morton Breaks Leg, Out for World Series: How Injury Impacts Braves vs. Astros Betting Projections
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: Charlie Morton
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Charlie Morton exited Game 1 of the World Series early after taking a line drive off his ankle, with the team later announcing the veteran suffered a broken right fibula.
Morton will now miss the remainder of the World Series, leaving the Braves without one of their best starters in the rotation.
Morton was staked to an early 5-0 lead and shut out Houston over his 2 1/3 innings. He allowed one hit and two walks with three strikeouts. A.J. Minter replaced Morton, allowing one run over 2 2/3 innings on three hits with two strikeouts.
Along with Max Fried, Morton has been one of the Braves’ most reliable starters this season. As such, his World Series MVP odds were +2000 at multiple sportsbooks.
Morton’s regular season ended with a 14-6 record and 3.34 ERA over 33 starts, and he had a 3.24 ERA in four postseason starts, during which he threw 16 2/3 innings and struck out 22 batters.
The Braves entered the series as a +130 underdog in the series with Houston coming back as a -155 favorite. Atlanta was +115 in Game 1, while the Astros were -135 with Framber Valdez on the mound. The Houston left-hander lasted two-plus innings, allowing five runs on eight hits.
How does this impact the series moving forward? MLB betting analyst Sean Zerillo breaks down his updated projections.
Sean Zerillo’s Instant Analysis
Before the World Series, I projected the Braves as 45% underdogs against the Astros. I would have decreased their chances to 41% without Charlie Morton.
While Atlanta’s chances should have increased to 62% following a potential Game 1 win, losing Morton in the process decreases the Braves’ remaining series projection by 2% (down to 60%).
The difference would occur in Game 5, where I would have projected Morton and the Braves as 52.4% favorites at home against Valdez and the Astros. I’m assuming that Kyle Wright (career 5.73 xFIP) will take Morton’s innings — and I would set the Astros as 53.8% favorites in that potentially pivotal matchup — an increase of 6.2%.
As a result, the Astros should be the favorite in five out of the seven games in the World Series, but they still have an uphill battle to climb, potentially needing four wins in their final six games.
I would show series ML value on Atlanta at -138 (58% implied) or better if it goes up 1-0 on Tuesday night. However, I would look to bet Houston at +163 (38% implied) to complete the comeback.
I would make the Braves 29% underdogs if they lose Game 1, which would be a drop of 16% from the start of the season. You could still bet the series moneyline for Atlanta to +270 without Morton.