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Phillies vs Astros Odds, Predictions, Picks | Best Bets For World Series Game 1

Phillies vs Astros Odds, Predictions, Picks | Best Bets For World Series Game 1 article feature image

Photo Illustration by Matt Roembke. Pictured: Bryce Harper and Justin Verlander.

  • The Astros are home favorites in Game 1 of the World Series tonight against the Phillies.
  • There's a plethora of options for betting Justin Verlander against Aaron Nola, and our analysts have you covered.
  • Continue reading for our expert picks for tonight's World Series matchup in Houston.

Game 1 of the World Series is set for Friday night in Houston as the Philadelphia Phillies meet the Houston Astros at 8:03 p.m. ET on FOX.

It's a matchup of aces in this series opener with Aaron Nola taking the mound for Philadelphia against the likely AL Cy Young winner, Justin Verlander.

There are plenty of ways to bet this matchup, and our analysts have found two angles they like in particular — a first five innings moneyline and a player prop.

Here are our best bets for Game 1 of the World Series.

Phillies vs. Astros Game 1 Odds

Phillies Odds+140
Astros Odds-166
Over/Under6.5 (-124 / +102)
Time8:03 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

MLB Odds & Picks

Click on a pick to skip ahead
Phillies F5 (+135)
Aaron Nola Under 5.5 Strikeouts (-108)

Phillies F5 (+135)

Odds via BetMGM

Sean Zerillo: Two frontline starters take the ball in Game 1 of the World Series. Justin Verlander and Aaron Nola both ranked as top-10 pitchers (fifth and ninth, respectively) in expected ERA (xERA) among a group of 140 pitchers who tossed at least 100 innings this season.

Don't expect a ton of free passes; the two also ranked in the top 10 in walk prevention (Nola 2nd, Verlander 9th in BB%).

Underlying metrics indicate that Nola had a far unluckier year but potentially a more efficient one than the AL ERA leader. Nola's actual ERA (3.25) was a half-run higher than his expected indicators, while Verlander (1.75 ERA) outperformed his own indicators by a run or more.

Nola got strike one more frequently (70% vs. 62%) and generated called strikes at a higher rate (19.2% vs. 15%). And with Verlander's decreased whiff rate (down from 16.1% in 2019 to 11.6% this season), Nola misses more bat now, too (12.6%).

Verlander has posted both a low BABIP (.278) and home run rate (0.92 HR/9) alongside a high strand rate (75.4% LOB%) throughout his career. But his 2022 season was an outlier, even by his standards.

Stellar results in those three categories (.240 BABIP, 0.62 HR/9, 80.5% LOB%) led to a career-best 1.75 ERA, the lowest full-season mark in MLB since Pedro Martinez's prime (1.74 in 2020).

After missing nearly two full seasons because of Tommy John surgery, Verlander returned with a similar pitch mix, velocity and overall results this year as he had in 2019 (identical 2.66 xERA).

Still, underlying metrics indicate regression and inevitable decline for the future Hall of Famer.

I projected the Phillies as 46% underdogs (+117 implied) for the first five innings (F5) on Friday and as 44.7% underdogs (+124 implied) for Game 1.

You can place either of those bets down to +127 and +134, respectively, with either bet representing an edge of roughly two percent or more compared to my projection.

Furthermore, I would tack on some F5 spread (+0.5 runs) to -128.

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Aaron Nola Under 5.5 Strikeouts (-108)

Odds via FanDuel

DJ James: Aaron Nola will face one of the best contact teams in baseball on Friday. Although he matches up well with a Houston lineup that only posted a 98 wRC+ off of righties from August 1 to the end of the regular season, the Astros do not strike out.

In that same timeframe, Houston ranked fifth in strikeout percentage at only 20%. In the regular season, Houston had fewer strikeouts than every team except the Cleveland Guardians.

Nola ranked in the 85th percentile in strikeout rate and has gone above this line of 5.5 each outing in the playoffs, but he only hit six strikeouts in each appearance.

Players like Kyle Tucker and Chas McCormick have seen an average of four pitches per plate appearance. The most significant strikeout options on the Astros have been Jeremy Peña and José Altuve, but these playoffs have been uncharacteristic for Altuve, who held a strikeout rate of 14.4% in the regular season.

The main roadblock to Nola’s strikeout prop hitting the under is he ranks in the 99th percentile in walk rate, so the Astros will need to find a way to drive up his pitch count.

Either way with a team who does not strike out much at home, like Houston, take Nola’s under at 5.5 (-108), and play to 5 (-120).

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