Phillies vs Astros World Series Predictions, Expert Projections, Betting Picks
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: The Phillies celebrate the NL Pennant.
- The World Series begins tonight in Houston with the Phillies taking on the Astros.
- There are plenty of ways to bet this series, and our analyst -- who has been on the Phillies all season -- has you covered.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown from Sean Zerillo on how to bet the 2022 MLB World Series.
Throughout the MLB postseason, I will provide a daily breakdown summarizing my thoughts on futures and individual games.
Below, I will address how to handle betting on these playoff series, whether on the series moneyline or a game-by-game basis, while using my daily MLB Model projections.
You can also shop for the best lines on our odds page.
Where can we find actionable value for the futures/world-series-odds">World Series using my projections?
Series Moneyline Corner
After cashing an AL Pennant ticket on Houston and an NL Pennant ticket on Philadelphia, we're in the black on postseason futures regardless of what happens to our Phillies (+4000) World Series ticket.
If you don't have a World Series future on the Phillies, I would consider betting their current series price at +162 (38.1% implied) or better, at a two percent edge compared to my projection (40.1%).
You can find a +180 (at WynnBET) on Philadelphia if you're interested in betting the series price before Game 1.
If you have a Phillies' future, you may be looking to hedge that ticket before Game 1. However, if you bet that Phillies' future for a quarter unit, there isn't a ton of profit to secure at this stage:
Using our hedging calculator, one could turn a preseason $25 Phillies future (at +4000) into a profit of around $335 (a payout of roughly +1300).
However, you could also wait until after Game 2 to hedge Phillies' futures. Hopefully, the Phillies can split the first two games in Houston — at worst — with Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler taking the ball.
If they win either of those two games, their series price should drop, and you'll get a better price to hedge with the Astros; before Games 3 and 4, where Houston should have a substantial starting pitching edge.
World Series Props
In addition to the series moneyline, or the moneyline and totals for the individual games, there are numerous ways to bet the World Series from an exotic or prop perspective, including exact series outcomes, the total number of games, and series MVP.
Below I'll detail some of my favorite prop bet markets to handicap for the 2022 World Series.
Betting Phillies in 6, or Phillies Win 4-2, as the exact result, aligns with my projection and my read on how the Phillies win the series.
As I mentioned, the Phillies are at a substantial starting pitching discrepancy in Games 4, 5, and 7; but should be able to stay competitive in Games 1, 2, 5 and 6 with Nola and Wheeler taking the ball.
Those two starters will pitch four of the first six games in the series. As a result, I'm happy to place a bet that aligns with their scheduling; and maximizes the Phillies' win condition; since they should be fairly sizable underdogs in Game 7.
Total Games and Series Over/Under
Using the above exact result projections, we can easily configure how many games the series might last.
The Over 4.5 Games (-700) is the only bet showing value in either of these markets. However, I would typically need a number closer to -614 (86% implied) to justify a wager, as compared to my projection:
Some of the series spread bets are intuitive. For example, Astros -3.5 games or Phillies-3.5 games are the same as betting those teams to win 4-0 in the exact result market.
The plus or minus +1.5 and 2.5 game bets require reconfiguring the numbers I have already provided above.
You can look to bet the Phillies -1.5 games — which I prefer to the exact Phillies Win 4-2 prop – at +270 or better.
Alternatively, you can play the +1.5 game spread up to -138; or their +2.5 game spread up to -317; any of those bets represent an edge of at least one percent compared to my number.
I'll take shots at Phillies -1.5 and +1.5 and hope to push if they lose in 7.
Most Valuable Player
Of the 69 World Series MVP winners, 40 (58%) were hitters, and 29 (42%) were pitchers, including three closers. However, 12 of the first 14 winners were pitchers –- and the rate has declined since.
Many Hall of Famers have won the award, including Sandy Koufax (x2), Bob Gibson (x2), Brooks Robinson, Reggie Jackson, Roberto Clemente, Johnny Bench, Mike Schmidt, Paul Molitor, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and Randy Johnson.
Recent winners include perennial All-Stars like Stephen Strasburg, Corey Seager, George Springer, Salvador Perez and Madison Bumgarner. Typically, name-brand talent takes home the honors.
Still, there are several "off the radar" World Series MVPs throughout history, including Jorge Soler (2022), Steve Pearce (2018), David Freese (2011), Scott Brosius (1998), Pat Borders (1992), Ray Knight (1986), etc.
I don't have a way to model the World Series MVP — so these are purely my thoughts based on reading the market, but I suspect that these five players are worthy MVP stabs at long odds:
Alec Bohm (+5000)
Bohm has batted sixth for the Phillies in each postseason game.
He has vastly underperformed (.230 wOBA) in the playoffs compared to his career baseline, and he fares far better against lefties (137 wRC+) than righties (79 wRC+); an issue against the Astros — a team with one left-handed pitcher — for most of this Phillies team.
Still, Bohm sits in a prime RBI spot and should get regular at-bats. At long odds, regular participation and opportunity are good enough for me.
I considered Jean Segura, but he has a similar righty/lefty split and typically bats eighth. And I would disregard both Bryson Stott and Brandon Marsh, who will likely sit in Games 2 and 6 — in favor of Edmundo Sosa and Matt Vierling — against Framber Valdez.
Rhys Hoskins caught my attention, but he owns a similar lefty/righty split. Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper are the more obvious choices but have the shortest odds.
I'll take a sprinkle on Bohm and also play…
Nick Castellanos (+4000)
Sometimes, you have to trust your gut. Castellanos was 39 percent better (139 wRC+) than a league-average hitter last season before signing a 5-year, $100-million contract with the Phillies.
He underperformed during his first year in the NL East (94 wRC+) and has tanked this postseason (60 wRC+). And, like many of his teammates, Castellanos hits lefties better than righties — so the split isn't in his favor in this series.
Still, I can't shake the feeling that Castellanos is sitting on a huge October moment to smooth things over with the fans, a la J.D. Drew in 2007.
Like Bohm, this bet comes down to pricing and opportunity, and Castellanos hits in the No. 5 spot every game.
Yuli Gurriel (+3100)
I bet on Gurriel last season in a similar price range. He's another hitter with a chokehold on regular playing time in a solid run-production spot.
Gurriel struggled during the regular season (85 wRC+, career 111) but historically has shown solid splits against righties, lefties and most pitch types. His BABIP was low — relative to previous seasons — but so was his xwOBA; I'm not inclined to say he was unlucky.
Gurriel got hot during the final week of the season. He struck out three times on September 25th and took a seat the following day.
Since then, he has had 19 hits in 14 games (two doubles, two homers), and 53 of his past 56 plate appearances (2 BB, 1 K) ended with a ball in play.
Gurriel makes contact as much as any hitter in this series. I don't have the figures to make a definitive argument, but I assume that base hits correlate more to MVP winners than walks. And Gurriel gives himself more opportunities than most to get lucky over a small sample of games.
Aaron Nola (+1900) and Justin Verlander (+1000)
I would play the Game 1 starters in tandem.
Both Nola and Verlander will start the opener, then either Game 4 (on short rest) or Game 5 (on full rest), with the potential to contribute in Game 7 (on short rest) too.
Either man has the potential to win two starts (and potentially win or save another game in relief), which is typically required for a pitcher to win the World Series MVP.
Nola (2.74 xERA, 2.77 xFIP) had comparable underlying numbers to Verlander (2.66 xERA, 3.23 xFIP) this season. And both have strong matchups against offenses that hit lefties better than righties.
While Wheeler and Valdez could have two starts — and the potential to accumulate the necessary stats — their limitation to a maximum of two appearances in the series disqualified them from my analysis. And if Verlander or Nola win twice in a five-game series, the No. 2 pitchers aren't winning the award either.
The near guarantee to pitch twice and the opportunity to pitch three times are all that I'm looking for; the fact that Nola and Verlander are quality arms with solid matchups is a bonus.
- Series Spread: Phillies +1.5 Games (-135, 0.5u at DraftKings), bet to -138
- Series Spread: Phillies -1.5 Games (+270, 0.5u at DraftKings), bet to +270
- Series Score: Phillies Win 4-2 (+700, 0.25u at DraftKings), bet to +650
- World Series MVP: Alec Bohm (+5000, 0.1u at DraftKings), bet to +4000
- World Series MVP: Nick Castellanos (+4000, 0.2u at DraftKings), bet to +3000
- World Series MVP: Yuli Gurriel (+3100, 0.2u at FanDuel), bet to +2500
- World Series MVP: Aaron Nola (+1900, 0.25u at FanDuel), bet to +1600
- World Series MVP: Justin Verlander (+1000, 0.25u at BetMGM), bet to +1000
- World Series Winner: Philadelphia Phillies (+180 at WynnBET)