World Series Props Picks, Predictions For Phillies vs Astros
Pictured: Yuli Gurriel. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
The World Series is quickly approaching as the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies get set to square off in a best-of-seven series for the title. Game 1 is set for Friday and pits Justin Verlander against Aaron Nola at Minute Maid Park.
It’s a battle between David and Goliath, the undefeated Astros against the underdog Phillies.
Here are three props to play, including one long shot for the upcoming Fall Classic:
Bryce Harper (+150) More Hits Than Kyle Tucker
Odds via DraftKings
This is one of the more outrageous lines I’ve seen on the prop market.
Bryce Harper is the hottest hitter on the planet. Aside from his incredible .419 average and 1.351 OPS across three series, Harper has been held hitless just once in 11 games. In seven of those games, he’s had multiple hits.
Harper finally looks like his old self after battling injury all season. We’ve seen how dominant he’s been in the postseason and this line would make much more sense if he were matched up against Yordan Alvarez, not Kyle Tucker.
His toughest matchup comes against southpaw Framber Valdez — whom he’ll likely see twice — but that doesn’t worry me as Harper hits .256 against left-handed pitching.
Tucker has struggled this year after batting nearly .300 a season ago. His average is down at .257 and he’s just 6-for-28 in the postseason. His power has been limited and he’s struck out nine times.
Houston’s bullpen has been incredible — just two earned runs in 31 2/3 innings — and Philadelphia lacks in that area, but the starting pitching discrepancy is not as drastic. Tucker will have to face Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler twice and will also face high-leverage arms.
Harper has continually come up with clutch hits while Tucker has slumped. Harper is undervalued in this hitting matchup at +150. This is a line that should be closer to EV, and even then I’d favor Harper.
Rhys Hoskins (-115) More Home Runs Than Jose Altuve
Odds via DraftKings
If this were total hits, I’d be all over Jose Altuve. But Rhys Hoskins for more home runs? Count me in.
Hoskins is a boom-or-bust player. When he’s off, he looks silly against quality pitching. But when he’s on, he’s one of the best power hitters in baseball.
Right now, Hoskins is on. Over the past four games, he’s hit four home runs. He crushes left-handed pitching — .945 OPS — and likely draws Framber Valdez twice. Hoskins has a double-digit barrel rate and 35 home runs across the regular season and playoffs.
The series will also feature two hitter-friendly parks for right-handed hitters. We’ve seen Hoskins dominate at Citizens Bank Park — an .885 OPS at home opposed to a .706 mark on the road — and he gets the Crawford Boxes in left at Minute Maid Park.
Meanwhile, Jose Altuve has slumped in the postseason. He didn’t get his first hit until Game 3 against the Yankees and has just three hits in 32 at-bats with 11 strikeouts. He will also benefit from the favorable parks, but his barrel rate is about league average at 7.7% and he ranks in the bottom 5% of all hitters in hard-hit rate.
I wrote about why I think Hoskins has a chance at the World Series MVP and it comes with his streakiness. At nearly a pick-em, I love Hoskins here. He’s swinging a hot bat and I expect that to continue, even against the Astros arms.
Yuli Gurriel Most Hits (+1300)
Odds via FanDuel
This is one of my favorite long shot plays of the World Series.
Yuli Gurriel has flown under the radar for the Astros. Through seven games, Gurriel leads Houston with 11 hits. In 30 at-bats, he hasn’t struck out or walked.
That’s the perfect recipe to lead the series in hits: everyday at-bats and minimal strikeouts. Gurriel isn’t flashy and is never pitched around. The opportunities will be there for the 38-year-old.
Gurriel doesn’t carry the power of Yordan Alvarez or Kyle Tucker and lacks the name recognition of Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman. However, he’s a hit machine.
Even after a 2022 season in which Gurriel struggled at times, I think there is too much value to pass up here. Over the past two postseasons, Gurriel has provided a consistent bat. He hit .311 in 61 at-bats in 2021 and his average is up to .347 entering the World Series this year.
Consistency is key here and Gurriel is one of the hot hands that Houston will continue to ride in the Fall Classic.