Astros Seek … Something. Anything
The Major League Baseball postseason has had so many changes in recent decades, even the past few years, that it’s hard to rate teams from era to era. But what the Philadelphia Phillies are accomplishing this fall very well might rank as the best playoff run in the game’s history, considering the expectations.
Of course, it won’t mean much if the Houston Astros can come back to claim the crown, but entering Wednesday’s Game 4 at Philadelphia, the Phillies have the look of world-beaters. Their 7-0 triumph in Game 3 put them ahead 2-1 in the World Series against the heavily favored Astros, and Houston has to figure out a way to win in a raucous Philadelphia environment to get this thing back home.
Turn to November Cools Houston Bats
The first five hitters in the Astros’ lineup in Game 3 went a combined 1-for-18 as Ranger Suarez and four relievers made Houston look weak. Yordan Alvarez has one hit in the series and is 4-for-32 with 12 strikeouts over his last eight games.
Of course, this is amplified when the starting pitching doesn’t do its job, as has been the case in the Astros’ two losses in the series. On Tuesday, Lance McCullers Jr. served up five home runs in a beatdown so severe that many wondered if he had tipped his pitches.
“I got beat, man,” McCullers said. “They hit a lot of solid pitches, I thought. At the end of the day, we got beat pretty bad and I got beat up pretty bad. I obviously wanted to pitch well and pitch much better than I did, but at the end of the day all I can do at this point is get ready to go for a potential Game 7.”
That’s a long way away and likely won’t ever come to fruition if the Astros cannot get back on track behind Cristian Javier in Game 4. The 25-year-old allowed 89 hits and struck out 194 in 148⅔ innings during the regular season and held the New York Yankees scoreless over 5⅓ innings in Game 3 of the ALCS.
Javier has not allowed a run in his last 28⅓ innings as a starter. It seems like something has to give against this homer-happy Phillies’ offense.
Nola Hitting a Wall?
The rainout on Halloween gave the Phillies the chance to bump Suarez up to Game 3 and thrust Aaron Nola into Game 4. On paper, that would seem to be a massive development for a team whose back end of the rotation was seemingly not on par with Houston’s. However, Nola has been knocked around in back-to-back outings and workload could be a factor.
Adding the 21⅔ postseason innings he threw in October, Nola has tossed 226⅔ frames on the season. His previous high for a campaign was 212⅓ innings in 2018 and he’s been well below that each of the last two years.
Kyle Tucker, who took Nola deep twice in Game 1, will be licking his chops.
As for the rest of the Phillies, they continue to follow Bryce Harper’s lead. His two-run homer in the first inning of Game 3 set the tone for the rout and gave him six homers in 14 games this postseason. He also may have had a hand in some of his teammate’s big blasts on Tuesday.
“I think anytime you have information, you want to be able to give that to your teammates at any point,” Harper said of his conversations with teammates about McCullers, one of which to Alec Bohm was caught on camera.
Indeed, Harper is clicking on all cylinders – mentally and physically – and has the look of a guy that won’t let Philadelphia lose its grip on this thing. Whatever that’s worth to you, consider it at the sportsbook.
Astros vs Phillies Game Injuries
Astros vs Phillies Head-to-Head
Including Game 3, Philadelphia has won 10 of the last 12 meetings at home with Houston. That goes all the way back to 2011, so that doesn’t have much impact on Game 4 or your bet online.
Astros vs Phillies Game Information
- Game: Astros vs Phillies
- Location: Citizens Bank Ballpark, Philadelphia, Pa.
- Day/Time: Wednesday, Nov. 2, 8:03 p.m. ET
- Astros vs Phillies Live Stream: MLB TV
Take a Look at Other Analysis, Picks & Predictions for The World Series
- Astros vs Phillies Game 5 Prediction, Game Preview, Live Stream, Odds & Picks Nov 3
- World Series Game 4 Prop Jobs
Astros vs Phillies Betting Lines
Astros vs Phillies Prediction
The MLB odds see this as a relative toss-up. You’ve got a dynamic Philadelphia offense facing a shutdown starter in Javier, and a struggling Houston offense going up against a floundering Nola. It’s hard to say what gives.
It’s supposed to be a comfortable night in Philadelphia. The ball was flying out of Citizens Bank Ballpark on Tuesday and the conditions will be ripe for some more fireworks. With such a tough call on the moneyline, perhaps take a stab at the over. It shouldn’t be tough to come by if Houston bounces back (just a bit) and Harper and Co. get into a couple of mistakes.
The Houston Astros are listed at -108 in our Vegas MLB lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Astros, you have a chance to win $93. The Philadelphia Phillies are -102, offering a chance to win $98 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Astros a 51.92% chance to win, with the Phillies at 50.50%.
“The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.”