Astros Seek Series Control Behind Ace
Courtesy of the first combined no-hitter in World Series history – and second ever after Don Larsen’s 1956 perfect game – the Houston Astros have ensured they will get this best-of-seven clash back to Texas. And they have a wonderful opportunity to bring it home with a series lead when ace Justin Verlander goes in Thursday’s Game 5.
It’ll be an incredible scene at Citizens Bank Park and a wonderful night to make some sports bets. We have all the information you need to make your MLB picks on Game 5, so let’s check the latest MLB predictions, stats, and injury reports for the Astros vs Phillies.
Verlander Seeks Bounceback Start
As great as he’s been for the better part of 16 years, Verlander cannot seem to solve the World Series. The soon-to-be (in all likelihood) three-time Cy Young Award winner is 0-6 with a 6.07 ERA in eight Fall Classic starts after his Game 1 clunker.
The future Hall of Famer is 15-4 with a 3.04 ERA in 26 other playoff appearances, so what gives? Hard to say, but the execution is a good place to start.
“I need to do better,” Verlander said after Game 1. “No excuses. I just need to execute pitches better. I felt like I had some guys in good situations and just wasn’t able to quite make the pitches that I wanted to.”
Manager Dusty Baker admitted he was too slow in giving Verlander the hook when things started to go south. It’s hard to blame him, given the righty’s many, many starts in which he got stronger as the game wore on.
Mentally, Verlander seems just fine, notably mixing it up with Phillies fans from touchdown in the City of Brotherly Love. And he figures to have the Philadelphia bats guessing after Cristian Javier and three relievers combined on the no-no with 14 strikeouts on Wednesday night.
It pales in comparison to the historic gem, but the fact that the Astros received some better at-bats from some of their better hitters is a very significant development. The top four in the lineup were 5-for-19 with three RBI and four runs scored in Game 4 after going 1-for-14 in the Game 3 shutout loss. If Alvarez, Bregman, and company turn a corner, it’ll be hard to make an MLB bet against Houston.
Pressure on Phillies Bullpen in Game 5
Manager Rob Thomson’s decision to stick with Noah Syndergaard as his Game 5 starter and not Zack Wheeler on regular rest means one thing: the Philadelphia bullpen will be in the spotlight as an all-hands-on-deck scenario plays out.
Syndergaard is out there for just a few innings, tops. He threw three innings in his only prior 2022 postseason start in the NLDS against Atlanta, and his other two appearances have been out of the bullpen. The 30-year-old has tossed only 13 innings since the middle of September.
With a day off Friday, Thomson can use just about anybody once Syndergaard’s night is done.
“Everybody’s got to be available at this point in the year,” said Zach Eflin, who worked a perfect eighth with three strikeouts in Game 4. “This is what we dreamed of. This is why we’re here. There’s really no time for off days. We’ll all be prepared and ready to go whenever our name is called.”
If it all works out and the Phillies somehow survive, they will have a rested ace in Wheeler going in a potential series clincher in Game 6.
Astros vs Phillies Game Injuries
Astros vs Phillies Head-to-Head
In seven meetings between the regular season and the world series predictions, the losing team has been shut out four times.
Astros vs Phillies Game Information
- Game: Astros vs Phillies
- Location: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pa.
- Day/Time: Thursday, Nov. 3, 8:03 p.m. ET
- Astros vs Phillies Live stream: MLB.tv
Take a Look at Other Analysis, Picks & Predictions for The World Series
- World Series Game 4 Prop Jobs
- Astros vs Phillies Game 4 Prediction, Preview, Live Stream, Odds & Picks Nov. 02
Astros vs Phillies Betting Lines
Astros vs Phillies Prediction
It stands to reason that Verlander will have a World Series gem one of these days. The 39-year-old wants to pitch until he’s 45, so there could very well be more opportunities beyond Game 5.
As it pertains to Thursday night, we like him to get the Astros into their dominant bullpen in pretty good shape. It’s not a given that Syndergaard will be able to do the same, and Thomson will be scrambling for outs at some point in this game.
We’ve had a road team winning on an extra-inning homer, a rout in which a guy who doesn’t give up many home runs served up five of them, and now a combined no-hitter. None of those scenarios came up in anyone’s crystal ball, but siding with Verlander and an energized Astros bunch over Syndergaard and whatever comes after him seems like something you can bet online with confidence.
The Houston Astros are listed at -153 in our Vegas MLB lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Astros, you have a chance to win $75. The Philadelphia Phillies are +138, offering a chance to win $138 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Astros a 57.26% chance to win, with the Phillies at 42.02%.