World Series Game 1: Atlanta Braves at Houston Astros odds, picks and prediction
The Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros open the World Series Tuesday at Minute Maid Park. First pitch is scheduled for 8:09 p.m. ET (on FOX). Let's analyze the lines around the Braves vs. Astrosodds with MLB picks and predictions.
The Braves last won the World Series in 1995. Their last appearance was in 1999 when they were swept by the New York Yankees 4-0.
The Astros last won the World Series in 2017, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games. They returned in 2019 but lost in seven games to the Washington Nationals.
It seems odd, especially for two clubs that were once NL West Division rivals, but Atlanta and Houston have not faced each other since 2017. Houston swept that season series 4-0.
But back to the present …
The Braves will start RHP Charlie Morton (14-6, 3.34 ERA regular season) in Tuesday's opener. Morton has pitched for five teams during a 14-year career, including for the 2017 World Series champion Astros in the first of his two seasons with Houston. As a matter of fact, he was the winning pitcher in the deciding Game 7 of the 2017 World Series, working the final four innings in relief against the Dodgers.
- 2021 postseason: 0-1, 3.77 ERA (14 1/3 IP, 6 ER), 10 H, 8 BB, 19 K in three starts
- Career World Series: 1-1, 4.30 ERA (14 2/3 IP, 7 ER), 12 H, 2 BB, 17 K in two starts and one relief appearance
- Lost his one start in 2020 World Series for Tampa Bay Rays when they lost to Dodgers in six games
- Career vs. Astros (regular season): 4-6, 6.28 ERA (57 1/3 IP, 40 ER), 1.67 WHIP in 11 starts, last facing them in 2019
Astros LHP Framber Valdez (11-6, 3.14 ERA regular season) makes his fourth start of the postseason and his first career World Series appearance. The southpaw has seven playoff games under his belt - all during the last two seasons. He was phenomenal in a Game 5 victory in this year's ALCS, handcuffing the Boston Red Sox with 8 innings of 1-run, 3-hit ball.
- 2021 postseason: 1-0, 4.20 ERA (15 IP, 7 ER), 16 H, 5 BB, 13 K in three starts
- Career postseason: 4-1, 2.77 ERA (39 IP, 12 ER), 1.15 WHIP, 39 K in six starts and one relief outing
- Career vs. Braves: 0 appearances
Braves at Astros odds, lines, picks and prediction
- Money line: Braves +110 (bet $100 to win $110) | Astros -135 (bet $135 to win $100)
- Against the spread/ATS: Braves +1.5 (-180) | Astros -1.5 (+145)
- Over/Under: 8.5 (O: -102 | U: -122)
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Astros 4, Braves 3
Money line (ML)
This is a tough one, but the value is with ATLANTA ( +110).
Houston is 55-31 at Minute Maid Park this year, including 4-1 in the playoffs. However, Atlanta tied for MLB's fifth-best regular-season road record at 46-35.
While the Astros' Valdez was lights out in his last start, the Braves' Morton is postseason experienced, appearing in 16 games. He also has a penchant for pitching well in critical games.
As mentioned, he was the 2017 World Series Game 7 winning pitcher for the Astros. Three years later with the Rays, he beat the Astros twice in the 2020 ALCS, including in the clinching Game 7 behind 5 2/3 shutout innings.
At +110, Morton and the BRAVES are the play.
BACK ATLANTA +1.5 (- 180) to WIN 0.5 UNITS.
The Braves are 8-2 ATS this postseason. Overall, they're 54-32 ATS on the road this year, including 4-1 in the postseason.
The Astros are 6-4 ATS this postseason but 41-45 ATS at home, including 3-2 in the postseason.
Regular-season ATS records:
- Braves: 78-83 | Astros: 77-85
BACK UNDER 8.5 (- 122) to WIN 0.2 UNITS.
It's never easy betting Unders, but look for the offense to take a backseat to pitching in the opener.
Sure, Houston pounded the Overs in the first two rounds, and the Over is 48-37-1 at Minute Maid Park this year, but runs will be at a premium in Game 1.
- Regular season: Braves 74-78-9 | Astros 86-69-7
- Postseason: Braves 5-5 | Astros 8-2
|SINCE JULY 8|
|*- SP: Strongest plays; ROI: Return on investment|
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