The pinnacle of the baseball season has arrived, and a variety of World Series odds are on the move. Let’s dive into my betting angle for Astros – Phillies odds in Game 1.
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Astros – Phillies Odds: Moneyline, Run Line, Total
On the surface, neither Game 1 ace has necessarily pitched up to his standard in the postseason. But let’s dissect them even further for Astros – Phillies odds.
How Will Justin Verlander Fair?
Within Verlander’s 6.30 ERA lies a 2.58 xFIP in two outings. This metric exhibits a pitcher’s production based solely on events within his control, i.e. strikeouts, walks, hit-by-pitches, and fly-balls allowed.
Hence, the 39-year-old hasn’t manufactured as poor of results in a small sample size that his traditional numbers would indicate. The majority of the “damage” was done by the Mariners in Game 1 of the ALDS before rebounding against the Yankees, accruing 11 punch outs over six frames.
Even though the Phillies have generated the fourth-highest run value versus fastballs (+45.7), Verlander’s four-seamer is on a different level. In fact, it’s produced the fourth-lowest run value among any pitch type in 2022 (via Baseball Savant).
The only pitches ahead of Verlander’s fastball were Dylan Cease and Shoehei Ohtani’s slider, respectively, and Sandy Alcantara’s changeup.
Moreover, Philadelphia owns a -5.3 run value versus sliders — Verlander’s secondary pitch. In his sole outing against Rob Thompson’s club on Oct. 4, the Phillies churned out a .057 expected batting average (xBA) against the slider. This stat illustrates the probability that a batted ball will turn into a hit.
Given their 24.0% postseason strikeout rate, which plays even more to Verlander’s strengths, he should deliver on the biggest stage.
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Aaron Nola’s Torrid Run
Not only did Nola assemble the third-highest fWAR among all starters in the second half, but he’s even tallied a 2.58 xFIP in the postseason. Similar to Verlander, his lone outlier came against the Padres in the NLCS, allowing four crucial runs in the fifth inning.
Houston’s elite-level offense hasn’t been nearly as consistent in the postseason. It also failed to compile much contact in their only showing versus Nola on Oct. 3. The 29-year-old right-hander was most successful with his fastball on the inner portion of the plate while attacking with his off-speed pitches low and away.
Mind you, Nola’s sinker was his second-most utilized pitch type in that game, and the Astros showcase the 17th-rated run value against this particular pitch (-8.9) overall.
Their postseason strikeout rate is 2.6 percentage points lower than the opposition, yet the Phillies’ ace is still set up for another quality outing.
Astros – Phillies Odds Conclusion
Both bullpens have performed at a high level in the playoffs, and their premier arms are well-rested. Therefore, I’m willing to back the full-game under at plus-money. For more analysis on Astros – Phillies odds, check out Mo Nuwwarah’s World Series preview.