Pitching Edge in the First Five of Game 4

Astros vs. Phillies, Game 4, 8:03 ET

The Phillies came right out and destroyed the Astros last night. It didn't take long and the game was 4-0 before you blinked an eye. It was brutal for the Houston bettors... I know from experience. It has not been a good World Series for me, but we can turn it around. Though we do have Bryce Harper to be the World Series MVP at +650, so it isn't all bad.

Tonight we see part of that advantage that came into play when the rain postponed Game 3. Aaron Nola now pitches for the Phillies. If it is anything like Game 1, this isn't going to be a help for the Phillies. In fact, the last two games that Nola has pitched have been very bad. He gave up five runs in Game 1 to the Astros in 4.1 innings. He also gave up six earned runs to the Padres in his last start against them. After not allowing an earned run over his first 12.2 innings, he allowed 11 in his past nine innings. Maybe this return to Philadelphia will be just what he needs. Over his past 33.2 innings on the home mound, he has allowed just one earned run. That's the Nola that the Phillies need in order for them to get a win tonight and put the Astros on the verge of losing another World Series.

In an attempt to even the series, Cristian Javier takes the ball for the Astros. I really like Javier and think that he can at least go toe-to-toe with Nola even in a huge game. The Astros offense was non-existent last night, but I can't imagine they start pressing now. Javier will need to keep doing what he's been doing since basically the start of September. In the last seven appearances, he has allowed just two earned runs. That covers a span of 35 innings that he has been great. He isn't even giving up a ton of hits - he's allowed just 12 of them in those innings. The Phillies haven't seen a lot of Javier in their careers with just nine total at-bats. Brandon Marsh has gone 4-for-7 against Javier.

I think this will be a tight matchup. I've been wrong in the first three games, and I absolutely could be wrong here. Nola could get rocked again, Javier could choke, who knows? In my analysis though, I expect the Astros and Phillies to get through the first five innings with limited damage. I'm going to play under 3.5 through five innings at -105.

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