World Series Best Bets: Braves-Astros Game 1

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The World Series is set and we have the Braves headed to Houston to take on the Astros. The Astros are trying to lift the trophy despite the recent cheating scandal. The Braves have a long, storied history of playoff disappointment. But, once the first pitch is thrown, all that matters is the next seven games.

I like the Braves to win the series. Fortunately for them, they’ve battled through great pitching already, and arguably the worst pitching they face will be on the Astros team. The Astros are still without Lance McCullers Jr., and Zack Greinke, the once-dominant ace is no longer that strong of a pitcher. The Braves have some of the best hitting statistics since the beginning of the second half of the season. The Dodgers had some tired arms, and questionable decisions, but the Braves really didn’t struggle against them or the strong rotation of the Brewers. I’ll take the Braves to win the series at +125. I also think I’ll put a small play on the series to go six games at +200.

Tonight, Charlie Morton, who will be pitching in his third World Series in six years, takes the mound for the Braves. Morton has been fine in the postseason this year. He has a 3.77 ERA in the postseason so far. He threw five innings against the Dodgers and was solid in the appearance, only allowing two earned runs. Now he has to face his former team. Last year against them, when he was with the Rays, he threw in two games, spanning 10.2 innings, allowing seven hits, two walks, and no runs. The Astros have had success in their career against Morton though, he’s allowed a .308 batting average against him. Seven of the 18 hits allowed have been for extra bases.

On the other side, Framber Valdez throws for the Astros. This is Valdez’s fourth start of the postseason and first time he will throw in the World Series. He was outstanding in his last outing against the Red Sox. He went eight innings and allowed just one earned run. He hasn’t faced the Braves this year, and only has a few at-bats against him. Braves hitters are 3-for-7 against Valdez, including red-hot Eddie Rosario having one hit in three at-bats. Valdez usually gets stronger as the game goes on, so if the Braves don’t get to him in the first few innings, they might not get to him at all. With the Astros at home, and the Braves needing to figure out Valdez, I’m going to take the Astros to win tonight at -136.