‘Buy the dip’: BET Astros, Verlander Win Game 5 of 2022 World Series

The Houston Astros (2-2) meet the Philadelphia Phillies (2-2) in a crucial Game 5 of the 2022 World Series at Citizens Bank Park Thursday with the first pitch scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET.

Houston evened the World Series with a 5-0 Game 4 victory. The Astros made history in the Fall Classic by becoming the 2nd team to throw a no-hitter/perfect game.

The Philadelphia Phillies realize history is about to be made around the 9th inning vs. the Houston Astros in Game 4 of the 2022 World Series at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Phillies realize history is will be made around the 9th inning vs. the Houston Astros in Game 4 of the 2022 World Series at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Four pitchers were used by the Astros for the no-no and they had a combined 14/3 K/BB rate. Don Larsen threw a perfect game for the New York Yankees in the 1956 World Series.

The Phillies start RHP Noah Syndergaard (10-10, 3.94 ERA in the regular season) in their home finale. Philadelphia acquired Syndergaard around the trade deadline and this is Syndergaard’s 2nd start in this postseason and 4th game.

The Astros turn to ace RHP Justin Verlander (18-4, 1.75 ERA in the regular season). He’s almost a lock to win the 2022 AL Cy Young but Verlander struggling in the World Series is a thing.

However, Verlander’s struggles are “baked into the betting line” and Houston’s Game 5 moneyline is too cheap to pass up.

Betting Details (DraftKings)

  • Moneyline (ML): ASTROS (-155), Phillies (+135)
  • Run Line (RL): Astros -1.5 (+110), Phillies +1.5 (-130)
  • Total (O/U) — 7.5 — O: -110, U: -110

Verlander’s ML price is a bargain

There’s been too big of an overreaction to Verlander’s 1st 2022 World Series start. Verlander allowed 5 ER in 5 IP and blew a 5-0 lead in Houston’s 6-5 Game 1 loss.

As a result, Houston is only a -155 ML favorite in Game 5 after being a -170 ML favorite in Game 1. But, Verlander pitched three perfect innings before the implosion and allowed 0 HR.

Houston Astros Justin Verlander walks off the field in the 4th inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 1 of the 2022 World Series at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
Houston Astros Justin Verlander walks off the field in the 4th inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 1 of the 2022 World Series at Minute Maid Park in Houston. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

More importantly, since Verlander’s 1st full season as an Astro, (2018) Houston is 15-5 as favorites of -170 or less. The Astros have a +24.6% return on investment and +1.90 final margin.

Also, Verlander’s pitching peripherals both on the season and vs. Thursday’s opponent are much better than Syndergaard’s.

Per Statcast, Verlander ranks in the 80th percentile or better in K%, expected batting average (xBA), expected slugging percentage (xSLG), and expected ERA over expected wOBA (xwOBA). Whereas Syndergaard grades in the 26th percentile or worse in all those metrics.

Furthermore, Verlander’s K% in 66 plate appearances (PA) vs. active Phillies batters is nearly double Syndergaard’s against current Astros hitters (31.8-16.2%), according to Statcast.

Houston Astros Justin Verlander reacts to a strike out at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
Houston Astros Justin Verlander reacts to a strike out at Minute Maid Park in Houston. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Verlander’s .172/.241/.282 xBA-xwOBA-xSLG slash line against Philadelphia is more impressive than Syndergaard’s .242/.310/.332 xBA-xwOBA-xSLG slash line vs. the Astros.

Houston’s bullpen is better rested and a lot more reliable than Philadelphia’s. The Astros’ relievers led the MLB in ERA (2.80) during the regular season and the Phillies’ bullpen unit was 23rd (4.27).

Lastly, the market is betting that Verlander won’t have the goods for Game 5. Per VSIN, roughly 60% of the action at the time of writing is on Philadelphia’s ML. Yet the oddsmakers haven’t moved Houston’s ML.

BET: Astros (-155) at DraftKings Sportsbook, up to -165

The Houston Astros odds vs. the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 5 of the 2022 World Series courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook as of Thursday, November 3rd at 12:45 p.m. ET.
The Houston Astros odds vs. the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 5 of the 2022 World Series courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook as of Thursday, November 3rd at 12:45 p.m. ET.

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Written by Geoff Clark

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