Play the Total in Tight Game 1 of World Series

Phillies vs. Astros, Game 1, 8:03 ET

The grass is cut, the lines are chalked, the bases are set and we are ready to go for the World Series. The Astros and the Phillies squared off late in the season so we have a bit of detail to go off of from recent games. I’ve already shared some futures on this series and am now looking at the individual games to cap off what has been a great MLB season.

The Phillies have given the go-ahead to Aaron Nola to start the World Series. Nola had a good regular season, but it really wasn’t on the level of what Justin Verlander turned in. None of that matters right now because if we look at who the better pitcher has been in the playoffs, it is probably Nola. That is, before his start against the Padres. In his first two outings, Nola turned in 12.2 innings and didn’t allow a single earned run. Then the wheels fell off a bit as the Padres battered him around in his most recent start. In that game, he allowed seven hits and six earned runs over 4.2 innings. He has also been very consistent with his strikeouts – six per game. I could see him getting to six again today and that is only a -120 price. He struck out nine Astros in his last regular season start. He went 6.2 innings and allowed only two hits. In fact, over 46 at-bats, the Astros hitters have only gotten six hits and one RBI.

The Astros aren’t going away from Verlander, and why would they? He is likely to be the Cy Young and just turned in an outstanding season. Over the year, he turned in a 1.75 ERA. The playoffs hit and he’s only had two starts. One was awful, the other was much improved. The Mariners pounced on Verlander as he allowed six earned runs on 10 hits over four innings. Against the Yankees he was much more like himself. He threw six innings and allowed just one solo home run. He struck out 11 hitters in that game. He also had a start against the Phillies and turned in five innings in a tuneup before the playoffs. He didn’t allow a hit or a run in those frames and struck out 10 hitters. Of all of the Phillies hitters, only Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos, and Jean Segura have gotten hits off of Verlander.

To be honest, I have no idea who wins this game. It could be a matter of whoever scores first wins. The Astros are the team that I expect to win the series, and it probably starts with tonight’s game. I’m instead going to take under 6.5 for the game at +100. Two really strong pitchers and some nerves on the side of the hitters make me only look towards the under.

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Written by David Troy

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