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The World Series started with a bang. Literally. Jorge Soler led off the game with a home run, something that had never happened before. It was basically all downhill for the Astros from there. While they lost the game, it may have been a bigger loss that Braves starter Charlie Morton is now out of the series after breaking his fibula. Tonight brings another game. Can the Astros rebound, or will the Braves return to Atlanta with a 2-0 lead?
Max Fried takes the hill for the Braves and he will now be expected to carry the load for the Braves who are basically down to him and Ian Anderson as their starting pitchers for the rest of the series. Fried has been good this year, and aside from his second start in the series against the Dodgers, he has been good in the playoffs too. I feel like that could be the case in this series too. The Astros could struggle against him in this game, but break out against him when they see him again. No matter what, the Astros are definitely a tough offensive team, but Fried is a strong pitcher. None of the Astros have ever seen Fried so they will probably struggle the first time through the lineup.
For the Astros, they turn to Jose Urquidy. That’s not really a good thing. In his only playoff start, he faced the Red Sox and was absolutely mashed. In just 1.2 innings, he allowed five hits, five earned runs, a home run, and two walks. Was it playoff nerves kicking in and now he will be better? Maybe, but we don’t make money on maybe. Some stats that do help Urquidy’s cause – he’s been better at night and at home than on the road and during day starts. The Braves have also never faced him so they could take a couple of innings to figure him out and if that is the case, the second time through the lineup, batters are hitting just .187 against him. The first time through, though, they are hitting .241, so the Braves should look to jump on him early.
I’m taking the Braves to win this game at -104. In addition, because Urquidy has been hit hard the first time through the lineup (9 home runs allowed this season) I’m going to play the Braves to lead after three innings at +160.