Astros (-130) vs Braves (+110)
The Houston Astros pulled their butts out of the fire on Halloween night, setting up Game 6 of the World Series against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night. With a 3-2 series lead, the Braves are still the betting favorites to win the series despite having to win one of the last two games on the road. However, the Astros are favored in Game 6 with a -130 moneyline compared to Atlanta’s moneyline of +110.
Luis Garcia will be tasked with keeping the Astros alive and extending the series. After a strong regular season in which he went 11-8 with a 3.48 ERA, it’s been a struggle for Garcia during the playoffs. Outside of 5.2 scoreless innings in the ALCS against the Red Sox, Garcia has allowed 11 runs over 7.1 innings. He started Game 3 of the World Series, giving up just one run but lasting only 3.2 innings because he walked four batters, escaping trouble only because of six strikeouts. He’ll also be pitching Game 6 on short rest, so he probably won’t be given a lot of slack if he struggles in the early innings.
That being said, the Braves haven’t exactly been clicking offensively in this series. The Atlanta lineup has gotten by thanks to eight home runs in five games. To their credit, the Braves have had some timely hits from some unexpected sources. However, players like Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson who have been part of the team’s core all season have struggled to produce for much of the series. To close out the series, the Braves might need to score some runs without the long ball.
On the mound, lefty Max Fried will get a chance to help the Braves close out the series in Game 6. Much like his counterpart in Tuesday’s game, Fried had a strong regular season but has run into some trouble during the postseason. The lefty was 14-7 with a 3.04 ERA over 28 starts during the season. But he’s not exactly been Atlanta’s ace during the playoffs, going 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA in four starts. In Game 2, Fried got knocked around early before settling down, ultimately giving up six runs on seven hits over five innings and taking the loss. If you take away six scoreless innings against Milwaukee in the NLDS, Fried has allowed 13 runs over his last 15.2 innings.
Fried now has to face the same Houston lineup that got the better of him in Game 2. Much like the Braves, the Astros have hit plenty of home runs during the playoffs. However, only two of the team’s 15 postseason home runs have come in the World Series, both being solo homers from Jose Altuve. Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker had been Houston’s best hitters heading into the World Series. However, Alvarez is 1 for 16 against Atlanta while Tucker has no RBIs in five games after 15 RBIs in 10 previous playoff games. The hits are there, but the Astros aren’t hitting homers or cashing in on scoring chances.
The sharps are expecting yet another twist in the tale, as a small majority are leaning toward the Astros to win Game 6. Given Fried’s recent struggles, the starting pitching matchup is almost a wash. The home run disparity over the first five games aside, Houston’s lineup is more potent and powerful. At home, the Astros will have a chance to build on the momentum from their win in Game 5. The caveat is that both bullpens will be fresh after an off day, so if either team can get an early lead, they will have a huge advantage. However, the sharps believe the Astros are more likely to feed off the crowd and take an early lead that they can ride to a Game 6 win.
Pick: Astros -130
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