The Atlanta Braves are back in the World Series for the first time since 1999, taking on the Houston Astros, who return to the Fall Classic for the third time in five seasons. Atlanta’s won the World Series three times, their last in 1999, while Houston’s lone championship came in 2017.
The first pitch for Tuesday’s Game 1 is at 7:10 p.m. EST inside Minute Maid Park in Houston, TX. Houston is favored (-130) in the opener, and the over-under total is at eight runs.
What to Know – Atlanta Braves
One could argue the Braves are the hottest team in the postseason, dispensing the Milwaukee Brewers and defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers to claim their 18th National League pennant. Atlanta was under .500 in August and nearly an afterthought in the playoff picture before winning 12 of their last 14 games.
The expected starter for the Braves is veteran right-hander Charlie Morton. Morton has been solid in the postseason, making three starts with a 3.77 ERA over 14.1 innings pitched. The 37-year old was a part of the Tampa Bay Rays team that advanced to the World Series last year and on Houston’s championship team in 2017.
Atlanta’s offense is without the services of Ronald Acuna Jr. for the entirety of the playoff run and Jorge Soler for most of the NLCS. Even without those two stars in the lineup, the Braves haven’t missed a beat at the plate, led by the hot bat of Eddie Rosario, who’s hitting .474 this postseason with three home runs and 11 runs driven in.
What to Know – Houston Astros
Houston hopes a World Series win will prove they are a championship team without the cheating scandal surrounding their ‘17 championship. The Astros knocked off the White Sox and won the last three to send the Red Sox home.
The Astros counter on the mound with young lefty Framber Valdez. The 27-year old was lights out in his last start, tossing 8.0 innings, allowing three hits, one run, and five strikeouts in a victory over Boston. Valdez sports a 4.20 ERA this postseason and a 1-0 record.
Houston’s offense has always been the backbone of this team, and it has been no different in the postseason. The Astros are hitting .281 as a team and scoring 6.7 runs per game. 24-year old Kyle Tucker is the hottest bat in the lineup, hitting .275 with four home runs and 15 RBI.
The Pick is In
Houston carries momentum into Game 1 after three straight victories over the Red Sox to advance. Atlanta seems to be a team of destiny after years of close calls and heartbreak over the last two decades.
There will be some butterflies in the early going, but once the two teams settle in, there will be some fireworks at the plate. Both offenses will be a problem for opposing pitchers, so expect high-scoring games throughout the series.
Betting Pick: Braves/Astros OVER 8