Philadelphia Phillies at Houston Astros World Series Game 1 Betting Preview
The Fall Classic is finally here, with the Houston Astros hosting the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 1 of the World Series. Philadelphia won the National League pennant, while Houston returned to the WS as the winners of the American League.
The first pitch of Friday’s series-opener is at 8:03 p.m. EST inside Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. Houston is the betting favorite at -170, and the over/under total is 6.5 runs.
What to Know – Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies are in the World Series for the first time since 2009 and the eighth time in franchise history. Philadelphia was the last team into the playoffs on the NL side as the sixth seed but took down St. Louis, Atlanta, and San Diego to get here.
On the mound for the Phillies is expected to be right-hander Aaron Nola. In three postseason appearances, the 29-year-old is 2-1 with a 3.12 ERA. Nola finished the regular season with an 11-13 mark, 3.25 ERA, and 0.96 WHIP, surrendering 74 earned runs over 168 innings with 235 strikeouts and 29 walks.
The bat of Bryce Harper earned him MVP honors of the NLCS. Harper’s hitting .419 in the postseason with five home runs and 11 runs batted in. Rhys Hoskins is also locked in at the plate, hitting five home runs and driving in 11 RBIs as well but batting only .182.
Philadelphia came into the playoffs scoring 4.6 runs per game and ranking eighth in the league hitting .253 as a team. The Phillies pitching staff finished 18th in the majors sporting a 3.97 team earned run average.
What to Know – Houston Astros
Houston wrapped up the regular season with the best record in the AL, earning them the top seed a bye through the Wild Card Round. The Astros went on to sweep both the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees to return to the World Series for the sixth time.
Veteran right-hander Justin Verlander gets the nod on the hill for the hosts. Verlander was knocked around in his postseason opener against Seattle but settled down in his next trip to help defeat the Yankees. The 39-year-old posted another stellar season, finishing 18-4 with a 1.75 ERA and 0.83 WHIP.
Houston’s offense has stepped in the postseason with a handful of players leading the way. Yordan Alvarez has driven in eight runs, while Alex Bregman has seven RBIs. Jeremy Pena leads the Astros with three postseason home runs.
The Astros wrapped up the regular season 12th in the MLB with a .248 team batting average, scoring 4.5 runs per game. Houston’s pitching staff was the best in the AL, with a 2.90 team ERA.
The Pick is In
Houston is the better team statistically, but there is something about this Phillies team that reminds us of last year’s Braves. Philadelphia is peaking at the right time and has an offense dangerous enough to stay toe-to-toe with the Astros.
The Pick: Philadelphia Phillies