The Atlanta Braves got back-to-back homers from Dansby Swanson and Jorge Soler in the seventh inning of yesterday’s Game 4, which helped propel them to a 3-2 victory. The Braves now have a 3-1 lead in this best-of-seven series. Stop if you have heard that before.
Atlanta overcame the embarrassment of blowing a 3-1 lead in last year’s NLCS to the Dodgers by ousting the Dodgers in Game 6 of this year’s NLCS after building another 3-1 lead. Now, they have three chances to send the Astros packing while claiming their first World Series championship since 1995. Will the Braves’ home dominance continue tonight, or will the Astros find a way to send this series back to Houston?
The Braves are now 7-0 at home this postseason.
They're the 4th team to win 7 straight home games in a postseason, joining the 2008 Phillies, 2015 Royals and 2017 Astros. pic.twitter.com/tRtphVnTnH
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 31, 2021
We have cashed our first four plays of the World Series, and are back for our best bet for Sunday’s Game 5. (Odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)
View the best player prop bets for today’s slate with our MLB Prop Bet Cheat Sheet >>
YTD: 201-164-8 (+20.43 units)
Houston Astros ML (-115)
Many bettors will be heavily skewed by the results of the first four games of this series and will wake up not believing their eyes that the Braves are home underdogs tonight. Thus, expect Atlanta to be a heavily bet team, especially since they have won their first seven postseason home games this year, becoming the fourth team ever to win seven consecutive playoff games in a single postseason. In addition, the Braves get another crack at Framber Valdez, who they tagged for five earned runs and eight hits in two innings of work in Game 2. However, we have seen Valdez’s ability to bounce back on the road in the same series before and expect him to do it again.
Game 5 of the ALCS was the 91st postseason game played at Fenway Park. In that game, Valdez joined Bob Gibson as the only visiting starting pitchers to throw eight or more innings and allow three or fewer hits. Valdez’s was arguably even more historic given the current state of baseball, as he was the only starting pitcher to last eight innings this postseason. If he has his heavy sinker working like he did that night, the Astros will stay alive.
Aside from our faith in Valdez, the Astros will extend this series because Atlanta’s bullpen usage will start to catch up with them. After Charlie Morton suffered a broken fibula in Game 1, Braves manager Brian Snitker knew he would need 18 outs from his bullpen in Games 4 and 5. The more Houston’s hitters see Atlanta’s bevy of relievers, the more successful they will be at the plate. Look for Jose Altuve to be the catalyst tonight. He went 2-for-5 with a home run and hit another ball that would have been a home run in 26 of 30 Major League ballparks that would have tied the game at 3-3 late.
Houston missed many golden opportunities last night, leaving 11 men on base. If they put that much traffic on the basepaths tonight, look for them to capitalize.
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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.