Given the Atlanta Braves’ recent track record in Game 5’s when they had a 3-1 series lead, it may not have come as a shock to many to see the Houston Astros win and force a Game 6. However, the Braves are hoping this World Series plays out precisely as their NLCS against the Dodgers played out, and not to be in for a repeat of what happened in last year’s NLCS. The Braves infamously lost three straight games to the Dodgers last year after holding a 3-1 lead, but they closed them out in Game 6 after winning three of the first five games in their previous series.
Thus, will the Astros continue their momentum and force a seventh game, or will the Braves close out their second consecutive series in six games and win their first championship since 1995?
We have cashed our first five plays of the World Series, and are back for our best bet for Tuesday’s Game 6. (Odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)
YTD: 202-164-8 (+21.30 units)
Houston Astros Team Total OVER 4.5 runs (-105)
Like a struggling shooter in basketball who sometimes just needs to see the ball go through the net, so do hitters in baseball sometimes need the simplest things to spark them. After being held to two runs and ten hits in the first two games in Atlanta, Houston’s offense exploded for nine runs and 12 hits in Game 5. It is irrelevant whether it was the improved weather conditions or the Braves were throwing a second consecutive bullpen game that led to Houston’s outburst. The fact is that players who had underperformed like Alex Bregman and Martin Maldonado had big moments in Game 5, and the Astros lineup all of a sudden looks more dangerous with those two hitters coming in confident to Game 6.
Houston also has reason to be confident since they face Atlanta’s Max Fried for the second time this series. Fried was tagged for six earned runs on seven hits in five innings in Game 2’s loss. Fried has now allowed at least seven hits in each of his last three postseason starts while pitching to a 7.11 ERA in that span.
The Astros are starting rookie Luis Garcia on short rest after using Game 2 starter Jose Urquidy out of the bullpen in Game 5. We are nervous about backing Houston’s moneyline odds since it is hard to predict how Garcia will pitch on short rest. However, that does not stop us from backing a high-scoring game from the Astros, who have scored at least five runs in six of their seven home playoff games this year.
It took him 4 innings and 67 pitches, but Max Fried finally got a swing and miss on a fastball, with Martin Maldonado's whiff on the last pitch of the 4th inning.
Fried had thrown 18 4-seam fastballs and 8 2-seamers before that. The Astros have done major damage on both.
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) October 28, 2021
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