The 2021 World Series gets underway on Tuesday night from Houston as the Astros face the Atlanta Braves. Which way to lean at BMR’s top-rated books on a few props?
Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros
Tuesday, October 26, 2021 – 08:09 PM EDT at Minute Maid Park
This is the sixth all-time playoff meeting between the Astros and Braves but the first time in the World Series. Of course, Houston used to be in the National League. The teams didn’t meet in interleague play this year so not much to go on there. One interesting tie between the franchises is that Atlanta’s manager is Brian Snitker and his son Troy is the co-hitting coach of the Astros. I think it’s fair to say that most of America are rooting against Houston because of its cheating scandal.
You may want to consider a bet on the winner of Game 1 to take this series as the winner of the Fall Classic opener has won the series 63 percent of the time – including 20 of the past 23. Here are a few MLB picks from Bovada. Atlanta obviously will bat first in the Astros’ ballpark, and the Braves’ lineup will be fortified with the return of slugger Jorge Soler from the COVID list and the addition of the designated hitter – I’d guess that’s where Soler plays.
While Soler was terrible this season for the Royals, he got new life after the trade to the Braves, hitting .269 with 14 homers in 55 games. For Kansas City, he had a 10.6 percent walk rate and 26.9 percent strikeout rate. After joining the Braves, he had a 12 percent walk rate and an 18.6 percent strikeout rate.
Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez was great last time out vs. Boston but was a bit shaky early in his other two postseason starts, allowing three runs in the top of the third of Game 1 of the ALCS in Boston and one run in Game 2 of the ALDS vs. Chicago. Atlanta’s Charlie Morton is a proven playoff stud so there will be no nerves there. Morton pitched for Houston in 2017 & ’18 and earned the win for the Astros in Game 7 of the '17 World Series against the Dodgers, throwing the final four innings.
Morton showed no signs of slowing down this season at age 37 with 215 strikeouts in 185.2 innings. He has struck out 19 in three playoff starts with at least five in each. Thus, this total seems awfully low – remember, the DH is in play so it’s not like Morton will be lifted early for a pinch-hitter.
Valdez is more of a ground-ball pitcher than a strikeout artist. The lefty had 125 Ks in 134.2 regular-season innings and has just 13 Ks in three playoff starts. He pitches to contact much more than Morton does.
Total Pitching Strikeouts: Charlie Morton Over -4.5 (-145) with Bovada
Total Pitching Strikeouts: Framber Valdez Under 4.0 (-115) with Bovada
These are the two favorites to win World Series MVP. Houston’s Yordan Alvarez was named the ALCS MVP as the Cuban hit .522 (12-for-23) with a homer, five extra-base hits, seven runs scored, six RBIs, and a 1.408 OPS in the six games vs. Boston. Alvarez will also feel a bit more comfortable at home. He is 1-for-2 with an RBI in his regular-season career off Charlie Morton.
Freddie Freeman had a very interesting NLCS against the Dodgers. In the first two games, he was 0-for-8 with seven consecutive strikeouts at one point. Then he went 6-for-12 in the next three games with two homers before going 0-for-1 with four walks in the Game 6 finale. Freeman likely will have to face Astros lefty starter Framber Valdez his first two times up and Freeman hit just .257 vs. lefties this year compared to .317 against right-handers.
Houston’s Martin Maldonado and Atlanta’s Travis D’Arnaud are both light-hitting catchers. Maldonado is hitting just .069 in these playoffs and D’Arnaud .194. However, Maldonado has a history of catching Braves starter Charlie Morton and knows his stuff. Maldonado is 7-for-13 with a double career off Morton. D’Arnaud hasn’t seen Framber Valdez.
Most Hits, Runs and Rbis: Yordan Alvarez (-125) Over Freddie Freeman (-105)
Most Hits, Runs, and Rbis: Martin Maldonado (-105) Over Travis D’Arnaud (-125)
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.