After being no-hit by the Astros last night, can the Philadelphia Phillies turn things around in Game 5 of the World Series and earn a win in their final home game of the year?
Houston Astros vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Thursday, November 3, 2022 – 08:03 PM EDT at Citizens Bank Park
The Houston Astros tied the World Series at two after earning a no-hitter on the road against Philadelphia last night.
The Phillies no longer have home-field advantage and now have a ton of pressure going into Game 5, knowing that the next two games will be on the road.
We’re already guaranteed a Game 6 in the World Series. We don’t know about a Game 7 yet, but if the Phillies lose to the Astros at home for a second straight game, the Astros would have two chances to earn one win at home against the Phillies.
The Phillies really can’t afford to lose tonight’s game.
Here are our MLB picks and predictions for Thursday’s Game 5 matchup between the Astros and Phillies.
Justin Verlander Will Get Start for Astros
Justin Verlander will end up winning the AL Cy Young this year. However, he hasn’t pitched all that well in the postseason this year. He’s holding a 7.20 ERA and pitching in a pivotal Game 5 for the Astros.
He’s still got a 1.35 xFIP over the last 30 days and has struck out 34.5% of batters. However, he's also walked 6% of batters and has given up a .362 BABIP in that same 30-day time frame.
Verlander is getting by against lefties, but righties have a .328 wOBA and ISO of .217 in their last 47 plate appearances against the likely AL Cy Young winner.
Verlander vs. Phillies
Meanwhile, the Phillies are hitting a .225 ISO and wOBA of .313 over the last 30 days against righties. They’ve struck out close to 25% of the time and were just no-hit, with the majority of those innings coming against Christian Javier, who’s also a righty.
Still, Rhys Hoskins and J.T. Realmuto are righties with high ISO against righties over the last month. They’ve got potential against Verlander, along with Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber, who have destroyed righties over the last 30 days.
Noah Syndergaard Gets Call for Phillies
Syndergaard was expected to pitch in Game 3 for the Phillies but was moved back to Game 5. He’s got a tough challenge going up against Justin Verlander in tonight’s game.
Syndergaard still has a 1.69 ERA in the postseason and a 2.28 xFIP over the last 30 days.
He’s only thrown to 21 batters in those 30 days but has done well against lefties. Righties have an ISO of .231 in 13 plate appearances against Syndergaard, so there’s more potential for right-handed power from the Astros.
Syndergaard vs. Astros
The Astros have seven righties in the lineup. However, those seven righties have hit a .163 ISO and wOBA of .298 over the last 30 days against righties. Still, Jeremy Pena and Alex Bregman have been red-hot against righties and should be the two hitters to watch out for in the Houston lineup.
As a unit, the Astros have hit a .171 ISO and wOBA of .300 with 24% of line drives. It’s unlikely that Syndergaard goes deeper than five innings in this game. He’s been very good at earning ground balls recently and has limited line drives at a solid rate. He's also holding a BABIP of .143, which is .200 lower than Verlander. That’s something to like if you’re a Phillies fan.
The Phillies have Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola finishing the next two games. They’re going to pitch whoever, whenever in tonight’s game. Especially knowing that there’s a day off tomorrow.
Both teams will send out all of their weapons. But the Phillies will probably head to the bullpen sooner knowing that their two aces will pitch in the final two games of the series.
Astros vs. Phillies: Prediction and Picks
Justin Verlander hasn’t looked great for the Astros in the postseason. But I’m willing to look past that. Verlander still has a low xFIP over the last 30 days and while his BABIP is high and his power to righties is a bit high, that’s not normally like him.
Don’t bank on Verlander throwing a no-hitter, but I still like Verlander to earn a high amount of strikeouts and put together a big outing for the Astros tonight.
Meanwhile, Syndergaard has been good. But he’s way more inconsistent as a whole. He won’t pitch very deep in this game and is kind of just a filler. I’d much rather side with the AL Cy Young than Syndergaard tonight.
Score Prediction: Astros 3 - Phillies 1
MLB Pick: Under 7.5 (-110) at BetOnline
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