Astros vs Phillies Odds, picks, expert projections for Game 3 of the World Series
Throughout the Major League Baseball playoffs, I’ll provide a daily breakdown summarizing my thoughts on both futures and individual games for that day.
Next, I’ll cover how to handle betting on these playoff series, either in the series money line or play by play, while using my daily MLB model projections.
You can also shop the best lines in our odds page.
Using my projections, where can we find actionable value for Monday?
Moneyline Corner Series
First, let’s take a look at my updated projection for the 2022 World Series:
I opened the Astros like almost 60% of the series favorites before Game 1, they dropped their odds by more than 18% for 1-0 and increased their chances by more than 15% after the second game win game
Before the series, I mentioned that you might expect close and find a premium on the Astros after Game 2 before a more desirable spot, with significant pitching matchup advantages in Games 3 and 4.
If you own Phillies futures and want to hedge, the -170 (a FanDuel) in Houston is a slight improvement from -185 before Game 1.
It is a – Bet EV to get Houston at these prices out of context, but could understand wanting to take a profit on any Philly innings at this point, if you want to earn a substantial amount of money.
This is the place we chose before the series — once Houston moved past Nola and Wheeler and into the back of the Phillies’ rotation.
I’m not going to close; it’s a 10 unit swing to me, not 40. But this is the right time to cover if you do.
Astros vs. Phillies, 8:03 p.m. ET
Lance McCullers vs. Noah Syndergaard (full screenings here)
The Phillies will turn to Noah Syndergaard ahead of Ranger Suarez (3.78 xERA) in Game 3. They’ll use Syndergaard to flip the Astros’ lineup a half-time before playing matchups with a fully rested bullpen in the first of three games. consecutive days
Syndergaard was no longer Thor this season. He has lost more than 3.5 mph off his fastball compared to peak levels. In turn, their odor rates have decreased and their stain rate was reduced by 8 percent.
The Phillies played with their pitching mix after the trade deadline; eliminating his four-seam machine and having Syndergaard focus on a pen/slider mix (with an occasional curveball) to righties while reassigning most of his slider usage to changeups against lefties.
He has pitched three times this postseason and relied heavily on his pen and curveball in those outings.
How long he will stay on Monday depends on the flow of the game. Syndergaard can flip through the lineup once, face Jose Altuve and Jeremy Pena, then leave before seeing Yordan Alvarez a second time. Alternatively, he may be able to walk Alvarez and face Alex Bregman a second time before leaving. It offers drastic right/left divisions; you don’t want Syndergaard facing Kyle Tucker or Alvarez once, let alone twice.
Lance McCullers Jr. should give the Astros a lot more confidence.
Before his ALDS started, I noticed McCullers getting more confident in his slider as he posted a 3.08 xFIP over five starts in September. He then used the slider 52% of the time against the sailors — a career high — and 36% against Yankees (compared to 14% curveballs).
I remember very well when he pitched 24 consecutive curve balls to beat the Yankees in the 2017 ALCS. McCullers only started throwing his slider last season, but it’s already become his most dominant pitch and clearly a favorite weapon on the knuckle curve:
While McCullers has shown reverse splits throughout his career, this is primarily due to his substantial curveball usage, which has now been reduced.
If McCullers saves the curve for lefties and maintains increased use of the slider against righties, he’s likely found his optimal pitch combination and could be in the hunt for a Cy Young if he can stay healthy for an entire season.
I think the betting market is undervaluing McCullers, if anything. It has a high floor with a large top. Syndergaard has moderate upside with a “lose the game in the first inning” type floor.
Alignments and Defense
Here are my projected lineups for Game 3, along with their 2022 splits and defensive runs saved per 9 innings:
The Astros continue to look for production out of their DH/left field spot and will continue to look for a hot hand between Trey Mancini and Aledmys Diaz (with Alvarez operating as a DH or left fielder, depending on the counterpart).
Diaz is a much better hitter against lefties than righties, while Mancini has neutral splits for his career. In theory, Mancini should play against righties and Diaz against lefties; but Mancini’s tenure in Houston has been a major disappointment (.622 OPS in 51 regular season games; 0-for-16, 1 BB in playoffs).
With the Phillies expected to mix and match pitchers throughout this contest, picking the Astros hitters from a prop perspective is a challenge.
Martin Maldonado (in addition to the usual suspects Altuve and Alvarez) stands out against Syndergaard’s pen. Still, I can’t recommend betting on Maldonado’s accessories. He may only face the starting pitcher once, and the Astros pinch hit for him when they fall behind.
On the Phillies side, both Rhys Hoskins and Kyle Schwarber have handled pens and sliders well this season; and each will face McCullers twice, if not potentially a third time, at the top of the Phillies’ lineup. Unfortunately, neither hitter handles the curve well, but that’s less of a concern for the right-handed Hoskins.
The Astros bullpen is better when everyone is fully rested (3.02 vs. 3.45 Model Weighted ERA for Game 3).
Astros reliever Rafael Montero (33 pitches in Game 2) and shortstop Ryan Pressly are the only two arms on either team to pitch twice in this series.
The Phillies didn’t use their key arms (Jose Alvarado, Seranthony Dominguez, Zach Eflin, David Robertson) in Game 2 after all four pitched in Game 1.
After Sunday’s day off, with a shaky starter on the hill for a pivotal Game 3, the Phillies will be ready to deploy their best relief pitchers as soon as Syndergaard gives up.
To me, the most vital relievers in this series are the reverse righties (Hunter Brown, Hector Neris, Pressly for Houston; Robertson for Philadelphia) who are getting the toughest assignments (Schwarber, Bryce Harper, Alvarez, Tucker) of the other side
It’s a good reminder that the Astros don’t have a single left-hander in their pen, while the Phillies can give more looks to Astros hitters. Perhaps this variety can bridge the talent gap to a small degree.
Place and referee
Citizens Bank Park is a hitter’s park and plays about six percent above the MLB average scoring environment.
The light wind blowing should be neutralized by the moderate fall temperatures on Monday. Still, the park should be operating in its common effects for its first World Series game since 2009.
The plate umpire for Game 3 is crew chief Dan Iassogna, who owns a reasonably neutral 51.3% record under his belt dating back to 2005 (267-253).
From 2010-2015 Iassogna games dropped to 61.1% (116-74), good for a $3,520 profit for a consistent $100 bettor (17.8% ROI) while covering about a quarter of a run per game, on average.
In 2016, the trend reversed; Iassogna’s matches are over about him total at a rate of 55.5% (96-77) since then, with a significant margin of 0.92 runs per game. Most of those losses have come in the last two seasons (40-25, 1.27 margin).
While I’m not sure if Iassogna changed his strike zone at any point in the last two to five years, relative to earlier in his career, it likely affected the outcome regardless.
For UmpScorecardsIassogna ranked 75th out of 85 plate umpires this season (min. 15 games) in call accuracy.
I’ll take the more money robo refs for game 3.
Projection and Pick
I projected the Astros as 57.2% (-134 implied) favorites through the first five innings (F5) on Monday and as 55% (-122 implied) favorites for Game 3.
There is value in the first half of the Astros money linebut I doubt the full game moneyline will come within range on either side.
You can play Houston’s F5 moneyline, plus his first three innings (F3), up to -125 (55.6% implied). A bit beyond my usual two percent recommendation, but these are my favorite Game 3 bets.
The F3 game maximizes your opportunity to take a stand against Syndergaard; he could be out of the game in the fourth inning, whether he pitches well.
My full game total (projected 7.96) is in line with the market. you can look bet a live Under 9 or 9.5 if it comes earlygiven the pair of rested bullpens and Philadelphia’s apparent plan.
I need the market to go down a bit to bet F5 Over 4 (projected 4.38) at -112 or better
Bets for October 31
- Houston Astros F3 (-125, 0.5u at BetMGM), bet for -125
- Houston Astros F5 (-125, 1u at BetMGM), bet for -125
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