The Phillies have taken control of the World Series after a decisive Game 3 win in Philly, and now they're just two games away from lifting the trophy. Let's get into how to bet on Game 4.
Houston Astros (-105) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-115) Total: 7.5
I don't really know what to do here. My plan entering the series was to bet the Phillies in every game except for the Cristian Javier start, but things have changed. Not only did McCullers start Game 3 and not Javier, but now we get Aaron Nola opposite Javier, which is arguably the best bullet each team can use.
While I'd love to be all over Javier, I do think Nola neutralizes him a bit. While the Phillies ace has had back-to-back poor starts, he did complete 12 2/3 scoreless in two starts prior to those games. He was also level with Javier in terms of his numbers from the regular season, shoving with a 29.1% strikeout rate, 2.74 xERA and a low 31.6% hard-hit rate. He found himself inside the league's top 15% in all three metrics, and he was in the top 1% of all pitchers with a low 3.6% walk rate.
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The Astros are hitting just .218 in this series with three homers. They're struggling to get runners on base, and now have to face a righty with an excellent strikeout-to-walk ratio who doesn't give up hard contact and who has a bullpen behind him which hasn't allowed a run all series. This is going to be tricky for Houston.
Javier did have plenty of success against the Yankees last round, but just about anyone could have done what he did. I do like that his postseason ERA sits at 2.70 after a strong season, but he's allowed three walks in 6 2/3 innings during October with a home run against him as well. It hasn't been squeaky clean.
I would lean Phillies here, but I think the under is the better play. Javier's 2.09 ERA when he starts with six or more days of rest should really scare you if you're a Phillies fan, but on the other hand Astros fans can't feel good about the way Houston's at-bats are going. Now, that team has to face Nola.
I think this total is a little too high for me.
Edge: Under 7.5, Phillies -115