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Zack Wheeler
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Odds and Ends

MLB Best Bets for November 5

by Kenny Ducey
Updated On: November 5, 2022, 1:36 pm ET

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The Houston Astros have not only taken back home field advantage in the World Series, they've taken complete control. Up 3-2 heading to Houston, just one more win is required to take home a second title and solidify a dynasty. Here's how I'm betting Game 6.

Philadelphia Phillies (+130) vs. Houston Astros (-150) Total: 7

Can we trust Zack Wheeler? That's the question we must ask ourselves. The man was one of the best pitchers in the National League for most of the regular season, posting a 2.82 ERA with a 3.10 xERA. He was once again elite in the strikeout department, sitting down 26.9% of all batters he faced.

Things were going pretty swimmingly in the postseason as well. He surrendered three earned runs and was charged with the loss in Game 3 of the NLDS, but he carried a 1.78 ERA this postseason into the World Series. In Game 2, he gave up five runs (four earned) on six hits in three walks and has now served up a homer in back-to-back outings.  

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The walks were easily the worst part of his outing, and given his extremely low 5.6% walk rate this year and his career mark of 6.5%, it's easy to write that off as an outlier. Houston was hardly elite in the walk department during the regular season as well, posting an 8.7% walk rate.

Had he cut down on walks, that start looks much different. I'm very cognizant of the fact that the Astros have some talented hitters in this lineup, but we've yet to see Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez make a large impact on this series and Alex Bregman has had just a couple of highlights.

I have faith Wheeler can turn things around against a team with a meek .693 OPS this postseason, and on the other side I think the team with the .706 OPS can wake back up against Framber Valdez. Not only does Valdez have a bad history in the World Series (aside from his start earlier in this series), he's also a lefty. The Phillies ranked sixth in wRC+ to left-handed pitching during the regular season.

Philly was also top-eight in run value against curveballs and really should do better this time around given its strengths. I don't know if the Phillies win the series, but they should win this game.

Edge: Phillies +130

Kenny Ducey

Kenny Ducey is a former member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, writing and editing for Sports Illustrated and Baseball Prospectus. His work also appears at DraftKings and The Action Network. Follow him on Twitter @KennyDucey.