Well, it rained in the City of Brotherly Love on Monday; enough that MLB officials felt it made no sense to let Game 3 of the World Series going forward. So it’s been put off until Tuesday night, as the teams meet at 8 PM ET at Citizens Bank Park. BetOnline patrons can see the game on Fox Network.
The Phillies like to think they’ve caught a break with the postponement. They had Noah Syndergaard as the scheduled starter, but manager Rob Thompson took the opportunity to make a change. He moved up Ranger Suarez to Game 3, and Syndergaard will now go in Game 5.
Houston manager Dusty Baker sticks with his original intentions, as Lance McCullers Jr. stays in place for this pivotal third game.
The Astros had led both games 5-0, but they’re not up 2-0 in the series because they did not get a Hall of Fame outing from future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander (who we’ll see on Wednesday night), and the bullpen failed them. But Jose Altuve’s bat has come alive after being snuffed out in the two previous series, so that’s good news.
It could also be very good news for the Astros that they will have a southpaw opposing them in this game. This is the kind of situation in which they’ve excelled, and they have already done so against this particular pitcher.
In the World Series odds posted on Game 3, the Astros are the favorites:
Houston Astros (McCullers) -123
Philadelphia Phillies (Suarez) +113
Over 8 Runs -102
Under 8 Runs -118
Phillies +1.5 Runs -160
Astros -1.5 Runs +140
The big challenge for Houston is keeping the ball in the park. Philadelphia has lived off the home run during this postseason, hitting 17 dingers. McCullers, who had a 2.27 ERA this season, gave up 0.9 homers per nine innings. Last season he led the American League in both hits and homers allowed per nine innings. And it should be noted that Houston’s staff as a whole was the toughest in Major League Baseball to hit home runs against.
The Astros had plenty of success “going yard” against Suarez when they faced him this season, giving up six runs in three innings and surrendering three home runs. This probably shouldn’t be a huge surprise, as Houston has been extremely formidable against left-handers this year. They finished second in the majors in OPS against southpaws and had 72 homers, which was tied for the MLB lead. This manifested itself in a 42-12 record against left-handed starters, which was other-worldly.
Don’t have any doubts about Houston’s pitching. It’s deep. It includes flame-throwers who come in for an inning or two, like Ryne Stanek, Bryan Abreu, and Ryan Pressly, but also Rafael Montero (1.02 WHIP ratio), who should be ready to go again after pitching on Saturday night. Starters Jose Urquidy and Luis Garcia are also available for duty – usually of the more lengthy variety. Baker has indicated that Cristian Javier, who had a 0.948 WHIP ratio this season, will not operate off the bullpen but will probably start Game 5.
Because of their matchup advantage against Suarez, and their ability to potentially neutralize what the Phils have been doing best (the homers), we’re taking the Houston side in Game 3, and probably their odds are higher at some of the best MLB betting sites.
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