HOUSTON -- Happy World Series, all!
It's the best time of the year and we'll be right back in the same place we were the last time a full house was allowed in the World Series. It's Minute Maid Park, where somehow the Astros went 0-4 in the 2019 World Series. They'll look to reverse their fortunes in Game 1.
As has been and will continue to be the case, I'm doing the game picks over on SportsLine. I've gone 19-9-1 thus far in the playoffs -- and that was after an 0-1-1 (moneyline and over/under pick) start in the AL Wild Card Game -- so hop on over there and subscribe.
In this space, we'll focus on props, the over/under and other fun.
All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
Under 8.5, -115
We've been riding the overs pretty hard, but for Game 1, both pitching staffs are as well rested as they can get at this point in the playoffs. I think there's a good chance we see a duel here.
Charlie Morton was better on the road than at home this season. This ballpark is plenty familiar to him, too, having made 38 career regular-season starts there in addition to his postseason work for the Astros. He's also coming in with plenty of World Series experience, having pitched for both the Astros and Rays in the Fall Classic. He didn't have his good stuff last time out but still only surrendered two runs in five innings. After a good six innings, the Braves can then lean on their trio of stud lefty relievers (A.J. Minter, Tyler Matzek and Will Smith).
On the other side, Framber Valdez is coming off the single best start in the entire postseason. He's had five full days of rest and the Astros also have shutdown arms (Ryne Stanek, Kendall Graveman and Ryan Pressly) lined up for the late innings.
The offenses are too good to be totally held down, but we have enough breathing room for something like a 3-2 game. Make it so!
Charlie Morton over 4.5 strikeouts
I feel comfortable with Morton going around six innings. In the regular season, he went at least six innings 20 times and struck out at least five hitters in 19 of those. He went at least five innings 29 times and failed to hit five strikeouts just twice. He's struck out nine, five and five, respectively, in his three postseason starts this year.
The Astros are one of the toughest teams in baseball to strike out and that's probably why we get such a good number here.
Bonus: Eddie Rosario home run, +350
I have absolutely nothing statistical to back this up, other than how hot he's been. Rosario went 13 for 21 with a double, a triple and three homers in the last five NLCS games. He's left-handed and facing a lefty, so it might have to come late in the game off of a reliever. That's fine, though, we're going with Eddie.
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