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Astros vs. Phillies Game 3 odds, predictions: Expect more early scoring in World Series

Bet on both offenses to keep producing quick runs as series shifts to Citizens Bank

Philadelphia Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber takes a swing during Game 2 of the World Series against the Houston Astros. Schwarber and the Phillies head into Game 3 at home having scored 35 runs in five playoff games at Citizens Bank Park. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber takes a swing during Game 2 of the World Series against the Houston Astros. Schwarber and the Phillies head into Game 3 at home having scored 35 runs in five playoff games at Citizens Bank Park. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)Read moreBob Levey / Getty Images

The Philadelphia Phillies have delivered for bettors in each of their five home games this season, including a pair of Game 3 victories as an underdog. The Houston Astros have done the same in each of their three road games, including a pair of Game 3 victories as a favorite.

Something has to give Monday night at Citizens Bank Park, where Philadelphia and Houston resume the best-of-7 World Series after splitting the first two games over the weekend in Texas.

Which team has the edge? The oddsmakers and World Series betting market believe it’s the Astros. They opened as a small favorite following their Game 2 victory Saturday, and the price has since moved more in Houston’s favor.

Do we agree with that opinion? Actually, when it comes to which team will prevail Monday, we don’t have an opinion — at least not a strong one. So we’re taking a different wagering approach for our Astros vs. Phillies Game 3 prediction.

Note: Odds updated as of 5 a.m. ET on Oct. 31.

Astros vs. Phillies Prediction

  1. Over 4 total runs, first 5 innings (at BetMGM)

Astros vs. Phillies Prediction: Analysis

Let’s start by acknowledging our analysis for Game 1 of the World Series — analysis that suggested both offenses would struggle against two stud starting pitchers after a five-day layoff. That presumption was, um, terrible.

Those stud pitchers — Philadelphia’s Aaron Nola and Houston’s Justin Verlander — each gave up five runs in a combined 9 1/3 innings Friday. Then in Game 2, the Astros ambushed Phillies ace Zack Wheeler for three first-inning runs.

Wheeler settled in from there until Alex Bregman took the right-hander deep with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. So he, too, gave up five runs (four earned) in five innings.

» READ MORE: Zack Wheeler didn’t have his stuff in Game 2, but Phillies remain confident in both of their aces

Even though Houston southpaw Framber Valdez more than did his job in Game 2, the fact is three of the top four pitchers in the World Series got lit up. And thanks to Bregman’s blast, both games went Over the first-five inning total.

We envision that trend continuing Monday, especially with the scene shifting to Citizens Bank and with two lesser starting pitchers on the bump.

Speaking to the ballpark factor, analytics show that Citizens Bank was tied for the fifth-best hitter’s park in MLB this season. By comparison, Minute Maid Park in Houston ranked tied for 21st.

Granted, some of that has to do with the talent of both pitching staffs. As a whole, Astros pitchers dominated wherever they were, posting the second-best ERA in MLB (2.85). Philadelphia’s staff ranked in the middle of the pack with a 3.92 team ERA.

» READ MORE: A look at World Series MVP odds after Game 2

Still, the numbers show that Citizens Bank favors hitters, which certainly has been the case in the postseason. There have been 50 combined runs scored in Philadelphia’s five postseason home games. And as you might expect, the Phillies have scored the vast majority of them (35).

Looking at the first five innings of those five contests at Citizens Bank, four have gone Over the total and the fifth (Game 5 of the NLCS) missed by just a single run.

Meanwhile, Houston’s first road game of the playoffs was scoreless through 17 innings. But that game was in Seattle, one of MLB’s premier pitchers’ parks. When the Astros went to Yankee Stadium for the ALCS, though, their bats came alive, tallying 11 runs in two games.

As for the Game 3 starting pitchers — the Astros’ Lance McCullers and Philadelphia’s Noah Syndergaard — both are solid, but they’re a notch below the arms that came before them in Games 1 and 2.

Also, both have been on the shelf for some time. McCullers has pitched just twice since Oct. 3. He dominated the weak-hitting Mariners in that 1-0, 18-inning marathon in Seattle on Oct. 15. But when he faced a capable Yankees lineup in New York eight days ago, he gave up four runs (three earned) on eight hits in five innings.

Syndergaard, who will be used as an “opener” in Game 3, has thrown a total of three innings since Oct. 1. He’ll likely go for no more than a few innings Monday, then be backed up by a bullpen that has already worked nearly a full game (8 2/3 innings) in this series.

Finally, it should be noted that it’s going to be wet in Philly on Monday night, as a steady rain is expected throughout the contest. But with no wind and comfortable temperatures (low 60s), there shouldn’t be any impact on run production, particularly in the early innings when field conditions will be at their best.

So we’re playing the first five innings Over the total at BetMGM.

Astros vs. Phillies Odds (via BetMGM):

  1. Full-game moneyline: Astros (-130) @ Phillies (+110)

  2. Full-game run line: Astros -1.5 (+125) @ Phillies +1.5 (-155)

  3. Full-game Total: 8 (Over -105/Under -115)

  4. First 5 innings moneyline: Astros (-125) @ Phillies (+105)

  5. First 5 innings run line: Astros -0.5 runs (+110) @ Phillies +0.5 runs (-140)

  6. First 5 innings total: 4 (Over -120/Under -105)

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