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Astros vs. Phillies Game 3 odds, predictions: Fade Suarez, Philly in pivotal World Series contest

Phillies’ southpaw is a bad matchup against Houston lineup that feasts on left-handed pitching

Philadelphia Phillies lefty Ranger Suarez is scheduled to start Game 3 of the World Series against the Houston Astros on Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park. Suarez gave up six runs in three innings in a start against the Astros on Oct. 4. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Phillies lefty Ranger Suarez is scheduled to start Game 3 of the World Series against the Houston Astros on Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park. Suarez gave up six runs in three innings in a start against the Astros on Oct. 4. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Read moreSean M. Haffey / Getty Images

Citizens Bank Park was set to host a World Series game Monday for the first time since 2009. However, Mother Nature had other ideas.

With a steady rainstorm hovering over the ballpark all evening, Major League Baseball postponed Game 3 between the Phillies and Astros until Tuesday.

The good news: Clear skies — along with unseasonably warm temperatures — are forecast for the remainder of the week, so it should be smooth sailing for the middle games of the best-of-7 series, which is tied 1-1.

How does Monday’s postponement affect our wagering approach for Game 3 — especially now that Philadelphia is switching starting pitchers? Here’s how we’re attacking the updated Astros vs. Phillies World Series Game 3 odds.

Note: Odds updated as of 2 a.m. ET on Nov. 1.

Astros vs. Phillies Prediction

  1. Astros -120 (at Caesars Sportsbook)

Astros vs. Phillies Prediction: Analysis

Following Monday’s rainout, Philadelphia manager Rob Thomson opted to call an audible on the mound. Rather than right-hander Noah Syndergaard — who was the Phillies’ original scheduled starter for Game 3 — Thomson will hand the ball to lefty Ranger Suarez.

The move makes sense for a few reasons: Suarez has been the team’s No. 3 starter in the postseason, while Syndergaard has been a spot starter for weeks and was slated to be used as an “opener” had Monday’s game gone off as planned.

» READ MORE: Depleted Phillies pitching gets a gift from the heavens with World Series rainout

Also, Suarez has been money in four playoff appearances. In two starts against the Braves and Padres, the southpaw allowed three runs (two earned) and five hits in 8 1/3 innings. He also closed out the National League Championship Series, getting two outs on two pitches, then worked two-thirds of an inning in Game 1 of the World Series on Friday, allowing one hit.

So why back the Astros in Game 3? Because the 11 pitches Suarez threw in Houston in Game 1 don’t erase the 67 he threw in Houston back on Oct. 4. In that latter outing, the Astros blasted Suarez for six runs — including five in the first inning before making a single out.

Among the seven hits Suarez surrendered: a three-run home run to Houston right-fielder Kyle Tucker and a two-run bomb to shortstop Jeremy Peña in that five-run first. He then gave up a solo homer to light-hitting catcher Martin Maldonado in the second inning.

Now, you could argue that Suarez deserves a pass for that poor outing, what with the Phillies having clinched their first postseason berth in 11 years less than 24 hours before he took the mound. Maybe. But this you can’t argue: The Astros have been pummeling left-handed pitching lately.

Going back to the regular-season finale against Philadelphia on Oct. 5, the Astros are batting .339 against southpaws compared with .223 against right-handers. Albeit a much narrower gap, that falls in line with Houston’s splits in the regular season: .259 against lefties, .238 against righties.

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

Another thing you can’t argue is the Astros have one of the deepest, most patient lineups in baseball — a perfect match for a guy who has periodic control issues. Suarez has issued 18 free passes in his last 10 starts spanning 49 innings.

Will he pitch as poorly as he did nearly a month ago? Highly doubtful. But it’s still a bad matchup for him, and you don’t make money betting baseball when backing a team whose starting pitcher has a disadvantage.

On the other hand, Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. pitched very well against Philadelphia the day before Suarez imploded in Houston. The right-hander was saddled with a 3-0 loss, but he allowed just one run and seven baserunners in six innings.

Including that outing, McCullers has allowed two runs or fewer in eight of his 10 starts since finally joining Houston’s rotation in mid-August. It’s also worth noting that the Astros’ only loss in McCullers’ last seven trips to the mound was that 3-0 defeat to the Phillies.

» READ MORE: Astros won’t move up Justin Verlander the way the Phillies did with Aaron Nola

Houston’s offense — which is finally starting to get contributions from leadoff hitter and former MVP Jose Altuve (four hits in his last five at bats) — has put up 22 runs in the last four games, scoring five or six in each contest.

If the Astros put up five-plus runs again Tuesday, they’re likely taking a 2-1 World Series lead. The reasons: McCullers hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs all season, and Houston’s relievers have collectively made only one mistake — J.T. Realmuto’s game-winning homer in the 10th inning of Game 1 — in 7 2/3 innings in the series.

Lay the short price with McCullers and the Astros in Game 3 at Caesars Sportsbook.

Astros vs. Phillies Odds (via Caesars Sportsbook):

  1. Moneyline: Astros (-120) @ Phillies (+100)

  2. Run line: Astros -1.5 runs (+140) @ Phillies +1.5 runs (-165)

  3. Total: 7.5 (Over -120/Under +100)

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

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