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Astros vs. Phillies Game 5 odds, predictions: Back Houston behind Verlander

Bet on Astros’ ace to bounce back from poor Game 1 outing and earn his first World Series win

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander delivers a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 1 of the 2022 World Series. Verlander takes the mound in Game 5 on Thursday at Citizens Bank Park with an 0-6 record in eight World Series starts. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander delivers a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 1 of the 2022 World Series. Verlander takes the mound in Game 5 on Thursday at Citizens Bank Park with an 0-6 record in eight World Series starts. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)Read moreCarmen Mandato / Getty Images

Through four games, the 2022 World Series already has been one for the history books:

First team in 20 years to rally from a five-run deficit and win (Phillies in Game 1); second team to ever club five home runs in a single contest (Phillies in Game 3); and second team ever — and first in nearly 70 years — to hurl a no-hitter (Astros in Game 4).

And through it all, we … haven’t been able to nail a World Series prediction to save our lives.

Wednesday’s Game 4 pick of Under 3.5 runs in the first five innings was sailing right along until it wasn’t: In the top of the fifth, Houston busted open a scoreless game by plating the only five runs of the night.

Buoyed by the old adage “You can’t lose ‘em all,” we’re back at it again with another World Series prediction. After examining Astros vs. Phillies Game 5 odds, here’s how we’re betting Thursday’s finale at Citizens Bank Park.

Note: Odds updated as of 12:15 p.m. ET on Nov. 3.

Astros vs. Phillies Game 5 Prediction

  1. Astros -1.5 runs (at Caesars Sportsbook)

Astros vs. Phillies Game 5 Prediction: Analysis

This might seem like a surprising World Series Game 5 prediction for a number of reasons.

For one thing, the Phillies and Astros have alternated wins so far in this back-and-forth series. Also, despite Wednesday’s proceedings, the Phillies are still 10-4 this postseason, 6-1 at Citizens Bank and haven’t once lost consecutive games.

But as Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver once famously said, momentum in baseball is the next day’s starting pitcher. And the Astros — already bursting with momentum after that 5-0 no-hit victory Wednesday — have a decided edge on the mound Thursday.

» READ MORE: Two wins away, two losses away. This Phillies-Astros World Series is now a best-of-three.

Yes, Justin Verlander is 0-6 in eight career World Series starts (and his teams are 1-7). And yes, he’s looked mortal in three starts this postseason, with one lights-out outing (one run allowed in 6 innings vs. the Yankees) sandwiched between two stinkers (11 runs allowed in nine innings in a pair of Game 1s against Seattle and Philadelphia).

So why trust Verlander on Thursday? Because the presumptive 2022 American League Cy Young winner rarely has had back-to-back poor performances all season.

We already mentioned the dominating start against the Yankees, which came after a six-run debacle in Game 1 of the AL Division Series against the Mariners (a game Houston rallied to win). But that’s just the latest example.

Verlander has allowed three earned runs or more eight times this season (including Game 1 of the World Series). In the previous seven instances, he’s bounced back and surrendered a total of 10 earned runs in 47 innings (1.92 ERA). The right-hander pitched seven innings in five of those outings and six frames in the other two.

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

Most importantly, the Astros went 6-1 in those seven bounce-back contests. In fact, only twice in Verlander’s 31 starts this season has Houston lost consecutive games.

As for why we’re recommending playing the Astros on the run line Thursday, it comes down to several factors:

  1. Since the thrilling Game 1, this World Series has featured three straight blowouts, all decided by three runs or more.

  2. All four of Philadelphia’s defeats this season have been by three-plus runs (3-0 at Atlanta; 8-5 at San Diego; 5-2 at Houston; 5-0 vs. Houston).

  3. The Phillies are handing the ball to spot starter Noah Syndergaard, who has thrown 113 pitches in 8 2/3 innings since Sept. 16.

  4. Of the 22 games that Houston has won in 2022 with Verlander on the mound, 18 have been by more than one run (including 13 of 14 since June 7).

  5. Finally, while this Phillies team has been resilient all season, there’s nothing more demoralizing and deflating than getting no-hit in a World Series in front of your home fans. It’s going to be extremely tough to mentally bounce back from that in less than 24 hours.

So look for Verlander to do what he’s done all season after a bad outing, and look for him to finally end his personal World Series curse. Play the Astros -1.5 runs in Game 5 of the World Series at Caesars Sportsbook.

Astros vs. Phillies Game 5 Odds (via Caesars Sportsbook):

  1. Moneyline: Astros (-160) @ Phillies (+135)

  2. Run line: Astros -1.5 runs (+110) @ Phillies +1.5 runs (-130)

  3. Total: 7.5 runs (Over -105/Under -115)

» READ MORE: Astros’ ‘electric’ Cristian Javier no-hit the Phillies through six, and they could see him again

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.