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World Series props odds, predictions: Bet on Harper to collect most hits

Phillies’ superstar should continue his torrid hitting in Fall Classic

Philadelphia Phillies designated hitter Bryce Harper (left) congratulates teammate Kyle Schwarber (right) after Schwarber hit a home run against the Houston Astros on Oct. 3 in Houston. The Phillies and Astros face off in the 2022 World Series, which begins Friday. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Phillies designated hitter Bryce Harper (left) congratulates teammate Kyle Schwarber (right) after Schwarber hit a home run against the Houston Astros on Oct. 3 in Houston. The Phillies and Astros face off in the 2022 World Series, which begins Friday. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)Read moreLogan Riely / Getty Images

It’s a refrain baseball bettors have been uttering from coast to coast all week: Start the World Series already!

Unfortunately, nobody in commissioner Rob Manfred’s inner circle has taught him the phrase “flexible schedule”. So bettors have to wait another 48-plus hours before the Phillies and Astros finally get it on Friday in Game 1 at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

How best to pass the time? By studying World Series prop numbers and odds, of course. From player to hit the most home runs, to the exact number of games played, here are our four favorite Phillies vs. Astros prop bets for the best-of-7 Fall Classic.

Note: Odds updated as of 10 a.m. ET on Oct. 26.

World Series prop: Player to hit the most home runs

The favorites: Yordan Alvarez (+370), Kyle Schwarber (+370), Bryce Harper (+430), Rhys Hoskins (+650), Kyle Tucker (+1000), Alex Bregman (+1100)

The prediction: Tucker (+1000 at FanDuel)

Tough call here. The Phillies’ Schwarber (46) and the Astros’ Alvarez (37) ranked second and sixth, respectively, in this year’s home run race. Then you’ve got Harper and Hoskins, who are tied for the postseason home run lead with five.

But our money is on a guy who has just one playoff homer in 28 at-bats — and just two in his last 18 games: Tucker.

Houston’s lefthanded-hitting right fielder has hit 30 bombs each of the last two seasons. And while he clearly hasn’t had his power stroke lately, Tucker did belt his final regular season homer off Phillies southpaw starter Ranger Suarez back on Oct. 4 in Houston.

Among the boppers on both teams, Tucker ranked behind only Schwarber, Alvarez and Hoskins in total home runs. And his 4.9% home run rate matched that of Hoskins. (Schwarber and Alvarez were at 6.8% and 6.5%, respectively.)

Getting double-digit odds with a contact hitter who is due to clear the fences is solid value.

» READ MORE: ‘An extra bonus for having the faith’: Phillies World Series bettors have a decision: Let it ride or cash it out?

World Series prop: Player to record the most hits

The favorites: Jose Altuve (+460), Alex Bregman (+600), Bryce Harper (+700), Jeremy Peña (+750), Kyle Tucker (+900), Yuli Gurriel (+1000), J.T. Realmuto (+1000)

The prediction: Harper (+700 at FanDuel)

How do you pass on the scalding-hot Harper at this price? The Phillies’ bell cow and reigning NL MVP has 18 hits in 11 postseason games, which is five more than his closest pursuer (the Padres’ Manny Machado).

Harper played in two of the Phillies’ three games in Houston to close the regular season and went 1-for-4 in each. But he’s absolutely locked in at the dish right now and enters the World Series with a 10-game postseason hitting streak, including multiple hits in seven contests.

There is concern that Houston’s pitchers won’t give Harper much to hit in this series. But with so much power surrounding Harper in the Phillies’ lineup, those pitchers can’t be too careful or they’ll risk seeing crooked numbers posted on the scoreboard.

» READ MORE: World Series odds, prediction: Astros will end Phillies’ dream season

World Series prop: Player to record most total bases

The favorites: Yordan Alvarez (+300), Kyle Schwarber (+400), Bryce Harper (+430), Jose Altuve (+650), Jeremy Peña (+1000), Rhys Hoskins (+1100)

The prediction: Peña (+1000 at FanDuel)

How do you pass up Harper … wait, we already said that, didn’t we? Seriously, though: The Phillies’ superstar has 39 total bases in the postseason — 11 more than Machado, who is second.

That said, we’re backing Peña. The Astros’ precocious rookie shortstop has four singles, three doubles and three homers in the postseason. Those 22 total bases put him fifth overall and third among hitters whose seasons are still alive, behind Harper and Hoskins (24).

Peña hit just .253 in the regular season, but he was a 20-20 player (20 doubles, 22 homers). One of those homers came against the Phillies on Oct. 4 (among five total bases that night).

Another reason to like Peña (besides his juicy +1000 odds)? He bats second in Houston’s order, right in front of Alvarez — a beast of a hitter who is likely giving Phillies pitchers pre-World Series nightmares. And behind Alvarez in the lineup are three more difficult outs in Bregman, Tucker and Gurriel.

So it’s going to be a pick-your-poison situation for Philadelphia’s hurlers. We’re betting they pick Peña — and that the 25-year-old makes them pay more often than not.

World Series prop: Total number of games played

The odds: 4 games (+525), 5 games (+260), 6 games (+210), 7 games (+230)

The prediction: 6 games (+210 at Caesars Sportsbook)

Houston and Philadelphia enter the World Series with a combined 15-2 record. The Astros swept both the Mariners (three straight) and Yankees (four straight), while the Phillies didn’t have to go the distance in any of their series. Philadelphia went 2-for-2 against St. Louis, 3-for-4 against Atlanta and 4-for-5 against San Diego.

This best-of-7 showdown, however, should be different. Both squads are obviously riding a ton of momentum; both have stacked lineups; and both have a pair of top-flight aces on the mound. That all adds up to a lengthy back-and-forth battle.

While we wouldn’t be shocked to see this thing go the distance, the smart bet is on a six-game series. If you agree and you happen to have a strong opinion on which side will win it in six, take note: At Caesars Sportsbook, Houston is +375 to win the series 4-2; the Phillies are +600 to win it 4-2.

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

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