Houston Astros (103-72) vs. Atlanta Braves (97-76)
October 31, 2021 8:15 pm EDT
The Line: Atlanta Braves +103 / Houston Astros -111 ; Over/Under: 8.5
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The Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros meet Sunday in MLB World Series Game 5 action from SunTrust Park. Atlanta and Houston split the first two games of this best-of-seven set, then on Friday the Braves took a shutout win to retake the edge. In the Saturday game, Atlanta kept it going with a one-run comeback victory. Check back all season long for free MLB picks at Sports Chat Place.
Atlanta managed a nice 6-2 victory in the Tuesday opener of the World Series, but then lost 7-2 Wednesday. The Braves bounced back nicely with a 2-0 win Friday to go up 2-1. In the Saturday Game 4, Atlanta trailed 2-0 until the bottom of the sixth in an eventual 3-2 comeback victory. Kyle Wright managed one earned on three walks and five hits in 4.2 innings.
The Braves will send out Tucker Davidson for the Game 5 starting role. Davidson hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since June 15, when he gave up five earned on five hits and two homers in just 2.1 innings.
Over on the Houston side, they couldn’t find much offense at all in Game 3 on Friday, notching just two hits in the shutout defeat. On Saturday, the Astros gave up back-to-back homers in the seventh during the loss. Starter Zack Greinke put up 4.0 frames with no earned, four hits, no walks and three Ks.
For the starting pitcher gig in Game 5, the Astros will go with Framber Valdez. This postseason Valdez has a 1-1 record across four starts, a 6.35 ERA and 15 Ks in 17.0 innings of work.
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The Astros are 18-5 in their last 23 games with a total of 9.0-10.5 and 11-5 in their last 16 playoff road games. Houston is 13-6 in their last 19 playoff games as an underdog as well.
Meanwhile, the Braves are 17-5 in their last 22 games with a total of 7.0-8.5 and 16-5 in their last 21 versus a team with a winning record. Atlanta is 38-13 in their last 51 games as a favorite and 45-22 in their last 67 overall.
PICK: I’m going to take a stab on the Braves closing it out. Atlanta needs to start plating some early runs in this one, though. Their pitching lineup will be a question mark heading in. As for Valdez, he’s coming off an ugly outing on October 26 with five earned runs on eight hits, one walk and two homers. Valdez did put up a good appearance at Fenway in the Red Sox series but he’s been spotty this postseason. If the Braves can chase him early they’ll have some extra cushion down the stretch. It’s also going to be interesting to see what Davidson does in the opener slot. Should be a fun game to watch.