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World Series Game 4

Houston Astros at Washington Nationals Over/Under: 8.5

First pitch: 5:07 p.m. PT


Probable pitchers: Jose Urquidy (2-1, 3.95 ERA) vs. Patrick Corbin (14-7, 3.25 ERA)

Despite an offensive outburst that was actually comparable to the first two games in Houston, Game 3 produced the first under in this year’s World Series. But let it be emphasized that had nothing to do with a shortage of hitting.

Two completely different starters will be taking the hill tonight, however. Will that subdue the offenses?  I don’t think so. First off, we have the Astros implementing Urquidy for the start of their bullpen game strategy — though the rookie right-hander will have the ability to go longer than the usual “opener,” being a starting pitcher by trade, if he’s rolling.

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Even so, I’m not sure Urquidy can consistently hold down what has been a feisty Nats offense this postseason. Prior to last night’s defeat, they were churning out 5.17 runs per game in the playoffs. Fluky hitting (0-for-10) with runners in scoring position in the previous affair is the only reason they didn’t strike for a crooked number.

And so long as Urquidy doesn’t go too deep, that means the Nationals will dig into that Astros bullpen, a unit that has been meh in October up to this point. Over 44.2 innings logged, they’ve composed a 4.23 ERA, as opposing hitters have collectively managed a .756 OPS.

Also consider that five relievers had to be used after Game 3 starter Zack Greinke failed to make it out of the fifth inning (as alluded to in my article yesterday). It’s a tired group and one that could be ripe for a handful of runs.

On the other side, Washington will be hosting with a regular starter, and someone who is actually capable of being a No. 1 in the rotation for plenty of teams. That’s obviously Corbin, who was notably better at Nationals Park this year than on the road during his first campaign with the club.

But this will be as tough a home assignment as could be for the eighth-year southpaw. As it is, the Astros boast one of the more dangerous batting orders in recent memory. Don’t forget, Houston carved out the highest team batting average (.274) and OPS (.848) in all of baseball this season. Additionally, they had the second-best team OPS (.868) against left-handers as well.

Well, while they only managed four runs in their first win of the series, that’s still a huge confidence-booster after dropping the two games at Minute Maid Park. Plus, they did crank out 11 hits, and when you have this potent Astros lineup at ease and seemingly back on the upswing, it only makes it a lot more challenging for the opposing starter. Play: OVER 8.5 (-120)

Yesterday’s Result: Astros-Nationals Over 8 (“loss”)

2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*

Regular Season: 89-78-12, +1.05 units

Playoffs: 13-7-1, +2.5 units

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit (playoffs 0.5 unit)

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