World Series Game 1 Odds And Updated Series Price
Talk about baptism by fire. Both starting pitchers in Game 3 of the 2021 World Series are rookies. Luis Garcia is on the mound for Houston, and Ian Anderson starts for the Braves in Atlanta.
Rookie Pitching Duel
The last time two rookies started the same World Series game was the opener of the 2006 Fall Classic, when the Cardinals’ Anthony Reyes earned the win on the road against the Tigers and Justin Verlander. I expect Game 3 of the 2021 Series also to go to the visiting club.
Garcia was brilliant in his last start against the Red Sox in the AL Championship Series. He has tremendous confidence and also something else on his side: the Braves lineup has never faced him. To butcher an old phrase, “unfamiliarity breeds contempt” — Garcia will show contempt for the Atlanta lineup.
Anderson is also an unknown factor, having never faced the Astros. He’s been solid in the postseason, but he’s not shown the durability to get into the middle innings. He’s also never pitched against a lineup as potent as the Houston bunch.
No DH, No Problem?
Now that the series has moved to the home of the National League champion, the designated hitter will be shelved for the next three games. That means we get to see pitchers hit. WOOPITY DOO!
The NL and a league somewhere in North Korea are the only major professional baseball leagues on the planet that haven’t adopted the DH. It’s silly, especially in the middle of the most important event of the season, when we have specialists doing something they hardly ever focus on, and are terrible at. It would be like making goalies take slap shots in the Stanley Cup Final.
The Astros’ regular DH is Yordan Álvarez, a wonderful young hitter who last week was named MVP of the ALCS after he hit .522 with 12 hits in six games, four of them for extra bases. Álvarez has a pair of hits in the Fall Classic already, so the ‘Stros can’t keep his bat out of the lineup. That’s why he will be playing left field in Atlanta, a position he saw action at in 41 games in the regular season.
But the move forces Houston manager and toothpick aficionado Dusty Baker to shuffle his entire outfield. Regular left fielder Michael Brantley moves to right, and right fielder Kyle Tucker shifts to center. But here’s the rub: Tucker has played a grand total of two full games at the position in his MLB career.
Will The Great Houston Outfield Shuffle of ’21 make a difference? Will one of the three outfielders, all of them out of position, make a gaffe that costs the Astros?
Probably not. But it’s something to keep an eye on. If something strange happens out there in Atlanta, you can be sure it will lead to a lot of controversial talk from the experts.
Order or Chaos on the Mound
Game 3 is pivotal for a few reasons. First, the winner of Game 3 wins the World Series more than 70 percent of the time. It is also the last time the Braves will have a solid starter on the hill before what will probably be two bullpen games in Games 4 and 5. With Charlie Morton done after suffering a broken leg, the Braves will need to make some tough choices for starters in the next two games.
The Astros will have to pull a fourth starter from somewhere (Zack Greinke?), but then they can come back Sunday with Game 1 starter Framber Valdez, who gave up five runs in only two innings last time on the mound. While Valdez was terrible in the first game, he is a much more stable option than what the Braves have to patch together for the Saturday and Sunday games.
Interesting Prop Bets for Game Three
- Eddie Rosario, who was MVP of the NLCS, will probably be leading off for at least one of the games in Atlanta. He’s +1100 with FanDuel to hit the first HR of the game, whether it’s a leadoff homer or not.
- How good and hot is Michael Brantley? FanDuel has the Houston outfielder at -340 to record a hit in Game 3.
- FanDuel also has some fun Player Performance Doubles bets, such as Luis Garcia to strike out six batters and the Astros to win the game for +360.
- Adam Duvall crushed a homer in Game 1. He’s a streaky HR hitter. FanDuel offers sports bettors +3400 on Duvall hitting two homers in Game 3.