The Astros are priced as the slight favorites around the sports betting market to win Game 6 and send the 2021 World Series to a decisive seventh game. Tuesday morning, while FanDuel is dealing Houston -127 behind Luis Garcia, BetMGM has a more attractive -120 on the home chalk. The Braves and Max Fried can be had for +115 odds at Caesars.
Atlanta remains a heavy favorite on the series price, listed at -220 at DraftKings, with the Astros offered at +190 to win the next two games and claim the title.
Braves Pitching: ‘Fried’ Orange Tomatoes?
On one hand, Max Fried was a bona fide ace this season, but on the other, he was lit up by the Astros in his Game 2 start in this series. Fried was one of only two pitchers to throw two shutouts this season. The lefty has great stuff and has proven he can pitch deep into games. But the Astros have seen him once, and they treated him like a piñata, smacking him until runs spilled out.
The Astros put up nine runs in Game 5, the 11th time this postseason their offense scored at least five runs. That’s a record. They seem to feed off each other, and with manager Dusty Baker shifting his lineup — and that shakeup seeming to wake up Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa — the quote that comes to mind is: “Katy, bar the door.”
Fried has a chance to write his name into Braves history by pitching his team to a title on Tuesday night. But if the Astros pummeled him the first time they saw his pitches, what makes us think it will change the second time?
Astros Pitching: Prayers and the Bullpen?
The Astros’ three-game trip to Atlanta didn’t go as planned. The Houston bullpen was well-rested as they headed into Game 3 on Friday and much less weary than Atlanta’s relief corps. But the Astros lost two of three and had to nearly empty the cartridge on Sunday in Game 5, using five relievers for a combined 6 1/3 innings.
A win was their reward, but the cost is a taxed bullpen, even with one day off for travel leading into Game 6. Baker didn’t have to use closer Ryan Pressly, but he’s a late-game weapon to slam the door. Still, the Astros will most likely have nine or 10 pitchers available for Game 6. Let’s face it, time is running out on the season. Rest? You can rest in the off-season.
Baker hands the ball to Luis Garcia to start Game 6 at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night. Garcia will be throwing on three days rest. Jose Urquidy, who pitched an inning out of the pen Sunday, might be Baker’s option for a Game 7, unless veteran Zack Greinke comes back on short rest.
The bullpen usage in Game 6 figures to be critical. It’s championship time, and pitchers are going to let it all hang out. Adrenaline is your friend, and members of the relief unit can pitch multiple innings if needed both Tuesday and in a possible Wednesday game…
World Series Game 6 Notes
- If Freddie Freeman and the Braves fail to finish off the Astros in Houston, it may be a sad end to his tenure with the team that drafted him in 2007. Freeman ranks as one of the best first basemen in team history and is beloved by his teammates and fans. The Braves will be forced to ante up to sign the free agent this off-season. The Red Sox and Yankees (yes, really) are expected to go after him, and don’t be surprised if the Padres take a look, too.
- Confidence can be an intoxicating elixir. Alex Bregman had a double and an RBI in the Game 5 victory after Baker moved him down to the seventh spot. Going back home where he will feel love from the Houston fans may be just what Bregman needs to have a big game with the stick.
- Twice in Sunday’s game, shortstop Carlos Correa made defensive plays that illustrated why he is an elite shortstop. In one, he fielded a grounder, spun on the move, and short-armed a rocket throw to first. Even though Fox Sports play-by-play man Joe Buck praised him, that play deserved more accolades. It was a play maybe only one or two shortstops in the game could have made. Wherever Correa ends up playing in the future, his team is going to be lucky to have him in the middle of the diamond.
- That was a Marwin Gonzalez sighting in Game 5. The super-sub got a pinch-hit and drove in two runs. It was reminiscent of his clutch hitting in 2017 when he had a pair of hits in the Astros’ Game 7 victory over the Dodgers in the Fall Classic.