The Houston Astros counterpunched and won Game 2 of the World Series, defeating the Philadelphia Phillies, 5-2. The series is tied at one win each, and moves east to Philadelphia. Game 3 is set for Tuesday, after being postponed Monday.
Game 3 features Ranger Suarez on the mound for the Phillies and Lance McCullers Jr. for Houston. Suarez gets the assignment after the game was postponed on Monday. BetMGM has the Phils at -160 to win Game 3, and Astros priced at +135.
The Phillies were +2500 to win the World Series before the season began, and as high as +5000 in August. Prior to the playoffs, the Phils were +3000, the longest odds of any team in the postseason field. They are now three wins away from winning the franchise’s first title since 2008.
Houston was priced at +400 to win the Fall Classic entering the postseason. Only the Dodgers had shorter odds. Houston has played in four of the last six World Series, and won the championship in 2017.
Game 3 World Series Odds
After rain postponed Game 3 on Halloween night, Oct. 31, the third game of the World Series will be played on Tuesday. Here are current odds on various sports betting apps.
This Time, Astros Keep Lead, Knot Series
Houston Astros’ Alex Bregman are back to favorite status, per update World Series odds heading into Game 3 (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
This time, five was enough.
The Astros built a five-run lead, just like in Game 1 of this series. The Astros had an ace on the mound handling the Phillies lineup early, just like in Game 1.
But unlike in Game 1, the Astros held the Phillies down and won Game 2, by the score of 5-2. Now this series becomes a best-of-five.
Phillies’ starter Zack Wheeler must have felt like he was in an old-fashioned western movie. The Houston lineup ambushed him: smacking three of his first four pitches for three doubles before most fans were settled in for the bottom of the first inning.
Jose Altuve, Jeremy Pena, and Yordan Alvarez produced the three two-baggers, and for Altuve and Alvarez it sort of served as a big ‘PHEW!’, considering the slump those key hitters have found themselves in.
In the fifth, Alex Bregman did what he’s done 14 times before: hit a postseason home run. His two-run blast off Wheeler underscored that the Philly pitcher was off his game on Saturday. The two runs also gave the Astros the cushion that made Game 2 comfortable.
Framber Valdez did everything he could have done for Baker and his teammates: pitching into the seventh (the first World Series starter to do so since former Houston pitcher Zack Greinke in 2019), and striking out nine. Following his playbook, Valdez spun his curveball and other breaking pitches, as is his style. He held Bryce Harper hitless, and allowed just one extra-base hit to win his first World Series game and his sixth in the PS.
The Houston bullpen has now pitched 6 2/3 innings in this World Series, and allowed only one unearned run. That strength might be the difference in this Fall Classic, where the last 9-12 outs are so important and so difficult to get.
There’s reason for optimism on the offensive side for Houston, which showed again how much better they are at making contact and putting pressure on the defense (only six K’s in Game 2). Also, table setter Altuve had three hits, and seems to have found his timing mechanism. If the little fella hits at the top of the order, and only two of the next four batters (Pena, Alvarez, Bregman, and Kyle Tucker) are dialed in, the result will be plenty of runs.
The Astros need to win one game in Philadelphia to force the series back to Texas. Or if they can find a way to sweep, they could finish off the series on the road. But the Phillies have yet to lose at home, and have the satisfaction of flying back home with the one win they craved in Houston.
Game 3 Pitching Matchup, Astros vs. Phillies
Lance McCullers Jr. (0-0, 2.45 ERA in PS) vs. Ranger Suarez (1-0, 1.86 ERA in PS)
Rob Thomson has named elevated Ranger Suarez to start Monday’s game at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Originally, before G3 was postponed, Noah Syndergaard was scheduled to start. Thanks to Mother Nature, the Phils get to use Suarez, one of their most effective pitchers this postseason.
Suarez pitched in relief in Game 1 last Friday, a day where he was slated to do his in-between-starts pitching off a mound. Now, Suarez can give Thomson more outs as a starter than Syndergaard would have, helping Philadelphia leverage their bullpen.
It will be crucial for the Astros to score early in Game 3 to take the Philadelphia crowd out of the game. The Phillies have yet to lose at home this postseason. The Astros will have to stop that trend in order to win the series.
McCullers isn’t fazed by anything. He’s made two prior starts in the World Series for the Astros, and he has a career 2.77 ERA in the postseason.
The interesting thing about McCullers is how he changes arm angles and can frustrate lefthanded batters and righthanded hitters equally. The Phillies’ roster has a combined .214 average and .576 OPS against McCullers. This is a potentially nightmarish matchup for the Phillies offense, which has been churning in October, but can be tamed, as their regular season struggles show.
In Game 2, Dusty Baker has trusted his starting pitchers, but he also knows he has baseball’s best bullpen at his disposal. If Baker is being honest with himself, he knows Game 3 is the most important game of this series, and he’ll manage it as a must-win, shooting every arrow he has in his quiver.
World Series Schedule
The schedule for the 2022 World Series:
- Game 1: Friday, Oct. 28 at Houston; Phillies 6, Astros 5 (1o innings)
- Game 2: Saturday, Oct. 29 at Houston; Astros 5, Phillies 2
- Game 3: Tuesday, Nov. 1 at Philadelphia
- Game 4: Tuesday, Nov. 2 at Philadelphia
- Game 5: Wednesday, Nov. 2 at Philadelphia
- Game 2: Friday, Nov. 4 at Houston
- Game 2: Saturday, Nov. 5 at Houston
The World Series will be televised by FOX, and you can hear it on ESPN Radio.