The Philadelphia Phillies shut out the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the World Series, powering their way to a 7-0 victory on Tuesday.
Caesars Sportsbook lists the Astros as slight favorites to win Game 4 and even the series on Wednesday, listing the AL Champions at -115, and the Phillies at +105. Over at BetMGM, the Phillies are as strong a favorite as -150, which means you’ll have to wager $150 to win $100.
Read below for Game 4 odds and betting picks, a recap of Game 3, and a preview of the Game 4 pitching matchup.
Game 4 World Series Odds
The fourth game of the World Series will be played on Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. The Phillies are two wins away from winning their third World Series title, and first since 2008.
Power Display Pushes Phils to 2-1 Series Lead
Philadelphia Phillies’ Kyle Schwarber celebrates his two-run home run during the fifth inning in Game 3 of baseball’s World Series between the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
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There’s no manager more deserving of a World Series win than Johnnie B Baker. But Ol’ Dusty has really flubbed (or Phlubbed) the management of his pitching staff. Twice in the World Series, when he should know better, Baker has allowed a starter to stay on the mound rather than bring in a member of baseball’s best bullpen.
In Game 1, the Astros had a five-run lead, and though Baker could see that Justin Verlander was in danger of letting it evaporate like Texas beer on a hot day, he let his ace struggle until the game was tied. In Game 3, by the second inning it was clear Lance McCullers Jr. must have been tipping his pitches. Or at least he was not locating his breaking pitches in a way that confused the Philadelphia lineup. How do we know this? Three of the first nine batters McCullers faced hit baseballs into the paying customers.
Yet, Baker let himself get lulled into a sense of security when McCullers held the Phils scoreless in the third and fourth. So, there Lance was in the fifth, approaching 80 pitches, facing Kyle Schwarber. The deficit was four runs, still manageable. It was evident to anyone watching that McCullers had no business facing Schwarber, a left-handed slugger with a patience and a hunters mentality in the box. A few pitches later, Schwarber swatted a non-effective changeup more than 425 feet to deep center for two more runs. The game was basically over.
Baker needed to protect the lead in Game 1 like a school kid guards his Twinkie in the lunchroom. He needed to face reality about McCullers, and get him out of the game early, or at least pull him after four, thanking the almighty baseball gods that the game wasn’t too far out of hand. Instead, the Phils stole Game 1, and soared in Game 3. Now the Astros must win three of four games to take the Fall Classic. If they don’t, it could go down more appropriately as the Failed Classic.
Home runs by Bryce Harper, Alec Bohm, Rhys Hoskins, and Brandon Marsh, as well as the moon shot from Schwarber, scored all of the home team’s runs. The Phillies only had one runner in scoring position all night (and he didn’t score), yet tallied seven runs.
The Phillies bullpen almost seems to be relishing the opportunity to match up with Houston’s relief corps. which might be the best single-season group in history. In Game 3, a quartet of Phillies came in from the pen to toss four scoreless frames. If that trend continues, this series may never go back to the Lone Star State.
“We want to win the next game, that’s all we want to do,” said first baseman Hoskins.
If the Phillies get Game 4 on Wednesday, even a seasoned baseball lifer like Dusty Baker may lose some hope.
Game 4 Pitching Matchup, Astros vs. Phillies
Cristian Javier (1-0, 1.35 ERA in PS) vs. Aaron Nola (2-1, 4.57 ERA in PS)
The biggest game of the season for the Astros is going to begin in the hands of a pitcher who has made only 45 starts in the major leagues.
This Astros team, the dynastic period of 2017 to 2022, has won four pennants, but only one tainted title. While it’s never been harder to win a World Series than in the modern era, with the layers of playoff series and wild cards and bullpens that practically start games, Houston’s lack of success in the Fall Classic threatens to join the Great Garbage Can Clanging Scandal as their epitaph when the time comes.
But the Phillies need two more wins to vanquish the Astros, and Cristian Javier, the Dominican pitcher with maybe the most electric fastball in baseball, is a great force for good for Dusty Baker and his Orange Gang. Javier allowed just a scratch single in 5 1/3 innings in his AL Championship Series start 11 days ago. The righthander has struck out 13 batters per nine innings in his postseason career. He has a tendency to shock opposing batters facing him for the first time. Only Brandon Marsh has faced Javier previously (and lucky for the Phils, Marsh is 4-for-7).
If Javier struggles as Game 3 starter Lance McCullers Jr. did, the Astros will be facing a steep hill. Javier will be challenged to stave off the Phillies Red hot lineup. If he can’t get the spin on his fastball to do the things it should do, Houston might find themselves one loss away from an offseason.
Phillies manager Rob Thompson has managed this series as if his hair was on fire. He used his best relief pitcher, Jose Alvarado, in the fifth inning to keep the game reasonable. That move proved prescient as the Phillies pounded their way to a 6-5 comeback victory. In Game 4, Thompson is showing that same willingness to go for it. He’s summoned Game 1 starter Aaron Nola to start on four days rest. Rather than save him for Game 5, Thompson is aiming for a commanding 3-1 lead in this series by using one of his aces.
Nola allowed a pair of gigantic homers to Kyle Tucker in Game 1, in an outing where he seemed to be a little nervous. That resulted in less command of his pitches. Back home, Nola will be embraced in a figurative hug from 43,000+ Phillies fans. The atmosphere at Citizens Bank Park will not just be friendly, it will seem like a family reunion for Nola.
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.