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The 2021 World Series kicks off tonight in Houston between the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros, both of whom have enjoyed multiple days off after winning their respective league championship series in six games.
The Braves dispatched the reigning World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers to win their first pennant since 1999 despite having the fewest regular-season wins (88) of any postseason team this year. Meanwhile, the Astros won three straight against the Boston Red Sox to clinch their third pennant in five seasons.
Will Houston stay hot at home? Or will Atlanta inch one step closer to its first championship since 1995? Read our World Series Game 1 predictions and best bets below!
Please note that all Braves vs Astros odds and lines are current as of 9 AM EST on Tuesday, October 26.
Braves vs Astros World Series Game 1 Prediction
Atlanta Braves @ Houston Astros, October 26, 8:09 PM EST on FOX
Probable Starting Pitchers:
- Charlie Morton, Braves (14-6, 3.34 ERA)
- Framber Valdez, Astros (11-6, 3.14 ERA)
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The Astros will host Game 1 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park, where they are 4-1 during the postseason and 55-31 overall this year. Home-field advantage has played a key role in their pennant run and could continue to benefit them tonight.
With Lance McCullers Jr. and Justin Verlander both left off Houston’s World Series roster due to injury, Framber Valdez will start Game 1 for the Astros. He’s coming off perhaps the best single start of the postseason after firing eight innings of one-run ball at Fenway Park in Game 5 of the ALCS, completely dominating Boston’s explosive lineup.
Valdez was shelled in his previous ALCS outing and his lone ALDS appearance, however, making him something of a boom-or-bust option. Which version of the extreme ground-ball pitcher will show up tonight in his first career World Series start?
The Braves have a more reliable starter in Charlie Morton, who helped Houston win a championship in 2017 and pitched in last year’s Fall Classic as well. The 37-year-old veteran has been steady throughout the playoffs, yielding just two runs in all three of his starts.
Braves hitters struck out only 22.1% (13th) of the time against left-handed pitchers during the regular season, so they should be able to put the play in play and potentially score some runs early on against a pitcher who’s been shaky over the past two months.
Considering Morton’s superior experience and Atlanta’s ability to win on the road (48-38 away record), I’m giving the edge to the Braves in Game 1.
World Series Game 1 Pick: Braves 5, Astros 4
Braves vs Astros Best Bets
Best Bet: Braves Moneyline (+120) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
Morton has been rock solid throughout the postseason and is no stranger to the game’s biggest stage. This will be his 16th career postseason start and third World Series start. He’s also plenty familiar with pitching in Houston after spending the 2017 and 2018 seasons there.
Valdez, on the other hand, has struggled in two of his three playoff starts this year. He has a 4.57 FIP and 1.40 WHIP in this postseason despite posting a remarkable 30:13 GB/FB ratio. His command has been hit-or-miss lately and he’s allowed at least four earned runs in four of his last eight starts dating back to the regular season.
Given Atlanta’s success against the stellar pitching staffs of the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers, they should continue to flourish against a relatively erratic hurler in a hitter’s ballpark. Back the Braves at plus money according to our MLB gameday odds.
Read all of our 2021 World Series Game 1 Betting Tips
- 2021 World Series Game 1 Prop Bets
- 2021 World Series Game 1 Parlay Picks
- 2021 World Series Projections
Best Bet: Over 8.5 (-103) at Unibet
Wager: 1 Unit
The Astros can always be counted on to score after leading MLB in numerous offensive categories this season. Their heavy hitting has carried over into October, as they’ve scored 64 runs in 10 postseason games thus far for an average of 6.4 per game.
The Braves also have a robust lineup that scored the third-most runs in the National League this year. Their offense has held its own against some tough pitching during the postseason and will benefit from having the DH in Houston, which is good news for the Over and our MLB bet of the day.
Best Bet: Freddie Freeman Over 1.5 Total Bases (+130) at DraftKings
Wager: 1 Unit
Freddie Freeman has been Atlanta’s best hitter all year and is having a tremendous postseason. After getting off to a slow start, he’s batting .346/.469/.769 with five extra-base hits over his last seven games.
Freeman is an extra-base hit machine and perennial .300 hitter who can handle left-handed pitching. He’s also an experienced postseason performer with a 1.112 OPS and 10 extra-base hits over his last 18 playoff games. Look for him to stay hot with another extra-base hit or multiple singles tonight.