For your best bets, I will recommend betting on Astros ML, Phillies ML, and Diamondbacks-Phillies “Under.” My recommendations are backed by the computers at OddsTrader and by my handicapping.
Monday, October 16, 2023 – 04:37 PM EDT at Minute Maid Park
Our computers project an Astros victory.
I agree with this projection. You should bet the Astros ML.
Nathan Eovaldi starts for Texas today. Eovaldi might be tempted to back because of his current postseason ERA, but he has benefited from facing Baltimore and Tampa Bay lineups that, for the most part, underwhelmed in postseason play.
Houston is a different animal: the Astros are an experienced bunch who are used to succeeding in the postseason.
Accordingly, they thrived offensively in their first series against Minnesota, and they won’t be intimidated by the fact that they are down 0-1 in the current series.
Eovaldi vs. Astros Batters
In his last start against Houston, which took place on September 5, Eovaldi gave up four earned runs in 1.1 innings.
The Astros evidently have him figured out. Their success against Eovaldi is the product of many different batters in their lineup feeling comfortable with him on the mound.
All of those batters have sustained their strong track records against Eovaldi over the course of at least seven at-bats.
Framber Valdez starts for the Astros today. Valdez looks too easy to go against because of his last start against the Twins, but look at what he did in last year’s postseason: his first postseason start was his worst one, and he was solid in every consecutive start.
This history indicates that Valdez is primed to bounce back. Texas is an ideal opponent for him. In his last start against the Rangers and in two of his three regular-season starts against them, he held Texas to one earned run.
Indeed, in his career, he boasts a 2.90 ERA in 13 starts facing Texas.
Houston cannot afford to lose again at home. The Astros are already down 0-1, so they need to bounce back.
Texas is certainly a team that they can beat: they were 9-4 against Texas during the regular season.
Expect their veteran composure to help them even the series today with a win.
MLB Pick: Astros (-120) at Bet365
Monday, October 16, 2023 – 08:07 PM EDT at Citizens Bank Park
Our computers indicate that the Phillies will triumph in a low-scoring game.
Accordingly, you should play both the Phillies ML and the “Under.”
Ace Zack Wheeler starts for the Phillies tonight. Philadelphia is going to win this game because it has the best-starting pitcher on the mound.
Wheeler has been automatic this postseason, as evident in his 2.08 postseason ERA. While locking down Miami, as he did in his first start, might not seem that impressive, his last start really illustrates his capability.
In his last start, he held mighty Atlanta to two earned runs in 6.1 innings. Moreover, he struck out ten Braves batters. During postseason play, he now has struck out 18 batters and walked one.
His strong form is particularly impressive because he has sustained it against the toughest of matchups, measured in terms of the pitches he throws.
Wheeler throws a fastball, sinker, slider, sweeper, and curveball. Atlanta ranks first with a .496 slugging rate against these pitches. However, because Wheeler throws superior versions of these pitches, he proved too difficult for the Braves to hit.
Among other virtues of his arsenal, Wheeler plays his fastball very well off his curveball, the latter averaging eleven fewer mph and often landing in the lower parts of the strike zone where batters tend to do great damage.
He uses these two pitches to create a change of pace and, especially by elevating his fastball, changing the batter’s eye level.
Arizona ranks twelve spots behind Atlanta against these pitches from righties and has a slugging rate against them that is .75 lower. The Diamondbacks don’t have the ability to hit Wheeler well.
Arizona starts Zac Gallen tonight. Gallen is not going to keep pace with Wheeler.
While performing well against the Dodgers might seem impressive, the fact is that they just didn’t show up at all in this postseason, as they scored two runs in each of their three games.
Gallen vs. Phillies Batters
Like last year, though, the Phillies are proving to be a formidable postseason team. Their matchup outlook makes them appear especially formidable against Gallen tonight.
Gallen throws a fastball, curveball, changeup, cutter, and slider. Philadelphia ranks sixth with a .433 slugging rate against his pitches from righties.
While Wheeler clearly has the edge over Gallen, Gallen won’t be bad enough for the “Over” to hit. Gallen would have to give up a lot of runs for the “Over” to hit because Wheeler will be excellent.
Plus, both bullpens have been solid, as evident in their ability this postseason to secure leads without a sweat.
Gallen is a good pitcher who won’t endanger the “Under” tonight, but he won’t be as good as Wheeler, nor will Arizona’s lineup be as strong against Wheeler as Philadelphia’s will be against Gallen.
MLB Pick: Phillies ML (-165) at Bet365
MLB Pick: Under 7.5 (-110) at Bet365
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