Alright. We’re 8-6 on article plays so far in the playoffs — 9-6 if you count one of my three World Series futures already hitting. In general, that’s pretty good. However, for the sake of transparency, I have to admit something right off the top: Though I haven’t bet all four games on the moneyline, I’ve yet to properly predict a winner in Astros-Phillies.
Maybe I’m due? Or maybe I should just stick to props. Let’s dive into Game 5.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Alvarez has been underwhelming so far in the World Series, with just a single extra-base hit in four games. However, I think Noah Syndergaard is a matchup made in heaven for the hulking LHB. To be blunt, Syndergaard struggled with left-handed hitters during the regular season. A big reason for these issues? The veteran RHP managed to strike out a paltry 12.2% of the 245 he faced. Considering Alvarez’s .548 xwOBA on batted ball events — a figure which ranked in the 99th percentile of baseball — we’re already in the danger zone.
It goes deeper, though. Let’s talk pitch mix. Syndergaard’s most common pitch when opposed by a left-handed hitter is a change-up. In fact, he used it in 33.2% of counts within the split in 2022. Syndergaard might want to re-assess that strategy versus Alvarez. Against right-handed change-ups throughout the regular season, Alvarez slugged .820 with a .492 ISO. There’s certainly a chance that he’ll only see Syndergaard once tonight, but if he throws him a change-up, this prop could be settled rather quickly.
In a vacuum, I can understand how odd this bet appears. The Phillies literally didn’t register a base hit on Wednesday, and now they’re facing Justin Verlander — the likely AL Cy Young Award winner and a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee. Still, we’re all aware of the elephant in the room when it comes to Verlander. The 39-year-old is 0-6 with a 6.07 ERA in his eight career appearances in the World Series. Of those starts, Verlander’s only allowed fewer than two earned runs once, which was all the way back in 2006.
Is it silly to use statistics that are almost two decades old? Yes. Has Verlander been the victim of both a .405 BABIP and a 56.6% strand rate so far in the 2022 playoffs? Yes. Yet, none of that changes that fact that the Phillies are a streaky lineup loaded with power. They only need one man on base and one pitch to hit this over, and equipped with an eye-popping .181 ISO at Citizens Bank Park, I think they can do it.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and I may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.