October 26, 2021

Atlanta Braves at Houston Astros, World Series Game 1 Gambling Guide: Best Runline, Run Total and Prop Bets

It is time to wrap up the 2021 baseball season with the Fall Classic. Game 1 of the World Series starts Tuesday as the Atlanta Braves take on the Houston Astros. The Braves are making their first appearance in the World Series since 1999 while the Astros are making their third trip since 2017.

The World Series is one of the best sporting events in the world and that means it is one of the best sporting events in the world to gamble on. For the entirety of this season's World Series, we will be giving you the best runline, run total, and the best prop of the night for every game.

Let's pick out some winners.

*Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook

Game 1 Preview:

Houston Astros

The Astros came into the postseason as the best pure-hitting lineup in all of baseball. The Astros led all of baseball in batting average (.267), OBP (.339), hits (1496), runs (863), and RBI (834).

The postseason has been just as good for the Astros. In their 10 games so far this postseason the Astros have a team slash of .281/.353/.443 with an OPS of .797. A lot of their success can be pointed towards their core of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and even Alex Bregman, who struggled in the ALCS against the Red Sox. Most of the praise, however, belongs to AL batting champion, Yuli Gurriel who hit .455 with six RBI in the ALCS.

On the hill, the Astros will send out Framber Valdez (11-6, 3.14 ERA), who will serve as the team's ace for the World Series with Lance McCullers Jr. ruled out with an injury. During this postseason run, Valdez is 1-0 with a 4.20 ERA in 15.0 IP. In his last outing in Game 5 of the ALCS against Boston, Valdez allowed only one earned run in eight innings pitched. 

Atlanta Braves

Many people, including myself, left the Braves for dead when Ronald Acuna Jr. tore his ACL after 82 games. Instead of just rolling over, the Braves re-tooled and added quality players such as NLCS MVP Eddie Rosario and Joc Pederson, who has slashed .276/.323/.586 with three home runs this postseason. The lineup also includes longtime Brave Freddie Freeman and one of the rising stars in the game Ozzie Albies.

Even without Acuna, this lineup is extremely deep. In the Braves' 10 playoff games, they have a team slash of .250/.319/.407 with an OPS of .725. They scored the least amount of runs of any of the final four teams (40) but the pitching staff has given them a nice boost all postseason. Charlie Morton (14-6, 3.34 ERA) will be making his second consecutive trip to the World Series after he was with Tampa Bay during their postseason run in 2020.

Morton has been solid this postseason with a 3.60 ERA and with a 0.78 HR/9, he gives the Braves a significant advantage against an Astros team that loves the longball. His healthy mix of breaking stuff along with a fastball that has great movement gives the Braves a lot of promise in game one.

Runline Prediction:

Picking the spread in baseball is one of the hardest things to do. There is no clock so we cannot just simply root for time to run out. Every bet in baseball is always a threat to hit or lose at any time.

However, we have to make a pick and that is exactly what we will do. While the Astros led the AL in home wins with 55, the Braves have been an absolute monster on the road this season. In the regular season, the Braves were the fifth-best team on the road (48-38) and were an incredible 54-32 ATS on the road this season. In the postseason, the Braves are 8-2 ATS overall and 4-1 on the road.

The Astros are 6-4 ATS this postseason but they were just 41-45 ATS at their home ballpark in the regular season. 

The only thing that matters is how teams are playing in the playoffs and how they specifically played at home or on the road. Tonight, with Morton on the bump for the Braves and that incredibly deep lineup, the quality play is going with the Braves on both the runline and the moneyline. 

Pick: Braves +1.5 (-172) and Braves ML (+114)

Run Total Prediction:

The total has gone over in 48 of the 86 games played in Houston this season and a lot of that is thanks to how well the Astros play in their ballpark. On the season, the Astros were 86-69-7 against the total and the Braves were 74-78-9. The numbers mostly stayed the course during the playoffs as the Astros are 8-2 against the total and the Braves were 5-5.

When picking the total in this game, it's smart to choose to decipher which team has the advantage in this game. If Morton was not pitching, I would feel much more comfortable with the over. Morton's last two starts have gone over the total, but he only pitched 8.1 innings in those two games. For this game to go under, Morton needs to give the Braves a quality start, and with how good he is at keeping the ball in the yard, the under is the play tonight.

Pick: UNDER 8.5 (-120)

Best Prop: Charlie Morton OVER 4.5 Hits Allowed (+102)

I still think that Morton will give the Braves a quality start and set the bullpen up to close out this game in the later innings, but this Astros' lineup is incredible at making contact. Houston has a league-leading 80.6% contact rate and they have a whiff percentage of 21%, which also leads all of baseball.

Their discipline and natural talent will keep them alive in any at-bat, but Morton is 35th amongst all qualifying pitchers at producing swinging strikes. This would usually scare me, but this Astros lineup is just way too deep to not string together a couple of bloops.

If Morton goes deep into this game as I expect, the Astros should have no problem scrapping together at least five hits. Even if the Astros' offense goes ballistic and we lose both the under and the Braves on both the ML and the runline, at +102, this is a quality prop for tonight. 

Photo: Getty Images