The Astros are favored in Game 1 of the World Series against the Phillies as Justin Verlander opposes Aaron Nola.
The 2022 World Series kicks off Friday Night at Minute Maid Park in Houston as the AL champion Astros host the NL champion Phillies.
Likely AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander (1-0, 6.30 postseason ERA) opposes Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola (2-1, 3.12 ERA).
The Astros have yet to lose at home this season (4-0) and are undefeated this postseason (7-0), while the Phillies are 4-2 on the road spanning three series.
This game marks Philadelphia’s first World Series appearance since 2009, while the Astros are representing the American League for the second straight year and the fourth time in six years. This is their third matchup against an NL East foe.
Bet on Phillies-Astros Game 1 at SI Sportsbook
Phillies vs. Astros World Series Game 1 Odds
- Moneyline: Phillies (+145) | Astros (-175)
- Run Line: Phillies +1.5 (-154)| Astros -1.5 (+130)
- Total: 6.5 – Over (-125) | Under (+105)
Verlander got off to a rough start in the postseason, giving up six earned runs to the Mariners in Game 1 of the ALDS, leaving the Astros to mount a dramatic comeback to win that game. In his next start, Verlander allowed one home run to Harrison Bader before ultimately settling down and striking out 11 Yankees on the way to another Astros’ victory in Game 1 of the ALCS.
The veteran owns a 6.30 ERA this postseason after ending the regular season with league-leading 1.75 ERA. Verlander has not always been sharp in the postseason, logging a 15-11 record with a 3.55 ERA in 33 appearances (32 starts).
Verlander faced this Phillies lineup just a few weeks ago on Oct. 4 and struck out 10 while allowing zero hits across five innings.
Nola opposes Verlander and he got knocked around in his last outing versus the Padres, surrendering six earned runs across 4 2/3 innings. Nola has otherwise been solid in the postseason while guiding the Phillies to wins in the wild-card round and the NLDS. Nola also produced a very strong regular season, allowing very little hard contact with a 3.25 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP.
Nola tossed 7 2/3 innings and struck out nine Astros on Oct. 3.
This sets up to be a pitcher’s duel at the Juice Box.
It’s tempting to take the Phillies here at plus-money as Verlander not been as dependable as of late, but it’s hard to bet against Houston when its bullpen has been so sharp (0.82 postseason ERA) and the Phillies’ bullpen had a regular-season ERA of 4.27. Philadelphia’s relievers have been better in the postseason and should be well-rested, but it’s the biggest crack I can see in this game between the teams.
Phillies hitters have a better BA, SLG, and OPS than the Astros in this postseason, but they have also yet to face a pitching staff like Houston’s.
Look for Bryce Harper or Rhys Hoskins to try to make some noise, while Jeremy Pena, Yordan Alvarez and Alex Bregman continue to be pesky at the plate.
I’m not confident taking the Astros on the run line and there’s no value in the moneyline at -175 odds, so let’s root for defense, since it wins championships.
BET: Under 6.5 Runs (+105)
PROP BET: Justin Verlander Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-160)
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