Braves vs. Astros: World Series Game 2 betting odds, preview, and prediction
The Atlanta Braves built a commanding early lead over the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the World Series, and held on to win 6-2. Now they’ll go for their second straight road victory in Game 2 on Wednesday night, sending staff ace Max Fried to the Minute Maid Park mound against Jose Urquidy.
Let’s dive into the matchup and see where the wagering public should be placing their money.
Atlanta Braves at Houston Astros, 8:09 p.m. ET, FOX
Thu, October 28 2021, 12:09 AM
Game 2 starters Max Fried and Jose Urquidy were both rocked in their latest postseason outings, but bettors shouldn’t be surprised if they trade some zeroes in this one, setting both bullpens up nicely.
Fried was the best second-half starter in the majors by ERA, and rolled into October by allowing two runs in 12 combined innings against the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers, respectively. However, the Dodgers figured Fried out in Game 5 of the NLCS, plating five runs against Atlanta’s staff ace over 4 2/3 innings en route to an 11-2 victory.
Entering today, Max Fried had allowed 2 HRs just once over his last 18 starts.— Inside Edge (@IE_MLB) October 22, 2021
9/1/21 versus Dodgers.
It was Max Muncy & Austin Barnes who took him deep.#Postseason pic.twitter.com/yQonLrgyvg
Fried surrendered two home runs in that start, something he’d done only three times all year; twice against the Miami Marlins, and once against the Dodgers. Though Houston has had success against southpaws this season (fourth by OPS), Fried should enjoy the upper hand in this one.
Urquidy has appeared just once this postseason, getting shelled by the Red Sox in Game 3 of the ALCS at Fenway Park (five earned runs over 1 2/3 innings). But there’s hope for improvement, as he’s pitched significantly better over his career at home. Urquidy has authored a .206 opponent batting average at Minute Maid Park, and a .235 average everywhere else. His strikeout/walk ratio at home (6.91) is much better than his road number (3.09).
The right-handed Urquidy also has good crossover numbers against lefties, limiting them to a .525 OPS. Righties have a .766 OPS against the Mexican hurler. This spells trouble for Eddie Rosario and Freddie Freeman – the Braves’ two hottest hitters – as well as Joc Pederson.
Chills.@EddieRosario09 | #BattleATL pic.twitter.com/9TXeD2nrMO— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) October 24, 2021
As for the bullpens, no one should be off limits to Brian Snitker and Dusty Baker here. Tyler Matzek’s one major mistake in his Game 1 appearance for Atlanta was pitching to the scorching Yordan Alvarez, who clubbed a triple and was later knocked in on a grounder. More importantly for the Braves, righty Luke Jackson bounced back with a near-perfect 1 2/3 frames on Tuesday night. They should effectively bridge the gap to closer Will Smith, should he be called upon.
The Astros bullpen – which has featured surprising depth as well as talent in these playoffs – combined for seven innings of one-run baseball in Game 1, and didn’t even use Ryan Pressly or Kendall Graveman.
Final score prediction: Astros 4, Braves 3
MLB pick: Under 8.5 runs
Player prop pick: Kyle Tucker Over 0.5 Hits (-225)
Kyle Tucker has put together a solid postseason for the Astros so far, and he should build on it in Game 2 of the World Series.
Kyle Tucker sends it DEEP for a 3-run homer 💥— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 23, 2021
(via @astros) pic.twitter.com/jh8HAgMo5L
Tucker has a team-leading four home runs and 15 RBI in these playoffs, including his ALCS-sealing three-run bomb against the Boston Red Sox. The Tampa native had a two-hit game on Tuesday, which isn’t surprising since he relishes hitting at home so much (1.006 OPS).
With only a slight difference in OPS when facing lefties this year (.910 compared to .920 against righties), Tucker should not fail to hit safely in this one.