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Underdog Braves Poised To Take 2-0 Lead In World Series

Yuli Gurriel and the Astros look to bounce back against the Braves in Game 2

Against all odds, the visiting Atlanta Braves took Game 1 of the World Series over the Houston Astros by a score of 6-2. The Braves have a chance to take a commanding 2-0 lead as they take aim at their first MLB title since 1995.

Atlanta Braves vs Houston Astros
  • Date/Time: October 27, 8:09 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Minute Maid Park
  • TV Coverage: Fox, FOX-INT
  • Opening Odds: Astros/Braves -105 | O/U 8.5 (Line History)
  • Braves vs Astros Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

While the books favored the Astros in Game 1 to the tune of -141 on the moneyline, a Braves win has turned the series on its head. As of Tuesday night, the line was dead even for Game 2 with both Houston and Atlanta at -105, though betting action leading up to game time will likely cause some movement. The total is set at 8.5 runs with the UNDER going 7-3 in the last 10 meetings between these teams.

Starting Pitchers Analysis

Jose Urquidy has made just one appearance in these playoffs – a disappointing 1.2-inning start in which he gave up five hits and five earned runs to Boston in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. The right-hander was steady in the regular season, though, posting an 8-3 record through 20 starts with a 3.62 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP.

Max Fried is 1-1 through three postseason outings with a 3.78 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. The left-hander’s last outing against Los Angeles in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series was by far his worst of the playoffs as he gave up eight hits and five earned runs over 4.2 innings. Fried posted a 14-7 record through 28 starts this season along with a 3.04 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.

Houston News & Notes

Game 1 got off to the worst start imaginable as Framber Valdez gave up a home run to leadoff hitter Jorge Soler, putting Atlanta up 1-0 early. Austin Riley added an RBI double in the first to put Houston in a 2-0 hole, and the Braves never looked back. Valdez ended up getting tagged for eight hits and five earned runs through just two innings of work.

The bats were hot toward the end of the ALCS, but they were mostly silent in Game 1 of the World Series with only four players managing hits. Three hits came off the bat of Michael Brantley while Kyle Tucker and Yuli Gurriel had two each.

Atlanta News & Notes

The Braves came out swinging in Game 1 as they established an early 5-0 lead thanks to two RBIs from Soler and a two-run bomb from Adam Duvall. Freddie Freeman and Austin Riley collected one hit and one RBI each as Atlanta mustered 12 hits in total.

It wasn’t all good news, though, as starter Charlie Morton took a comebacker from Gurriel off his left leg in the second inning. Morton went on to get three more outs before finally leaving the game in the third with what was eventually revealed to be a fractured fibula.

AJ Minter was solid in 2.2 innings of long relief and the bullpen held Houston to just two runs, but the real news is the loss of their ace. If the series goes deep, Atlanta could really miss Morton.

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How Houston Will Win

We’ve seen the Astros respond time and time again after poor performances. The Red Sox were up 2-1 in the ALCS until Houston’s bats woke up and took the series away. With the best offense in the majors, you can’t count the Astros out of any ball game.

How Atlanta Will Win

Fried was shaky in his last outing but he’ll need a strong bounce-back performance if Atlanta is going to keep the Houston bats quiet again. While the Braves don’t have the same raw power that Houston does, they still have tons of depth all the way through their lineup, and we saw the bats get the job done in Game 1.

Computer Pick: Astros -120

For all the 2021 World Series predictions, see our MLB Computer Picks page.

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Shark Bites
  • Atlanta is 10-4 in its last 14 road games.
  • The OVER is 8-2 in Houston’s last 10 games.
  • The UNDER is 5-1 in Atlanta’s last 6 games at Houston.