Odds Shark Top Sportsbooks
*Terms and Conditions apply to all bonus offers on this website. Visit operator for details.

World Series Game 1: Astros Haven’t Lost Since July with Cole As Starter

The 2019 World Series kicks off Tuesday in Houston with the Astros leaning on Gerrit Cole, who has been near unhittable in the postseason, while the Nationals turn to their ace in Max Scherzer, who sports a 1.80 ERA in the playoffs.

Matchup Information
  • Washington Nationals vs Houston Astros (Matchup Report)
  • Date/Time: October 22, 8:08 PM ET
  • TV Coverage: FOX
  • Opening Odds: HOU -200, WSH +165 | O/U 7 (Line History)
  • Starting Pitchers: WSH Scherzer (11-7, 2.92 ERA) | HOU Cole (20-5, 2.50 ERA)
  • Odds to Win the Series: WSH +175 | HOU -215 (Analysis)

Opening Odds Analysis

Can’t say it’s a surprise that the Astros are huge home favorites for Game 1 with Gerrit Cole on the mound. They’re 5-1 SU and ATS in six home games in the postseason and have won 16 straight games with Cole as the starter (14-2 against the runline).

The Astros’ moneyline odds are usually -200 or higher with Cole starting, so some bettors may consider this a value spot to back Houston with the odds currently hovering around -190. During the Astros’ 16-game win streak with Cole, the odds were -200 or more in 14 of them.

On the flip side, some bettors may consider the real value to be on the Nationals. While Max Scherzer can be prone to giving up early home runs, he’s only been an underdog once in 2019, on May 11 vs the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Nationals won that game outright.

Washington News and Notes

So far in the postseason, the Nationals are averaging 4.5 runs per game while hitting .243 as a team. Those both rank in the top three for all postseason teams in 2019. The Nats are led by sluggers Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto while getting clutch at-bats from Howie Kendrick and leadoff specialist Trea Turner.

The Nats have gone 4-1 SU and ATS in five road games in the postseason so the atmosphere at Minute Maid Park shouldn’t play much of a factor if you’re backing Washington.

The glaring issue for the Nationals during the regular season was their bullpen, but Washington has seemed to remedy that issue by making its starters try to go deep in playoff games. That being said, the relievers are sporting a 4.76 ERA over 28.1 playoff innings so if Scherzer doesn’t pitch at least six innings, the Nationals could be in trouble.

For what it’s worth, Scherzer owns a career 3.35 ERA in 16 postseason starts and a 4.26 ERA from his lone World Series start with the Tigers in 2012.

Houston News and Notes

Arguably the best batting order in MLB, the Astros offense has not been as much of a juggernaut in the postseason. The hitters have a collective .208 batting average and have scored 41 runs in 11 games, which is slightly below the pace of the Nationals.

But what can’t be argued is the trio of starting pitchers the Astros can throw out for this series. We’ve already detailed what Gerrit Cole is capable of but the Houston pitching staff just limited the hard-hitting Yankees to 3.5 runs per game in the American League Championship Series.

For Cole’s career, he owns a 2.26 ERA in eight playoff starts with the Pirates and Astros.

Betting Pick: Astros -1.5 runline +110

This game is much more of a coin flip than the odds let on but I’m going with the team that had the best run differential and best home record in MLB and siding with the Astros.

My gut tells me that this might be too much of a layoff for the Nationals, who have made a habit of being road warriors in the postseason. Cole has taken the torch as the best pitcher in baseball and has an unreal batting order to provide the run support we need to cash this runline bet.

Shark Bites
  • The Nationals are 4-1 SU and ATS in 5 road playoff games.
  • The Astros are 16-0 SU and 14-2 ATS in the last 16 games with Gerrit Cole as the starter.
  • The Nationals bullpen owns a 4.76 ERA in the postseason.