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Phillies Moneyline (-104)
Bryce Harper to Record an RBI (+160)
Jose Altuve to Record a Run (-115)
The Houston Astros got thumped last night, and they have to face Aaron Nola today. The market, though, is showing a lot of confidence in the Astros as Houston is a slim -112 moneyline favorite. But our model leans toward the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Astros are sending Cristian Javier to the bump, and he's a big reason to like the Astros' chances. In the regular season, Javier recorded a 3.14 SIERA and 33.2% strikeout rate. But Javier is also a fly-ball pitcher, and that could get him in trouble tonight at Citizens Bank Park -- especially with how locked in the Phillies' bats are right now.
As for Nola, he's excellent as well, pitching to a 2.80 SIERA, 29.1% strikeout rate and 3.6% walk rate in 2022. After a red-hot patch, he's struggled in two straight starts, permitting 11 earned runs across his previous nine innings, including five earned runs in 4 1/3 frames in Game 1 of this series. But that might mean he's due for a bounce-back effort, and his underlying metrics this postseason -- 2.79 SIERA, 25.0% strikeout rate and 5.4% walk rate -- are still really nice.
No matter which way you slice it, this projects to be a close one. Our model has Philly coming out on top 53.1% of the time, so taking them at their slight underdog price of -104 looks like the way to go.
In the prop market, I want to pick on Javier's fly-ball tendencies and roll the dice on Bryce Harper to record an RBI (+160). Javier isn't quite as dominant against lefties (28.0% strikeout rate in the split) as he is versus right-handers (39.5%). Harper is playing out of his mind in the postseason, mashing his way to a .515 wOBA. He'll be in the heart of the order -- likely fourth -- and should be presented with some RBI chances.
I also like Jose Altuve to score a run (-115). Altuve will be in the leadoff spot for Houston, which is obviously a nice place to be for run production. Following a slow start to the playoffs, Altuve has picked it up with six hits over his past four games.