Phillies vs Astros Picks and Predictions: Philly and Houston Look Ahead to the Postseason

The Phillies snapped their postseason drought last night and will continue their series with the Astros tonight. Our MLB betting picks highlight how Houston and Philly's playoff berths will factor in to tonight's game.

Last Updated: Oct 4, 2022 3:46 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Ranger Suarez Philadelphia Phillies MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Tonight will be the second game of the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros' three-game set. 

Last night, the Phillies clinched the final playoff spot in the National League with a shutout win over the Astros. They are riding a three-game winning streak and now can set their sights on overtaking the San Diego Padres for the No. 2 wild-card spot in the NL. 

Can the Phillies make more postseason moves tonight? Find out in our MLB picks and predictions for the Phillies vs. Astros.

Phillies vs Astros best odds

Phillies vs Astros picks and predictions

There are a ton of moving pieces here. 

The Phillies will have to be fighting off the mindset to relax. Yes, they clinched the playoffs last night, but they can still give themselves a more favorable postseason draw. 

The Astros have nothing to play for but don't want to go into the postseason scuffling. In addition to that, they'll want to give critical players rest if they can. It's hard to size all this up to find the team most likely to win, so I'm not going to try. 

Instead, I feel strongly about little to no runs being scored early on, and that's what I'll focus my best bet on.

We know about Justin Verlander. In this particular game, he matches up very well. Generally, I don't put much stock into batters' career numbers against individual pitchers because of the unpredictability. Every situation is unique, however, this is one of the rare cases where it's noteworthy. Phillies batters haven't hit him well. In fact, they don't have a player on their roster hitting over .200 against him. That's striking, especially considering how much of a history some players have against him.  

I feel good about Ranger Suarez as well. Given the ambiguity surrounding the Astros’ lineup, it's hard to speak in absolutes, but he matches up nicely. Suarez is known as a groundball-heavy pitcher. He's producing a groundball around 58% of balls that are put into play. 

That's an excellent attribute to have against this lineup. You'll never stop this offense altogether, but your chances of slowing them down increase immensely when you can produce ground balls. They are hitting them around a rate that is the Top 10 highest in baseball over the last month. It's challenging to figure out why, especially when you consider that they've been one of the best throughout the season. However, the recent form is a current form, and it feels valuable to follow for the purposes of this handicap. 

My projections have this going Under the posted total around 60% of the time. Given my handicap and the situation, I feel even stronger about it. This one will either feel like a playoff or a preseason game, but I see it going low-scoring early on. 

My best bet: First five innings Under 3.5 (-115 at DraftKings)

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Phillies vs Astros moneyline analysis

The initial lean here is definitely towards the Astros, but It's not strong enough for me to bet. The unpredictability of the lineup and how much motivation the Astros will have to play this game are just too much. However, Houston should win this game.

It's challenging to fade Verlander in any spot but especially difficult to fade him against a team that swings as much as the Phillies. The consistency throughout his career has made his hay off the opposing team striking out, and this season is no different. He gets a side tonight that swings the third most of any team in baseball. I'd be interested in his strikeout number if I had confidence that he'd go deep into the game. Figuring they don't want to push him deep makes me stay away from that, but I still believe he'll put them in an excellent position to win the game.

We talked a lot about Suarez and why you'd like him to fare well if we're looking at recent bias. But still, you can't ignore the Astro offense's firepower, and you have to figure they'll respond with a few runs after being shut out last night. They shouldn't need to score much if they get a typical Verlander performance. 

My projections don't see any value here, but they like Houston to win the game. It's not a side I'd play at the current number, but If I can get them at -110 or better live, I may dip in.

Phillies vs Astros Over/Under analysis

Given our pregame position on the first five Under, we lean toward the full-game Under. However, much like yesterday, I'll offer a word of a warning: The Astros may be looking to rest normal arms in their bullpen, or they may not. However, if they do, this runs the risk of going over when those arms come into the game because they are less preferred options (and they are less preferred options for a reason).

Since we spent the majority of the onset talking about the Under. Let's look at some of the trends of tonight's matchup:

The Under is 5-1 in the Phillies' last six interleague games.

The Under is 4-0 in the Phillies' last four games with a total of 6.5 or lower (the total isn't at 6.5 yet, but could reach it by the first pitch).

The Under is 4-0 in the Astros' last four games facing a left-handed starter.

I talked about this yesterday, but some trends suggest the Over in this play when these two teams meet in Houston. However, it seems like the trends for this specific matchup are geared toward the Under. My projections are giving -110 odds both ways on Under 7. 

It's not something I'd play pregame, given my position on the first five Under. However, I may look to it live much like the side of a run is scored early in the game. 

Phillies vs Astros trend to know

The Under is 4-0 in the Astros' last four games facing a left-handed starter. Find more MLB betting trends for Phillies vs. Astros

Phillies vs Astros game info

Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
Date: Tuesday, October 4, 2022
First pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET
TV: TBS

Starting pitchers

Ranger Suarez (10-6, 3.37 ERA): Overall the metrics are pretty good, except for his walk rate. There he ranks in the bottom 20% of qualified pitchers. Beyond that, it's hard to have many complaints. Suarez’s hard-hit rate, average exit velocity, and barrel rate are in the elite category of baseball.

Justin Verlander (17-4, 1.80 ERA): The ERA says enough, but he's produced a season ranking in the Top 25% of virtually any metric you can find. Perhaps most impressive is rocking a walk rate that ranks in the Top 5 of all pitchers while maintaining a chase rate ranking in the Top 25% of pitchers.

Phillies vs Astros latest injuries

Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Phillies vs Astros weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

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