Phillies vs Astros Picks and Predictions: Keeping Runs Off the Board in Finale

With neither the Phillies nor Astros in desperate need to win this game, both sides may be in a rush to get things over with en route to the playoffs, which start Friday. With Bailey Falter and Framber Valdez pitching, this could be a low-scoring affair.

Last Updated: Oct 5, 2022 12:36 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Framber Valdez Houston Astros MLB
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Both the Philadelphia Phillies and the Houston Astros are locked into their postseason spots. The Phillies are heading to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals in the wild card while the Astros will face the winner between the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays in the ALDS.

So, how do you bet a game that means nothing between two teams that don’t care on the final day of the MLB regular season? Well, that’s what I’m here for and I think I’ve found a bet that has some value thanks to the starting pitchers on the mound.

Find out the best bet I have dug up for this unique situation in tonight’s MLB betting picks and predictions Phillies vs. Astros.

Phillies vs Astros best odds

Phillies vs Astros picks and predictions

Framber Valdez’s streak of 25 consecutive quality starts was one of the most impressive feats in baseball this season. But with the Astros basically locking up the top seed in the American League in mid-September, it feels like the effort dropped off a bit.

In fact, Valdez has arguably thrown his two worst games in his last two starts, allowing 10 earned runs on 20 hits over 10 2-3 innings against the Orioles and Rays. So, a tune-up before next week’s ALDS might be just what he needs.

Valdez has pitched to an expected ERA of 3.39 while limiting opponents to a .229 batting average. The southpaw pitches to contact using a sinker and cutter and gets a lot of ground balls as a result and there could be plenty of that today.

With Game 1 of the Wild Card Round in St. Louis on Friday, the Phillies will likely give a bunch of their regulars the day off and instruct who is in there to do a lot of first-pitch swinging so they can wrap this game up as quickly as possible. 

The Phillies counter with a lefty of their own in Bailey Falter. Falter has been a late-season surprise for the Phillies, making eight starts since the end of August and pitching to a 3.07 ERA and he’s been more impressive than that.

Take away a horrible outing against the Braves, where he allowed six run on 10 hits, and his ERA drops to 2.08 while pitching into the sixth inning in six of those seven starts. That said, he doesn’t look to factor into the Phillies' plans for the wild card, so they can let him pitch for as long as they want in this one. 

The Astros started most of their regulars in yesterday’s game but pulled several mid-way through the game. Don’t be shocked to see more bench ABs for the Astros today.

All things considered, I think the starters have the edge, at least early on. Bet the Under first five. 

My best bet: Under 4 first five innings (-115 at DraftKings)

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Phillies vs Astros moneyline analysis

The Astros opened this game as about -180 home favorites but they are starting to see the early money in this interleague matchup. And why not?

Even in a game where their starters played only half the game, that was more than enough at-bats as the Astros put up five runs in the first inning yesterday in an eventual 10-0 drubbing. The also Astros have more depth on their bench than the Phillies do, so both teams turn to their benches in this one the comparative edge still belongs to the Astros.

The same goes for the bullpens. The Astros have arguably the best bullpen in baseball, ranking first in ERA and third in opponent batting average while the Phillies rank 24th and 21st respectively in those categories.

So, even though there might be some temptation to take the underdog value with the Phillies here, there’s a reason why the Astros have won 105 games this season. I would lean towards Houston or stay away.

Phillies vs Astros Over/Under analysis

The total is 7.5 for this matchup and based on my best bet, you can guess which way I am leaning here. The only thing that gives me pause for the full-game total is that both teams could throw their worst relievers into this game and just let them pitch to the finish line no matter how things go. So, that’s why the Under first-five is the preferred bet.

Phillies vs Astros trend to know

The Under is 4-1 in Bailey Falter's last five starts, and 10-4-1 in the Astros' last 15 games vs. a team with a winning record. Find more MLB betting trends for Phillies vs. Astros

Phillies vs Astros game info

Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
Date: Wednesday, October 5, 2022
First pitch: 4:10 p.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia, AT&T SportsNet Southwest

Starting pitchers

Bailey Falter (6-4, 3.90 ERA): Falter has been a breath of fresh air for the back end of the Phillies rotation late in the season. He’s made eight starts, allowed three earned runs or fewer in seven of them, and pitched into the sixth in five.

Framber Valdez (16-6, 2.89 ERA): During his streak of 25 consecutive quality starts, Valdez pitched to a 2.41 ERA while limiting opponents to a .211 batting average. 

Phillies vs Astros latest injuries

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