Astros vs Braves World Series Game 4 Picks and Predictions: Braving the Cold

ATL turns to its bullpen as it looks to build on a 2-1 World Series lead. Houston may have to rely on its bats with a shaky starter on the mound, and the hosts may not be very accommodating. Find out why with our Astros vs Braves picks for Game 4.

Last Updated: Oct 30, 2021 9:59 AM ET Read Time: 4 min

The Atlanta Braves will take a 2-1 series lead into Saturday night’s Game 4 against the Houston Astros at home in the 2021 Fall Classic. The Braves held a no-hitter into the eighth inning last night but settled for a 2-0 win as the Astros finished with two hits in the blanking. 

The Braves (-110) will turn to the bullpen in Game 4 as Brian Snitker’s relievers and their 3.18 ERA and 1.10 WHIP will do the heavy lifting in a bullpen game. Houston (-110) will Counter with Zack Greinke who has made just one start over the last month. The Braves are 6-0 SU at home in the postseason.   

Here are our free picks, predictions and MLB odds for Astros vs. Braves for Saturday, October 30.

Astros vs Braves odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

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Astros vs Braves picks

Picks made on 10/30/2021 at 9:15 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Astros vs Braves game info

Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, GA
Date: Saturday, October 30, 2021
Time: 8:09 p.m. ET

Astros vs Braves betting preview

Starting pitchers

Zack Greinke (Postseason: 0-0, 7.72 ERA): Zack Greinke has made just one start over the last 40 days which was an abbreviated outing in the ALCS where the right-hander allowed two runs on one hit and three walks while recording just four outs. Dusty Baker said he will let Greinke get as deep as he can go but getting past the third inning would be an accomplishment for the inactive veteran. Greinke owns a 4.29 postseason ERA over 109 innings and a 4.76 ERA since 2020.

Bullpen day (Postseason: 3.18 ERA): Brian Snitker will go to a bullpen day, which means we will likely see Jesse Chavez and Drew Smyly throw the early innings before turning things over to Chris Martin, Luke Jackson, A.J. Minter, Tyler Matzek and Will Smith. The Braves have only used a bullpen day once in the playoffs, in a 9-2 win in L.A. in Game 4 of the NLCS. The bullpen approach should not be discounted as much as we’d think, as it was 3-0 SU in the NLCS.

Astros vs Braves series odds (ATL leads 2-1)

Astros: +160
Braves: -182


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

Key injuries

Astros: Jake Meyers CF (Doubtful), Pedro Baez RP (Out), Justin Verlander SP (Out).

Braves: Ronald Acuna Jr. (Out), Mike Soroka (Out) Josh Tomlin (Out), Huascar Ynoa SP (Questionable), Charlie Morton SP (Out).

Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Both teams are 3-0-1 to the Under in their last four games. Find more MLB betting trends for Astros vs. Braves.

Astros vs Braves predictions

The Braves almost made history last night as their pitching staff carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning during, what was at the time, a 1-0 ball game. Relievers Tyler Matzek and Will Smith would both allow a hit to Houston but Atlanta would walk away with a 2-0 win and a 2-1 series lead heading into Game 4 Saturday night. 

In the Braves’ two wins, the Astros are 10 for 63, which is good for a 0.158 average, and they've hit just one home run in 96 at-bats in the series. The cold weather in Atlanta that hit 49 degrees at first pitch last night may have had something to do with cooling off the Houston bats, but even in their 7-2 win versus Max Fried, the Astros used five singles through the infield to score four runs in what was anything but batting practice.

Now, the Houston bats will face a heavy dose of an Atlanta bullpen that has been spectacular so far in the playoffs, with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. In the last game, Brian Snitker used this strategy: Jesse Chavez (1), Drew Smyly (3 1-2), Chris Martin (1), A.J. Minter (2), Tyler Matzek (1) and Will Smith (1) combined to toss nine innings, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out four. This lineup doesn’t include Luke Jackson, who was perfect in his outing last night. Bullpen days are not a disadvantage anymore.

The Astros will have a huge question mark on the mound as Zack Greinke gets the ball. He's made just one start since September 21, and that was in the ALCS where he recorded just four outs and threw 37 pitches. The Astros won that game 9-2 but had to overcome the early one-run deficit that Greinke put them in. If Greinke can get through the order twice, we’d be amazed. He's coming in on 10 days of rest.

It’s never easy for AL teams to play in NL ballparks. The advantage lies with the National League team as their pitchers can bunt better and their pinch hitters are more familiar with coming off the bench. Houston’s bench sticks — Aledmys Diaz, Marwin Gonzalez, Jose Siri and Juan Castro —  have not had big postseason roles and expecting them to come off the literally cold bench to succeed is asking a lot. 

The Braves are hitting .249 with a .745 OPS in the postseason, which is impressive considering the pitching they faced in Los Angeles and Milwaukee. In the series, the Braves are 25 for 102 (.245), have hit four home runs, and own a .411 slugging percentage. No. 7 hitter catcher Travis d’Arnaud has been the hottest bat, clubbing a pair of home runs and hitting .417.

The Astros’ strengths lie in their bats, and in this weather, having to face a parade of locked-in relievers, we have no problem taking the Braves, who are a perfect 6-0 SU at home in the postseason. We feel the price should be closer to ATL -120 with Greinke starting. Betting on the Braves in these playoffs would have bettors up 6.51 units in 13 games.

After yesterday’s cold outing, we were expecting this total to hit 8, but were pleasantly surprised to see an opening total of 8.5. The Under has yet to lose in this series if you got the 9 in Game 2, as it's 2-0-1 to the Under. One might think that fading a team on a bullpen day is a good idea but the NLCS proved that wrong in its small sample size.

The Dodgers and Braves used bullpen days three times in that series and the team facing the bullpen didn’t manage more than three runs in any of those games. With the Atlanta relievers on the quick turnaround, they should carry Game 3’s confidence into today. Luke Jackson tossed a scoreless seventh last night and looks to be back on track after a rough NLCS. 

If Greinke falters early, Dusty Baker will have no problem using his elite bullpen arms. Houston relievers have a 2.89 ERA in 68-plus innings this postseason and have given up just two runs in 15 1-3 innings in this series. The quicker Baker turns to his bullpen, the better it is for Under backers.

Cold weather is expected again Saturday night with temperatures of low-50s at first pitch. There will also be some rain finishing around six o’clock, while 11 mph crosswinds are expected. Ball Park Pal has Truist Park as very pitcher-friendly Saturday with an effect of -3.53 total bases.

It’s October baseball and we’re hitting the Under 8.5 at the National League park.

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