The Atlanta Braves will look to finish off the Houston Astros in Game 5 of the World Series, going into tonight's matchup with a commanding 3-1 series lead.
It’s one thing to win the World Series but it’s another to win on your home turf — which is what the Braves have an opportunity to, after maximizing their home field advantage so far this postseason.
Atlanta is 7-0 at home in the playoffs, including winning Games 3 and 4, but are MLB betting underdogs at home tonight — despite needing just one more win before it's celebration time.
If Houston can survive tonight, the series would shift back to Minute Maid Park in Houston for Game 6 and (potentially) Game 7.
Here are our best free MLB picks and predictions for Astros vs. Braves World Series Game 5 on Sunday, October 31.
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 10/31/2021 at 8:33 a.m. ET.
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Astros vs Braves game info
• Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, GA
• Date: Sunday, October 31, 2021
• Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
• TV: FOX
Astros vs Braves betting preview
Framber Valdez (Postseason: 1-1, 6.35 ERA): Throughout the last couple of seasons, Framber Valdez has been one of the better lefties in all of baseball. However, things have shifted against Valdez in the playoffs: He’s allowed 24 hits in 17 innings this postseason with 13 runs allowed. In Game 1 of this series, Valdez coughed up five runs on eight hits in just two innings. That’s concerning for the Astros in a must-win situation, but Valdez’s turn is up in the rotation and he’s given them some great outings before.
Tucker Davidson (0-0, 3.60 ERA): After using a bullpen game last night, Atlanta manager Brian Snitker will employ the same strategy tonight as Charlie Morton, who would normally have started this game, is sidelined after suffering a broken fibula in Game 1. Getting the start will be Tucker Davidson, who replaced Morton on the WS roster and has not made an appearance in the Major Leagues since mid-June.
Astros vs Braves series odds (Atlanta leads 3-1)
Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.
Astros: Pedro Baez RP (Out).
Braves: Ronald Acuna Jr. OF (Out), Josh Tomlin RP (Out), Charlie Morton SP (Out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Braves are 11-0 in their last 11 home games against teams with a winning record. Find more MLB betting trends for Astros vs. Braves.
Astros vs Braves predictions
Braves ML (+103)
The Braves have been red-hot at home, winning all seven postseason games at Truist Park. So despite not naming a pitcher at this time, there's still plenty of reasons we like the Braves to win.
First: Framber Valdez will get the start and while his xFIP is just 2.90 in the last 30 days, he’s still struggled to get outs. Against his last 74 righties, Valdez has allowed a .381 wOBA and ISO of .224, while, his last 25 lefties faced have a .418 wOBA and ISO of .261.
The Braves lineup has crushed lefties — and they’ve crushed Valdez. Atlanta's projected lineup has an absurd .354 wOBA and ISO of .470 over the last 30 days, and Valdez allowed eight hits and five runs in two innings against the Braves in Game 1 of the World Series.
Meanwhile, the Braves have held the Astros to just two runs in the last two games and continue to be the better pitching staff. Atlanta will likely be employing another bullpen-heavy game, starting with Tucker Davidson, who replaced Charlie Morton on the WS roster.
Davidson battled injuries this year and only made four starts for the Braves (in May and June), boasting a 4.38 xFIP with 18 strikeouts and eight walks in 20 innings, while also making four starts for Triple-A Gwinnett, where he sported a 1.17 ERA. He limited Major League batters to a .222 BAbip in limited appearances, however, so he’s capable of getting outs.
The Braves pulled off a win in a bullpen game last night, and backing them to do it again — at plus money — is a bet we're willing to take. We like the Braves to finish things off tonight.
Under 8.5 (-110)
The Braves have crushed lefties but the reality is, the Astros are going to be mixing and matching pitchers all night. When you’re down 3-1, you have to overmanage and leave it all on the field.
Therefore, Valdez will have an extremely short leash and hand the ball over to the Astros relievers at the slightest hint of trouble. Atlanta has struggled to hit the Houston bullpen and is only averaging 3.5 runs per game in the World Series overall.
We don’t expect many runs tonight, with a ground-ball heavy pitcher in Valdez and Davidson — followed by yet another mishmash of Atlanta arms — to keep the Astros off-balance.
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