Philadelphia Phillies vs. Houston Astros World Series Game 6 (11/5/22) Starting Lineup, Betting Odds, Prediction
The Astros did what no team could do in the earlier rounds, winning not once but twice in Philadelphia to push the Phillies to the brink. Too many Phillies bats have gone cold while a couple of key Astros hitters have gotten hot. Whether that’s the result of the Astros’ pitching or not, that’s been the difference. Can Framber Valdez give Houston another pitching gem and deliver the Astros their first championship since 2017?
Let’s take a look at starting lineups, betting odds, and predictions for Saturday night’s Game 6 at Minute Maid Park.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Houston Astros Betting Odds
The Astros are home favorites at -148 on the moneyline, with the over/under set at 7 runs.
Houston is again a favorite, though the line isn’t too dramatic at home with Zack Wheeler on the mound for the Phillies. Maybe it should be. Framber Valdez has been excellent all postseason (or all season) and looks like the toughest Astros pitcher to beat right now.
At the same time, the Phillies tend to thrive when their backs are against the wall, and we saw the Astros slip up in this exact scenario against the Nationals three years ago.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Houston Astros Picks & Prediction
My Pick: Astros Moneyline (-148)
If the Phillies couldn’t win in their powder blues after Meek Mill opened the game with an on-field performance, a championship might not be in the cards this year. Pitching wins in the postseason, and there is no pitching staff more dominant than Houston’s right now. Valdez might be the best groundball pitcher in baseball, and we saw why in Game 2 when Philadelphia had little answer for him.
The Phillies will need to go back to their high-contact ways if they want to win this game, and the last two games don’t give the impression that it will come easy. The Astros have been here and come up short before, but it feels like this time they might just be too powerful to fail. Astros -148 for a championship is the better bet in Houston.
Philadelphia Phillies Starting Lineup
LF K. Schwarber L
1B R. Hoskins R
C J. Realmuto R
DH B. Harper L
RF N. Castellanos R
3B A. Bohm R
2B J. Segura R
CF M. Vierling R
SS E. Sosa R
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Framber Valdez
Framber Valdez could be named a Cy Young finalist next week after the best season of his young career. Valdez posted a 2.82 ERA across 31 starts (201.1 IP), leading the AL in innings and preventing home runs better than virtually any other starter. Valdez allowed only 11 homers in his more than 200 innings, solidifying his reputation as one of the game’s elite ground ball pitchers.
Valdez has been excellent in the postseason, allowing 3 ER over 19 IP. True to his track record, he hasn’t allowed a home run, but he has walked three batters in two of his three starts. Control has been an issue for Valdez in the past, so the best bet for the Phillies might be to have patience and try to build up his pitch count.
The Phillies’ offense has cratered in the last two games. Bryce Harper and Jean Segura continue to hit, but Philadelphia badly needs J.T. Realmuto and Rhys Hoskins to get going. Realmuto, Hoskins, and Nick Castellanos are a combined 0-25 over the last two games. That won’t get it done.
Valdez can only be beaten by walks and contact – home runs rarely do it – so that trio might want to join the party. Harper, Segura, and Bohm aren’t going to be able to do it by themselves unless Zack Wheeler delivers a legendary performance.
Houston Astros Starting Lineup
2B J. Altuve R
SS J. Pena R
DH Y. Alvarez L
3B A. Bregman R
RF K. Tucker L
1B Y. Gurriel R
LF A. Diaz R
CF C. McCormick R
C M. Maldonado R
Houston Astros vs. Zack Wheeler
Zack Wheeler pitched like an ace again in 2022, posting a 2.82 ERA (identical to Valdez) over 26 starts with a 2.89 FIP and 1.04 WHIP. He looked tremendous early in the postseason but ran into some trouble at the very start of Game 2 of the World Series. By the time he collected himself, it was too late for the Phillies. Still, Wheeler is exactly who Philadelphia would want in an elimination game, and he’s someone who can give the Phillies some length and preserve the bullpen for Game 7 if they build up a sizable early lead.
It was the very talented top of the Astros lineup that got to Wheeler in Game 2. He handled the bottom of the lineup well and should do so again as one of baseball’s top arms, but the top of Houston’s lineup is capable of beating anyone. Wheeler will have to quiet the bats of Jose Altuve and Jeremy Pena, who led off Game 2 with big hits and shined again in Game 5.
The key is the 1st inning. If Wheeler can set the tone early and prevent the crowd from exploding, he should be able to settle in and begin cruising. If Wheeler gets burnt by the top of the lineup early again, a Phillies comeback against Valdez in this kind of environment might be too tough of a task.