World Series Game 3: Astros vs Phillies (10/31/22): Starting Lineup, Betting Odds, Prediction

After taking one of the two games in Houston thus far, the underdog Phillies have stolen home field advantage from the Astros. But the AL Champs can take it right back by winning one of the next three games, all of which will take place in Philadelphia. Let’s look at the odds and make some predictions for this pivotal Game 3, as the World Series comes back to Philadelphia and its fans for the first time since 2009.

Astros Vs. Phillies Betting Odds

The Phillies are set as 1.5-run underdogs at home, although they are a solid -150 to cover that line. They’re +110 straight up, with the Astros at -130, so Vegas sees this matchup as pretty tight, partially due to the significant home field advantage of Citizens Bank Park. The run line is set at 8, relatively low considering the dynamic of this series so far.

Astros Vs. Phillies Picks & Prediction

The Phillies finally dealt the Astros their first loss of the postseason after mounting a ferocious comeback in an instant-classic game 1, but Houston fought back and secured the equalizer in game 2. Now, the series could very well hinge on game 3, as Noah Syndergaard will take the mound for the home team and try to outduel Lance McCullers Jr., to a certain extent. “Thor” has been used three times in this postseason by Philly, but twice for just an inning of relief, and one as an “opener” where he started the game but threw just three innings of one-run ball. Syndergaard has actually been on this stage before- he gave up 3 runs in 6 innings of work for the Mets in a Game 3 win in the 2015 World Series. McCullers has an excellent postseason record, tossing a 2.27 ERA across 68.1 innings, and he allowed 3 runs over 7.2 total innings in two winning efforts in the 2017 World Series. That being said, back in the ALCS he started game 4 and while Houston won, he got knocked around by a Yankees team he’s generally owned. It’ll be interesting to see how he bounces back against an offense that has been more consistent in the playoffs.

I definitely trust McCullers and his track record more than Syndergaard, and the Houston offense seems to be coming alive at the right time (21 runs in the last 4 games). Conversely, the Phillies just had their most anemic offensive performance in awhile. Of course, Citizens Bank Park is notoriously tough for visitors, as the rabid Philly “phanatics” will be out in full force. I’ll be siding with Houston in this one, although it’s hard to safely bet with the uncertainty of just how long Syndergaard will be in the ballgame. Forcing Philly to lean heavily on a bullpen that ranked 23rd in ERA in the regular season, and just 5th so far in the postseason, could mean trouble, but if Syndergaard is able to get deeper into this game he could help Philly compete. This also makes the run line tough to project, but I’m going to stick with the over in this matchup between two teams that have generally swung the bat well this October.

Astros Starting Lineup

2B J. Altuve R
SS J. Pena R
LF Y. Alvarez L
3B A. Bregman R
RF K. Tucker L
1B Y. Gurriel R
DH T. Mancini R
CF C. McCormick R
C M. Maldonado R

Astros Vs. Noah Syndergaard

Syndergaard has been solid against the Astros in two career starts; he’s allowed 3 runs over 9.1 innings, but he only struck out 4 batters compared to 6 walks. Lefties hit him pretty well; his OPS-against surges by 60 points against them, and his K/BB ratio falls from over 5.7 to just below 3.4. While Houston is fairly right-handed, Syndergaard could struggle against breakout performer Kyle Tucker and MVP afterthought- but excellent player- Yordan Alvarez, two Houston lefties who are extremely dangerous at the plate.

The only Houston starter who has much of a track record against him, good or bad, is Aledmys Diaz, who has faced Syndergaard 8 times and earned an OPS of 1.333 in those plate appearances, which included a homer. It’s an interesting draw for the Astros; they’ll likely hope Syndergaard is asked to work through the lineup one time too many, as only a few of their hitters have seen him more than a couple of chances to see his stuff and figure it out. Houston has hit the ball a good deal better at home, which could also work in Syndergaard’s favor.

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
CF B. Marsh L
2B J. Segura R
SS B. Stott L

Phillies Vs. Lance McCullers Jr.

McCullers actually has some serious reverse splits across his career, and that trend has been even stronger this season. This bodes well for his performance against a Phillies lineup that is highlighted with two lefty superstars in Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber, although Schwarber has homered against McCullers in one of just two of their head-to-head at bats. Harper has raked at home this season, while Schwarber’s NL-leading power has been more present in road appearances. Nick Castellanos one of a few starters for the home side who has a few at bats against McCullers, and he’s 0-9 with a walk. Similarly, Jean Segura is just 4 for 23 against McCullers, but Brandon Marsh is 3 for 9, the only Phillie who has had decent success against their opponent in game 3.

Similarly to the situation for Houston against Syndergaard, this lineup does not have a lot of experience against the pitcher they’ll be facing; it’s going to be key to work long at-bats, work his pitch count, and see as much of him as possible as they try to figure out how to beat him. Another similar note to the opposite matchup is that the Phillies have hit a bit better at home, although- not shockingly- the split is less dramatic than Houston’s. McCullers will have to seriously lock in and not let the surely raucous Philly crowd get to him if he wants to swing the momentum back to his team’s side.

From starting my own blog in Middle School, to working on a friend’s in college, and finally joining the Lineups team this year, I’ve been writing about sports for over a decade. I graduated from the University of Michigan last year, where I took sports journalism classes alongside my business major. Having played and watched sports for almost my whole life, I aim to provide insight and entertainment in my writing about professional and collegiate leagues.

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