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MLB World Series Game 2 Betting Primer: Lines, Odds and Predictions

The Braves' bats carried Atlanta to a win in Game 1 of the World Series. Should you bet on the Astros to rebound in Game 2?

Atlanta's first World Series victory in 26 years came at a costly price.

The Braves' bats teed off on Framber Valdez, but Charlie Morton suffered a right fibula fracture that ended his postseason and strains an already-thin Atlanta rotation.

Atlanta won on the moneyline, run line and held the lead in the first five innings, as Matt Ehalt predicted in our betting preview. Jen Piacenti hit on the under, and we came so close to the home run prop when Yuli Gurriel just missed a homer in the eighth. 

Wednesday's Game 2 features lefty (Max Fried (1-1, 3.78 postseason ERA) against Jose Urquidy (0-1, 27.00 postseason ERA).

Check out the latest odds at SI Sportsbook

Atlanta Braves center fielder Adam Duvall (14) and left fielder Eddie Rosario (8) and center fielder Guillermo Heredia (38) celebrate the win over the Houston Astros in game one of the 2021 World Series.


Piacenti: Going back to Houston on the moneyline today.

Urquidy makes me nervous, but Houston has to win this one at home and the bats can't stay quiet for too long. The Braves had to get into their bullpen yesterday and the Astros hit lefties well, so I think they can get an early knock or two on Fried.

Ehalt: This is a tough call.

Logic says the Astros won't fall in a 2-0 hole at home, but the Braves have the distinct pitching advantage here with Fried taking the ball. Yet, Fried had a clear edge facing Johnny Wholestaff in Game 5 of the NLCS against the Dodgers and lost.

Picking Houston here would have nothing to do with Urquidy, who had a disastrous start against the Red Sox in his only postseason performance Oct. 18.

Perhaps the deciding factor could be that Morton's injury forced Atlanta to use two of its better relievers in Luke Jackson and Tyler Matzek for 1 2/3 innings and 1 1/3 innings, respectively, in addition to A.J. Minter's fantastic 2 2/3 frames.

I have a hard time seeing Houston losing two straight, especially against a bullpen that could be up against it today. We'll bet the Astros.

RUN LINE: BRAVES +1.5 (-200); ASTROS -1.5 (+165)

Piacenti: There is no way I'm turning down plus-money for the Astros.

Ehalt: Even if you like Atlanta to win this game, there is no value in its odds. Take Houston and the plus-odds and hope they win by two runs.

OVER/UNDER: 8.5; OVER (-118); UNDER (+100)

Piacenti: We squeaked by with the under yesterday.

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I don't think that happens again today. Urquidy is a fly ball pitcher and the Braves have power for days. This one easily hits the over.

Ehalt: We came so close to a perfect 5-0 mark yesterday had Gurriel's long drive left the yard. That would have cashed the player prop and the over/under. Sigh.

So, we have the same line again at 8.5.

Urquidy struggled in his lone postseason start and there's little reason to think he's going to contain a hot Atlanta offense.

Fried yielded seven runs in 10 2/3 innings spanning two starts against the Dodgers, and the Astros' lineup presents a tough challenge. Add in an Atlanta bullpen that could be on fumes Wednesday, and I believe we're going to see a lot of runs.

Let's ride with the over (and hope we don't miss it by mere inches).

Check out the latest odds at SI Sportsbook

Houston Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez (59) reacts during the second inning against the Atlanta Braves in game one of the 2021 World Series at Minute Maid Park.


Piacenti: Fried is a ground ball pitcher and Urquidy is a fly ball pitcher. If I am betting this one, Atlanta could get up early. I'll take Atlanta -110 and be grumpy about it.

Ehalt: I have more faith in Fried than Urquidy, and I believe the late innings will be where Atlanta encounters the most issues. Since the odds are relatively the same, let's back the better pitcher here. We'll take Atlanta holding a lead after five.

PROP: FRIED STRIKEOUTS; OVER 4.5 (+112); UNDER 4.5 (-142)

Piacenti: The Astros haven't looked good at the plate, but I'll go with the numbers here. The Astros had the second-best batting average and most RBIs versus lefties during the regular season. They also had the league-lowest K rate versus lefties—an eye-popping rate of only 18.3%, which is even lower than their overall strikeout rate of 19.4% (also the best in the league). So, I'll take the under, but I have to say—that plus-money is pretty tempting. Astros haven't seen Fried and he has good stuff.

Ehalt: This is a fun prop bet.

Fried has 17 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings this postseason, and topped 4.5 strikeouts in his first two outings (nine against Milwaukee in Game 2 of the NLDS; five against the Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLCS). He only fanned three Dodgers in Game 5.

It's well-known that Houston doesn't strike out, but a trend has emerged this postseason in their games against lefty starters: They will strike out if the pitcher stays in the game. Now, yes, that is kinda simple logic. More innings = More K's.

But, let's look at the lines by lefty starters against them:

Carlos Rodon (G4, ALDS): 2 2/3 IP, 3 K
Chris Sale (G1, ALCS): 2 2/3 innings, 2 K
Eduardo Rodriguez (G3, ALCS): 6 IP, 7 K
Sale (G5, ALCS): 5 1/3 IP, 7 K

Betting on the over means you think he can last roughly five innings or more.

Fried has topped 4.5 strikeouts in two of three starts and Houston has tallied more than 4.5 strikeouts against a lefty pitcher two of four times.

The evidence isn't overwhelming, but give me Fried and the over.

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