Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Will Smith, center, celebrates their win in Game 4 of baseball’s World Series between the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, in Atlanta. The Braves won 3-2, to lead the series 3-1 games. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
The Houston Astros visit the Atlanta Braves in Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday (October 31st, 8:15 pm ET)
Houston will give the ball to Framber Valdez (1-1, 6.35 ERA), while Atlanta is expected to throw its second straight bullpen game
Read below for odds, analysis and a betting prediction
If history is any indication, the Atlanta Braves are likely going to win the World Series, the only question is how many more games will it take from them to do so.
Atlanta rallied in Game 4 to take down Houston 3-2, and now own a 3-1 series stranglehold. Teams that have taken a 3-1 lead in the World Series have gone on to win the title 87% of the time, which must be music to the ears of Braves fans.
Atlanta can lock up its first World Series championship since 1995 on Sunday, when they host Game 5.
Astros vs Braves Game 5 Odds
O 8.5 (-110)
U 8.5 (-110)
Odds as of Oct. 30th at FanDuel.
The Braves and Astros both opened up with identical -108 moneylines for Game 5, in a contest that features a total of 8.5. First pitch is scheduled for 8:15 pm ET at Truist Park in Atlanta, with another chilly evening for baseball on deck. The forecast currently calls for 7 mph winds and 55 degree night time temperatures.
2021 MLB MVP Odds Tracker
The Braves used six relievers in Saturday’s Game 4 victory and will throw a bullpen game for the second straight night on Sunday. That was the plan all along after Charlie Morton’s injury in Game 1, and so far the Atlanta relievers have been phenomenal.
They limited Houston to two runs and eight hits in Game 4, and have now yielded only five runs and 19 hits over 23.2 innings during the series.
Braves get the win at home 🤩
Atlanta is one win away from a #WorldSeries title! pic.twitter.com/DR8vbKrQ3f
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 31, 2021
Houston will counter with Framber Valdez, which means brace yourself for any and all possible outcomes. Valdez has been incredibly inconsistent this postseason, and is just as likely to throw a complete game shutout as he is to leave after only a couple innings. His last two starts personify that.
The last time Framber Valdez allowed 5+ earned runs in a game was July 6
It’s the first time he’s allowed 5+ runs in any Postseason game pic.twitter.com/3P2Tc3Le7b
— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) October 27, 2021
The 27-year-old was the Astros’ Game 1 starter and lasted all of 2 innings. He was rocked by the Braves for five runs on eight hits, including two homers. That miserable start followed perhaps the best outing of any pitcher during this year’s playoffs, when Valdez threw 8 innings of one run ball in Game 5 of the ALCS.
2021 Batting Average vs Starting Pitchers
Batting Average in World Series
Batting Average vs Valdez
Valdez has been a roller coaster dating back to the start of September. He’s allowed at least four runs in five of his past nine starts, failing to make it out of the third inning twice. In Game 1, he was hit especially hard by the top half of the order, as each of Atlanta’s top-six hitters reached base, with Jorge Soler and Adam Duvall going yard.
Astros vs Braves Pick
With their victory on Saturday, the Braves improved to 7-0 at home this postseason. That ties the MLB record for most consecutive home wins during a single postseason, and it’s hard not to like their chances in Game 5. Atlanta has won 12 of its past 13 games at Truist Park, outscoring their opponents by 24 runs during that stretch.
How we feeling, Braves Country?#BattleATL pic.twitter.com/FErHEDgKNQ
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) October 31, 2021
The Braves bullpen meanwhile, has been nothing short of spectacular during this series, especially when Houston has runners in scoring position. The Astros were 0-for-8 in those instances on Saturday, stranding nine runners. After batting .267 with runners in scoring position during the regular season, Houston is just 4-for-31 (.129) this series.
As for Valdez, he’s simply not someone we can trust right now. Sure, he was brilliant for that one outing in the ALCS, but the rest of his resume over the past two months is not pretty. Atlanta already lit him up once this series, and with their second meeting coming at home, where they boast a better team slash line than on the road, I like the Braves chances of chasing him early again.
Pick: Atlanta Braves Moneyline (-108)