The Philadelphia Phillies (-130) face a tough test against Justin Verlander at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday when the impressive right-hander takes the mound for the Houston Astros (+110) in Game 5 of the World Series with both teams looking to take hold of the series.
The early total was set at 7.5. The Astros leveled the series 2-2 after winning 5-0 on Wednesday, their fourth head-to-head victory in seven games this season. Cristian Javier threw six scoreless, no-hit innings – striking out nine – for the win. Kyle Tucker was 1 for 2 with a double and one RBI in the win over the Phillies.
ON THE MOUND
Verlander (18-4, 1.75 ERA) is slated to take the mound for Houston. The right-hander leads the league in ERA. He also shares the AL lead in wins. Verlander faces the Phillies for the second successive start. He allowed five runs over five innings on Friday, a 6-5 home defeat.
He gave up six hits while striking out five and walking two in the no-decision. Over two previous starts against the Phillies this season, Verlander has allowed five earned runs over 10 innings (1-0, 4.50). He has struck out 15 and walked three.Right-hander Noah Syndergaard (10-10, 3.94 ERA) takes the mound for Philadelphia.
He has made two appearances against the Astros this season, both as the starter, giving up three runs over 9.1 innings (1-0, 2.89) with four strikeouts and six walks. In his last appearance on October 22, Syndergaard pitched in relief at home against the Padres. He threw 1.1 scoreless innings and gave up two hits in the 10-6 victory.
AT THE PLATE
Over the last five games, Houston has averaged 4.2 runs a game, a small drop compared to their season average of 4.5. Against right-handed pitchers like Syndergaard this season, the ‘Stros have a .726 OPS. Alex Bregman has been the team’s biggest slugger against right-handers with a .504 SLG in 308 at-bats.
Philadelphia is averaging only 3.8 runs per game in the last five, down slightly from 4.6 for the season. The Phils have a .727 OPS against right-handers in 2022. With a .900 OPS over 380 at-bats, Kyle Schwarber has been their best hitter against right-handers.
HOME AND AWAY
Houston is 55-31 on the road in 2022, scoring 4.5 runs per game while allowing 3.2 runs. Philadelphia has gone 53-35 at their home park this season, averaging 5.0 runs per game while surrendering 4.0. Philadelphia is 7-3 in the last 10 games at Citizens Bank Park between the teams with an average scoreline of 4.7-3.6.
The Astros won the AL West with a record of 106-56. The Phillies finished third in the NL East (87-75).
SportsTips’ MLB Pick:
Philadelphia Phillies (+135)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.