World Series Betting Guide: Phillies at Astros, Game 1

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Using our model as a guide, let's take a look at the most appealing MLB lines from FanDuel Sportsbook.

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Philadelphia Phillies at Houston Astros

Phillies Moneyline (+142)
Kyle Schwarber 2+ Total Bases (+140)

The World Series kicks off on Friday night in Houston, and we have a star-studded pitching matchup between Justin Verlander and Aaron Nola.

The Houston Astros are a pretty hefty favorite to take Game 1, priced at -168 on the moneyline. The market might be sleeping on the Philadelphia Phillies in this one, especially with how good Nola has been this season. While Houston has proven over the course of the year to be a better team than the Phillies, our model gives the Phils a better chance than their +142 moneyline implies.

It all starts with Nola. The Philly right-hander had a superb regular season and has been really good down the stretch -- despite a stinker versus the San Diego Padres last time out. For the year, Nola pitched to a 2.80 SIERA, 29.1% strikeout rate and 3.6% walk rate. That's dang good. Even with a bad outing in his most recent start, Nola has been top notch in the postseason, too, recording a 2.59 SIERA and 25.0% strikeout rate.

Prior to giving up six earned runs in 4 2/3 innings against San Diego last week, Nola had been scorching-hot. In his three previous starts -- which came against the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals and the Astros -- Nola kept three elite offenses to zero earned runs over 19 1/3 innings while punching out 21. In the game in Houston, Nola blanked the Astros over 6 2/3 frames, giving up only two base-runners and fanning nine.

As for Verlander, he had an incredible campaign and just put forth a vintage display against the New York Yankees, striking out 11 over six dominant innings. He's clearly still got ace-level stuff. But his overall 2022 numbers -- while excellent -- do lag behind Nola's pretty much across the board as JV posted a 3.09 SIERA and 27.8% strikeout rate. He'll have to deal with high-powered lefties Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper, and Verlander gives up some loud contact, including a 43.6% fly-ball rate in the regular season.

Per our algorithm, the Astros should be favored but not by as much as they are. Philadelphia's +142 moneyline price implies win odds of 41.3%. We think the Phillies win 43.5% of the time, opening up some value on taking the Phils to win outright.

In the prop market, I want to pick on Verlander's fly-ball ways. Verlander gave up a 45.2% fly-ball rate to left-handers, and both Schwarber (.341 wOBA and three homers in the playoffs) and Harper (.564 wOBA and five taters) are in a groove right now. You can make a case to take either to go deep -- both are at +360 to dong -- but I like the +140 number on Schwarber to total at least two bases.