This series isn’t over.
Of course the odds are stacked against the Astros winning it all. They have to win three in a row to take the series, and in the entire history of the 7-games playoffs, only 14 of 90 teams have come back to win after being down 3-1.
But this is the Astros. We’ve seen their fighting spirit too many times to give up on them now. Just eight days ago they finished their third straight win against an equally tough Red Sox team. Not to mention three straight wins in the 2019 ALCS and World Series.
A win tonight and the series returns to Houston, with a doubt planted in the Braves’ head. And after all, with a 7-0 winning streak at home this post-season, the Braves are overdo for a home loss. So, at the risk of sounding cliché, it’s about taking it one game at a time. And improving on the current Astros’ World Series slash line: .206/.291/.298.
We know the Astros bats are streaky. Maybe it turns around in the next three games.
Speaking of streaky. The Astros starter tonight is Framber Valdez, who seems to alternate between a batting practice pitcher and a Hall of Famer from game to game. His last game was batting practice. Maybe today he duplicates the eight inning, one-run performance he laid on Boston in the ALCS.
On the other hand, the Braves counter Valdez with a rookie opener, Tucker Davidson, whose MLB experience consists of 20 IP and no playoff time. In the absence of the injured Charlie Morton, no doubt this is a bullpen day for the Braves, their second straight, so if there were ever a time of the Astros’ bats to break out it’s now.
So it comes down to this: Valdez has to be near the top of his game, and the bats have to come back alive, especially Alex Bregman, (.071 WS BA) Carlos Correa, (.143 BA) Yuli Gurriel, (.231 BA) and Yordan Alvarez (.091 BA).
Another key. The Astros slugged with two-outs and runners in scoring position against the Red Sox. In their three losses to the Braves the Astros are hitting 1 for 19 with runners in scoring position. It’s called regression, and again let’s hope positive regression begins tonight for the Astros.
Baseball Reference gives the Braves an 85% chance of winning the Series at this point. Which means, for the Astros, in the immortal words of Jim Carrey, “there’s a chance.”
Draft Kings has the odds for Game Five like this:
Here’s the lineups. Bregman is moved down to seventh.
When: Sunday, October 31st @ 7:15 pm CDT
Listen: Astros - KTRH 740 AM/99.1 FM HD-2, ESPN Radio, TUDN 93.3/KLAT 1010 / Braves - 680 AM/93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network, ESPN Radio, La Mejor 1600/1460/1130 AM
Watch: FOX, FOX-INT
DraftKings is now our official sportsbook. With DraftKings, pick your team, pick your players, pick up your cash!
Make your bet for the World Series before it’s too late! World Series odds HERE!