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MLB Betting – 2021 World Series Preview

The Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves haven’t met in a baseball game since the 2017 season. However, these two teams are set to go toe-to-toe in the 2021 World Series. The Astros are the sports betting favorite in the Fall Classic as the oddsmakers at BetAnySports have them listed at -140. Normally, it’s pitching that wins championships but both teams clearly have pitching concerns in this series. If we’re looking at a high-scoring World Series, who does that favor? Let’s take a closer look.

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How The Astros Got Here

MLB Betting – 2021 World Series Preview

The Astros have been the butt of many jokes for the last couple of seasons. An alleged cheating scandal had put a lot of their previous success in question but in 2021, they put all of that speculation to rest. Even with the spotlight squarely on them, they led all of baseball in runs and RBI’s, and were also second in team OPS.

Many online gambling shops had the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers as the World Series favorites in the preseason but it’s the Astros who are favored as Game 1 approaches. They took care of the Chicago White Sox in a quick four games in the American League Divisional Series and then knocked out the Boston Red Sox in just six games in the American League Championship Series.

While the Astros have the bats, the main question is their pitching. Remember, Justin Verlander is out for the year and Lance McCullers is out for the series. If those two were playing, the Astros would be favored by much more than -140 the MLB odds. Absent of them, the Astros are going with Zack Greinke, Framber Valdez, Luis Garcia and Jake Odorizzi. Only three of their pitchers recorded 15 outs in the ALCS; that means the Braves should have ample opportunities to score here.

How The Braves Got Here

When the Braves lost Ronald Acuna Jr. for the season, many people felt that their chances of competing for a ring this season had gone out the window. After all, Acuna was among the favorites to win the MVP award at the time. The Braves stumbled along through the season and were as high as 30/1 to win the World Series in September. Now they’re just about a coin flip away from pulling this off.

What’s interesting about the Braves is that they also don’t have a really strong rotation. Charlie Morton, Max Fried and Ian Anderson will be their starting trio but they’re not striking fear into any opponents. As a team, this squad finished eighth in team ERA at 3.88 – right behind the Astros, who were seventh – and 10th in WHIP. However, their staff was good enough to stymie the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers. That gives them a lot of credibility going into the final series.

Outlook

With both team having some significant deficiencies in their starting rotation, this matchup is a clear tossup. What does seem clear is that this could and should be both a long series and a high-scoring series. If you’re going to bet now, think about the over in Game 1 and the over in terms of the series length.

Pick: Astros In 7

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