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World Series Game 2 — Atlanta Braves vs Houston Astros

2021 MLB World Series

Should We Keep Riding the Braves in the World Series?

By Charles Jay

The Atlanta Braves may come off as an unlikely team to have made it through the National League playoffs and into the Fall Classic, what with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants having won over 100 games. But as we approach World Series Game 2 against the Houston Astros, Atlanta seems to be in pretty good shape, even though they have lost perhaps their most proven starting pitcher.

Charlie Morton had the assignment for the opener, and got into the third inning before having to exit with what was diagnosed as a cracked fibula, the result of getting hit with a line drive. He’s unavailable for the rest of the series. The Braves rode homers by Jorge Soler and Adam Duvall to a 6-2 victory.

In Game 2, Atlanta sends southpaw Max Fried to the hill, with righty Jose Urquidy pitching for the Astros.

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At BetAnySports, the odds favor Houston, who are playing at home at Minute Maid Park:

Houston Astros (Urquidy) -115
Atlanta Braves (Fried) +105

Over 9 Runs (+100)
Under 9 Runs (-120)

Astros -1.5 Runs (+170)
Braves +1.5 Runs (-200)


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World Series Game 2 — Fried…. at last

Morton had given up just a single run in a 17-inning stretch against his former teammates, so his absence is big. AJ Minter came in and threw a career high in pitches (43) and was credited with the victory.

Max Fried has never started a game against Houston. In the playoffs, he’s had two very good outings and a rough one. Last time out, against the Dodgers in the NLCS, he gave up five runs and failed to get out of the fifth inning. What’s important to note is that he has walked just two batters in his last 22-2/3 innings of work.


World Series Game 2 —  Houston’s all about offense

The Astros led the major leagues in batting average and runs scored, and only one team has struck out less frequently. Coming into the World Series, they had scored at least five runs in twelve of their last 13 games.

There are few easy outs in this lineup. We’ll see if Yordan Alvarez can continue the torrid run he had in the ALCS against Boston, where he was 12 of 23 with an OPS of 1.408. The old standbys are still on hand, such as Jose Altuve, Yuli Gurriel, Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve. And Alex Bregman, who was limited to 91 games this season, hit .375 against the White Sox in the ALDS.

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World Series Game 2 —  Braves good enough to shoulder loss

BetAnySports customers who have not followed the Braves this season may not be aware that they had to go without a player who might be among the best in baseball for half the season.

Ronald Acuna Jr. suffered a season-ending injury, having played just 82 games. During that time, he had 24 homers and 17 stolen bases, with a .990 OPS, which would be tops on this team if he would have qualified with enough at bats.

To compensate, general manager Alex Anthopoulos went out and acquired some offense, as the Braves brought aboard the likes of Jorge Soler (14 homers in 208 at bats), Joc Pederson, Adam Duvall and Eddie Rosario, who was the big hero in the NLCS, with a .560 average and three homers.

Soler led off Game 1 with a homer, becoming the first player in the history of the World Series to do so, and Duvall had a two-run shot.

World Series Game 2 —  Our conclusion

Sometimes it’s not a matter of who has been better throughout the season, but who is better right now. And right now, Atlanta is a team that has won 20 of its last 25 games. And not for nothing, but Houston has dropped its last five World Series games at home.

Urquidy, who had a 0.991 WHIP ratio during the regular season, has had a hard time putting the other side down of late. He’s given up 14 runs in his last 18 innings, with six home runs. So do the Astros really know what to expect from him?

We’re perfectly okay in moving with the BRAVES to go up 2-0 in this series, at the slight underdog price.

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