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Oct 21, 2019

World Series - Best Bets

2019 World Series Betting Preview

With Jose Altuve's walk-off HR in the bottom of the 9th on Saturday night, the 2019 World Series matchup was set. The Houston Astros are looking for their second title in three years to further validate the 'tank mentality' that this organization and fan base suffered through during the early years of this decade.

The Astros are sizable favorites against a Washington Nationals organization who is making their first World Series appearance ever, after suffering years of playoff heartbreak themselves throughout the majority of this decade.

It's a pitching matchup for the ages with numerous Cy Young's, ERA titles, and All-Star appearances on both sides of the starting rotations, and it should be a series where a timely hit or two may be all it takes to flip the momentum of a game or the series in crowning a winner.

The series winner is where I'll start, but getting down on various props for this series is another way to collect units (hopefully) over the course of the next week or so, as I'll touch on a few of those as well. So do the underdog Nationals have a shot? Or will Houston live up to that hefty price tag and make it two titles in three years.

World Series Odds: Washington (+190) vs Houston (-230)

There really isn't much of a need to make this a long drawn out process if you caught this piece – Hot & Not Report – that I've already penned for Vegasinsider.com regarding the World Series outcome, as there isn't much to support the Nationals at all from a historical perspective. Houston's already got all of that working in their favor, and they come into the series with home field advantage and the better team that's priced like it. What more could you really ask for?

The three-headed monster of Cole/Greinke/Verlander is better then what Washington's got with Scherzer/Strasburg/Corbin in my view, and when you give the former three other inherent advantages like being at home and a better offensive lineup from top to bottom, the Astros should take care of business rather quickly.

Teams that have been in Washington's role in that they were coming off a LCS sweep rarely win more than one World Series game as it is, and that's happened in matchups that were considered much more even then having a -230 series favorite to overcome. So congrats to Houston fans, management and the analytical process of baseball as it looks like the Astros will get that second title in three years and give so much hope to fan bases around MLB that have endured some awful seasons of late as their organizations are in various stages of tanking and rebuilding.

Best Bet: Houston to win World Series (-230)

World Series Prop Bets

Houston to win 4-0 (+750) and Houston to win 4-1 (+400)

Laying -230 with the Astros may not be for everyone, but given the historical perspective of sweeping LCS teams winning one game or less in six of the seven World Series losses since the LCS format changed in 1985, this may be the better way to go for some. It's already happened five times this century where we've had a World Series team coming in off an LCS sweep, and while the 2014 Royals managed to go the distance, the other four teams (2006 Detroit, 2007 Colorado, 2012 Detroit, and 2015 NY Mets) never lasted more than five games.

That's a pretty nice historical percentage being offered up on two prop bets that are priced at +400 or greater, and when you think about the two teams specifically, would a Houston win in 5 games or less really be that surprising? I can't say that it would be, as they could easily go up 2-0 at home in Games 1 and 2, have Verlander grab Game 3 on the road, and then go from there. You take these bets and that scenario would present some very good hedging opportunities on the Nationals in those individual games and you can do what's best for your bankroll from there.

World Series MVP

Best Bet: Gerrit Cole (+650)

Cole enters the Fall Classic as the favorite to win this award and rightfully so. He's slated to get the start in Game 1, and if that's the case would be slated for a Game 5 start as well. That lines up quite nicely with the “Houston in 5” prop bet that I discussed earlier if he were able to get the W in both games, and considering he hasn't been on the hook for a loss since May, it's not like it's a reach to expect that from him.

So we could have a situation where Cole opens up and closes down this World Series, and while his past performances in the regular season/post season aren't supposed to be applicable to World Series MVP voting, they are going to be impossible for voters to ignore. The voters are human too, and unless there is the same guy coming up with clutch hits for Houston in a bunch of one-run games, two wins by Cole in the World Series, combined with a short series and what he's done all summer should lock up this award for him.

Pitchers aren't always the best option for the World Series MVP because of the idea that they can only affect a few games whereas position players can have an impact in every game, and two MVP wins for pitchers in the past 15 years suggests that. But if Cole continues to be as dominant as he has been, and this series is a brief one as I expect, a +650 price tag is worth the risk and should get there.

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