Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros: World Series Game 1 Odds, Picks and Preview -- 10/26/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 8:09 p.m. ET
Venue: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
Where to watch: FOX

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Astros -140, Braves +120
BetMGM: Astros -128, Braves +105
Caesars: Astros -130, Braves +120

Will Rogers put forth a strong five-game run in the League Championship Series by going 4-1-0 with a net of $2,800. He’ll look to keep things rolling in the World Series starting Tuesday. Catch Will’s and other plays available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers. 

Braves - Astros preview and analysis


World Series, Game 1

Recent form
Braves: won National League Championship Series in six games vs. Dodgers
Astros: won American League Championship Series in six games vs. Red Sox

The Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves for all the marbles, just like the baseball gods foretold us back in April.

That, quite actually, did not happen whatsoever. That doesn’t mean we won’t be limited in how great of a series this will be.

Game 1 of the World Series is Tuesday and the early indications are the Astros are slight favorites at the start. Houston rallied from a 2-1 deficit to win the final three and return to the Fall Classic for the third time in five years behind timely hitting and dominant pitching when it counted.

“We talked, and we said, ‘We have to play better. This is not good enough,’” Astros shortstop Carlos Correa said. “And we showed up and we showed we can make adjustments on any given day. The pitching staff, they threw strikes, they pounded the zone, they limited the walks, and that was the key for us to win the series.”

After losing 12-3 in Game 3 at Fenway Park, the Astros not only responded in kind by beating the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS, but curb stomped them into the Green Monster. Houston combined to win Games 4-6 by a score of 23-3. A seven-run ninth inning in Game 4 didn’t just dash any hopes of Boston winning the pennant at home; it completely erased any and all hope the Sox had in doing anything in October going forward.

In Game 5, Framber Valdez pitched eight innings of stellar baseball to send the series back to Houston, only for rookie Luis Garcia to close it with seven strikeouts over 5.2 innings.

“It was a really hard-fought series all around,” third baseman Alex Bregman said. “A lot of people just stepped up. I’m just super proud of everybody. The series could have gone either way, and I’m just proud of everyone.”

And I think it’s safe to say that once the Astros punched their ticket to the last leg of the postseason, conventional wisdom dictated that the Los Angeles Dodgers would meet them one more time.

Alas, no. The Braves are partying like it’s 1999 with an opportunity at a world championship in their grasp. Atlanta, for the most part, dominated the NLCS against the defending world champs, and one would like to think they should’ve given the Dodgers were down Max Muncy for the entire playoff run, and Justin Turner as recently as Game 5.

But it wasn’t just the Braves taking advantage of a banged-up 106-win powerhouse. The backbone of the Dodgers, their starting rotation, could not silence the hot bat of Eddie Rosario and the heart of the Atlanta lineup.

And yet there was one key component missing.

“We’re up here going to the World Series without Ronald Acuña Jr.,” reigning NL MVP Freddie Freeman said. “It’s amazing what this team did.”

Charlie Morton will get the call on the mound for 1, while Valdez is expected to get the start for the Astros.

“It's truly a great moment, not just in my career, but in my life as well, but I want more,” Rosario said. “I want to win the World Series.”

Prediction


The last time the Astros were in the World Series against the Washington Nationals, no team won a single home game. That trend isn’t happening this year. The Astros are on a sizzling tear and while this will be an amazing series, the Astros get off to a strong start by the arm of their talented pitcher. Astros win 6-4

Betting trends


The Braves are 6-14 in interleague games this season.

Atlanta is 24-8 this season after a stretch of winning six or seven of its past eight games.

The Astros are 86-51 as a favorite of -110 or higher this season.

The over is 6-1 this season when the Astros shut out their opponent.

Key injuries


Braves: None

Astros: SP Lance McCullers Jr. (forearm, out)

Projected lineup


Braves:
Eddie Rosario (L) LF
Freddie Freeman (L) 1B
Ozzie Albies (S) 2B
Austin Riley (R) 3B
Adam Duvall (R) CF
Jorge Soler (R) DH
Joc Pederson (L) RF
Dansby Swanson (R) SS
Travis d'Arnaud (R) C

Astros:
Jose Altuve (R) 2B
Michael Brantley (L) LF
Alex Bregman (R) 3B
Yordan Alvarez (L) DH
Carlos Correa (R) SS
Kyle Tucker (L) RF
Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
Chas McCormick (R) CF
Martin Maldonado (R) C

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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