Houston Astros vs. Atlanta Braves: Game 5 Preview, Prediction, Picks & Odds -- 10/31/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Venue: Truist Park, Atlanta, GA
Where to watch: FOX

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: NL
BetMGM: Both -110
Caesars: NL

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Astros - Braves preview and analysis


World Series, Game 5 -- Braves lead 3-1

Here's how I knew the Atlanta Braves were winning Game 4.

The first inning.

When the Houston Astros were putting fear in the brain of rookie pitcher Dylan Lee and loaded the bases, and only brought in one run, that's when I knew the Braves were winning.

The Astros left too many runners on base in the early innings, and they had only two runs to show for it. It was only a matter of time before the Braves would break through. Enter Dansby Swanson and Jorge Soler going back-to-back in the bottom of the seventh.

Houston had no answer. And with an elimination game on Sunday, the Astros won't have any answer. There will be a party in Downtown Atlanta on Sunday night when the Braves win the World Series in Game 5 on Sunday.

Ever since the series shifted to Atlanta, the Braves went from depending on their bats to letting the pitching handle things. It started with Ian Anderson throwing five hit-less innings in Game 3 that led to a combined two-hit performance.

In Game 4 on Friday, the Braves turned to a rookie hoping to get one or two innings out of him. He only made it one-third, but it was an important strikeout from Lee. Kyle Wright allowed a run on an infield groundout but that was it.

Jose Altuve put a dent into that with a solo home run in the top of the fourth to give Houston a 2-0 lead. Outside of that, it was as strong of a 4.2 innings from Wright that the Braves could've asked for. 

It was as perfect of an outing for Zack Greinke, throwing four scoreless innings while only giving up three hits. Once again in another instance where this author does not understand the complexities of keeping a starter in the game when he’s killing it on the mound. Didn’t understand it for Anderson, didn’t understand it for Greinke. 

The Atlanta relievers combined for two hits the rest of the way. In what was hyped up to be a battle of the bullpen game this late into October, Brian Snitker has found the edge over Dusty Baker.

Which set the stage in the seventh. Eddie Rosario scored in the sixth to cut it to 2-1. In a park where the Braves have not lost all postseason, Dansby Swanson channeled the ghosts of Turner Field past and hit an opposite-field shot to right to tie it 2-2.

And then shortly after, Jorge Soler drilled a breaking ball over the middle to left, just beating Yordan Alvarez's outstretched glove and crash into the wall, to give the Braves the lead they would not relinquish. Will Smith shut the door in the ninth, and you can begin to feel earthquakes from Atlanta.

The Astros left 11 runners on base and six in scoring position. Just a few more hits could've changed this thing entirely. But I don't doubt the description of momentum in a home park. And right now, the Braves have all of that going for them heading into Sunday. 

Framber Valdez is expected to get the call for Game 5, while the Braves have yet to name a starter. At this rate, would it even really matter?

HOU - ATL Prediction


It's one thing to be down 2-1 and flip a series on its head like the Astros did in the ALCS. 3-1 is a completely different monster, and that ballpark is rocking. Not since the days of the Ying Yang Twins and Lil' Jon has the city of Atlanta been this hyped for a potential party in downtown Atlanta. This is a group that understands the opportunity presented in front of them. Get ready to party like it's 1999, Braves fans. Never has a World Series game had this much merit. Braves win 6-4

Betting trends


The Astros are now 4-7 (-4.9 net games) in the World Series the past three seasons.

The Astros are now 5-13 in games after having four hits or less.

The Braves are 22-15 after scoring and allowing three runs or less.

Projected lineup


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

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

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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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