2019 World Series Odds and MLB Betting Picks: Nationals vs. Astros
The Washington Nationals punched their World Series tickets after sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals. Then, Washington received a bit of a break as the Astros and Yankees needed six games to decided the American League Champion. The Astros claimed victory at home after a walk off home run off the bat of Jose Altuve ended the Yankees season. The Astros will look for another World Series championship while the Nationals stand in their way. Here is a quick breakdown and betting picks for the World Series.
2019 World Series — Astros vs. Nationals
- Houston Astros – 209 (use our Borgata Sportsbook promo code to get these odds
- Washington Nationals +192 (use our DraftKings Sportsbook promo code to get these odds)
The 2017 World Series Champions return after a year hiatus while the Washington Nationals will make their first appearance in the World Series. Houston opens as a hefty favorite while the Nationals — once +2700 to win the World Series — play the role of underdog. Pitching has proven to be the difference in both leagues — with both starting staffs carrying their respective teams to an opportunity for a ring.
The Nationals made quick work of the St. Louis Cardinals — sweeping the Cards in short order. Howie Kendrick won the NLCS MVP with four of his five hits going for extra bases. Joined by Anthony Rendon, Juan Soto, and Trea Turner — Kendrick and the Nationals outscored the Cardinals 20-6 in the four-game sweep. All four of the Nationals’ starters logged a win — with Anibal Sanchez opening the series with a 7.2-inning shutout performance. Max Scherzer and fellow aces, Patrick Corbin and Stephen Strasburg, closed out the series with a win apiece — receiving plenty of rest as a reward for the quick victory.
Meanwhile, the Astros’ ALCS victory was highlighted by the contributions of two stars — Jose Altuve and Gerrit Cole. Cole shut the Yankees down for seven innings in his start — striking out seven while giving up nine baserunners. Meanwhile, Jose Altuve hit .348 with two home runs, 3 RBI, and 6 runs. Altuve’s big blast came after DJ LeMahieu tied Game 6 of the ALCS in the top of the ninth inning with a two-run home run. Almost instantly, Altuve returned the favor with a two-run walkoff home run — cementing his MVP honors while sending Houston back to the World Series.
What stands in the way of another Astros’ title? More like who… Max Scherzer will take the ball for Washington in Game 1 as a +175 underdog on DraftKings Sportsbook. Scherzer was unstoppable against the Cardinals in the NLCS — pitching seven shutout innings with 11 strikeouts while allowing only three base runners. Even with the Astros as huge favorite in both Game 1 and the series, that type of performance demands respect against any lineup. Scherzer’s battery-mate, Stephen Strasburg, was not to be one-upped by his pal pitching seven shutout innings in Game 3 and striking out 12 batters. The Nationals will need both aces to be in top form to compete with the well-balanced Astros.
The Astros duo of Cy Young hopefuls are not to be ignored as Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole are capable of completely shutting an opposing offense down in any start. Gerrit Cole has been especially spectacular — logging three wins in three starts as he completely dominated the Tampa Rays and held the Yankees in check. Cole will start in Game 1 on plenty of rest as a -200 favorite setting up a full series of unbelievable pitching matchups.
2019 World Series Betting Picks — Nationals vs. Astros
So, where is the edge? Both starting staffs are exceptional. Both lineups are scoring runs. The Astros have two advantages that the Nationals cannot match — home field advantage and a stalwart bullpen. The Astros finished the regular season with the top-rated bullpen in xFIP (4.06) and K-BB% (17.8). Washington ranked just ahead of Miami for the second-worst xFIP for relievers (5.06). The Nationals used starters in relief roles throughout the postseason to avoid calling on the bullpen too frequently even though Daniel Hudson recorded two saves in the NLCS as well as the save in the Wild Card game versus the Brewers. Washington will need Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg to turn in masterpieces to match the likes of Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander. The less exposure Houston has to the Washington bullpen will better the odds that the Nationals can pull off the upset.
With that said, home field advantage and a lopsided advantage coming from relievers is enough to compel me to side with the Astros in the 2019 World Series. The Astros will hoist the trophy again for the second time in three years. Give me the Astros in six.
World Series Pick — Houston Astros -209 (Borgata)
If you like the Astros in six games, like I do, be sure to book the bet at PointsBet promo code is offering +300 for a 4-2 Houston series victory while FanDuel Sportsbook is posting +250 at the time of this writing.
For more general betting tips check out our MLB Betting Picks Strategy Guide.
Image Credit: USA Today Sports Images