Did you know that Dodgers lefty Rich Hill was playing independent ball just two years ago? Now he finds himself a day away from taking the mound at Dodger Stadium as the home team’s starting pitcher. He has a daunting task, though, as the Houston Astros will start Justin Verlander, who has a lifetime 7.20 career ERA in the World Series but has been pitching masterfully in this postseason for the Houston Astros. The Dodgers have home field advantage in the World Series thanks to a better regular-season record than the Astros, and they definitely want to send the series to Houston with a 2-0 advantage, as the Astros are undefeated at home in this postseason. Take a look at our MLB odds preview on Game Two of the 2017 Fall Classic.
Houston at LA Dodgers World Series Game 2 Odds & Prediction
Can he send a tied #WorldSeries back to H-Town?
— MLB (@MLB) October 25, 2017
When: Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 8:09pm ET
Where: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
Radio: ESPN Radio
Live Stream: MLB.tv
World Series Odds for Game 2: Dodgers -115
Pitching Matchup: Justin Verlander (15-8, 3.36 ERA) (HOU) vs Rich Hill (12-8, 3.32 ERA) (LA)
- Clear: 27°C/80°F
- Humidity: 31%
- Precipitation: 0%
- Wind: 5 mph W
- Cloud Cover: 0%
- Type of Stadium: Open
Why should you bet on the Astros?
Justin Verlander won the ALCS MVP thanks to holding the New York Yankees to a single earned run over 16 innings. He pounded the inner half of the plate with his fastball and used his breaking stuff to induce bad swings from the youthful Baby Bombers. One does wonder if he will have some World Series yips — that 7.20 ERA in the Fall Classic came from his time with the Detroit Tigers — but it’s hard to see him losing confidence given the series that he just put together for the Astros.
As you might expect, the Astros’ hitters have minimal exposure to the Dodgers’ pitching staff — even with interleague play, none of the Astros have more than six at-bats against Rich Hill in their careers, and only six of them have ever reached safely against him. However, Jose Altuve and Carlos Beltran have taken Hill out of the yard, and Brian McCann and Josh Reddick are both 1 for 2 lifetime against him, so they should feel some confidence with him on the hill.
Also, that Astros’ offense has been scoring in bunches all season — although they did not do as well in the Bronx during the ALCS. If you like the Astros here, you see Verlander dominating the Dodgers’ batters while Houston takes advantage of the fact that Hill has not reached the sixth inning in any of his postseason starts and either breaks through against him or the setup part of the Dodger bullpen.
Why should you put your money on the Dodgers?
Rich Hill has pitched well in both of his outings in this postseason. Over 10 combined innings, he has permitted just three runs on six hits. That is not the same sort of domination that Verlander has shown during this postseason, but if the Dodgers can get to Verlander, they should get good enough pitching out of Hill to stay on course in this game. The Dodgers as a team had a significantly better ERA+ than the rest of MLB, so even if Hill has to give way for the bullpen early, I like Los Angeles’ advantage on the hill (no pun intended).
Curtis Granderson has 18 career at-bats against Verlander (and a .222 lifetime average, with a home run and an RBI), but none of the other Dodger batters have more than nine at-bats against him, and only three other Dodgers have ever hit safely against him. Kenley Jansen represents the better closing option, so if this game is close in the late innings I would definitely see the Dodgers having an edge. I don’t think that Houston will come out and rake against Hill right away; I see this going back and forth throughout.
Latest World Series Betting Trends
- Astros are 2-8 ATS in the last 10 games
- Astros are 13-6 SU in the last 19 games
- The total went UNDER in 6 of Houston’s last 9 games
- LA Dodgers are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 games
- LA Dodgers are 10-1 SU in the last 11 games
- The total went UNDER in 4 of the LA Dodgers’s last 5 games
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I see Verlander giving in a little bit to his World Series demons and surrendering a couple of runs early before things settle into an extended duel. I predict a 4-3 Dodger win.