Astros vs. Braves World Series Game 3 Free Picks: Back Atlanta at Home

Ian Anderson #36 of the Atlanta Braves. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP

Anyone can win the World Series, but the Atlanta Braves can beat the MLB odds this Friday when they host the Houston Astros for Game 3.

Houston Astros vs. Atlanta Braves

Friday, October 29, 2021 – 08:09 PM EDT at Truist Park

The 2021 World Series is anyone’s to win. Coming into the Fall Classic, the Houston Astros (95-67, minus-1.01 betting units during the regular season) were favored to beat the Atlanta Braves (88-73, minus-1.39 units), but the Braves made this a coin-flip by splitting the first two games in Houston. Now they have home-field advantage with the next three games in Cobb County, starting with Game 3 this Friday night.

It’s still a toss-up who will take this contest. The Braves are very slight –109 favorites on the MLB odds board at SugarHouse Sportsbook; other locations have each side priced at –110 as we go to press. Atlanta carries some natural betting value into this matchup, but you might also want to consider the Under, since Friday’s forecast calls for light rain over Truist Park at game time. There’s an 8.5-run total at BetRivers if we want it, with the juice at –112. Maybe the classic underdog-Under parlay is the right choice for your MLB picks.

Thick As A Brick

The last time we talked baseball, I was on the Astros for Game 6 of the American League Championship Series, where they beat the Boston Red Sox 5-0 as –114 home faves to advance. I bring this up because Houston’s starter was Luis Garcia (3.63 FIP), who will also take the mound Friday night. Garcia allowed just one hit and one walk in 5.2 innings, while striking out seven.

Very well done, but Garcia also coughed up five runs to Boston in a single inning of work back in Game 2 – and another five innings to the Chicago White Sox in Game 3 of the ALDS. Meanwhile, Atlanta’s projected starter, Ian Anderson (4.12 FIP), has enjoyed a strong postseason, allowing just three earned runs in 12 innings and leading the Braves to the pay window in each of his three starts. Advantage: Atlanta.

Three-Cent Piece

The Astros counter with the best hitting lineup in the majors, racking up 33.9 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) at FanGraphs during the regular season – Atlanta finished No. 11 overall at 22.1 WAR. The bullpens were equally mediocre at 3.6 WAR, so once you cancel those out, it’s easy to see why it’s so hard to pick a winner for Game 3.

The kicker here could be the juice. If you’re going to make just one bet on this contest, and you’re choosing between the Braves and the Under, it’s obviously better to pay –109 juice than –112. If that’s not enough to help you decide, consider the two managers in this game. Do you trust Houston’s Dusty Baker, who last won Manager of the Year in 2000? Or do you trust Atlanta’s Brian Snitker, who won this award three years ago? Bet accordingly.

MLB Pick: Braves –109 at SugarHouse