Washington Nationals vs. Houston Astros World Series Game 2 Pick

October 23, 8:07 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Astros -180/Nationals +160

The Washington Nationals grabbed the 1-0 lead in this World Series with a somewhat stunning victory over Houston and Gerrit Cole Tuesday night. Washington now throws a guy who might win the National League Cy Young Award this year, in an attempt to go up 2-0 Wednesday night. And yet the Nats are once again lined as big betting underdogs. How are we playing this game with our free MLB pick?

MLB Betting Odds

MLB World Series betting odds opened Houston at around -175 for Game 2 over Washington, with an over/under of 7.5 runs. Early betting action then bumped that to -180.

The Astros could also be found getting around +115, giving the run and a half on the MLB run line.

World Series Game 2 Betting Set-Up

Washington took the opener of this World Series Tuesday night 5-4, cashing in as a +175 underdog on the MLB World Series betting line. The Nats spotted the Astros the first two runs of the game, then scored one run in the top of the second, one in the fourth and three in the fifth to take a 5-2 lead. The Washington bullpen then allowed Houston to get within one run into the bottom of the ninth but closed it out from there for the victory.

Game 1 played over a total of 6.5 runs during that three-run Nationals fifth inning, and it played over the runs/hits/errors total of 23.5, as the teams combined for 19 hits.

With Tuesday's victory, Washington is 9-2 this post-season, riding a seven-game winning streak.

With Tuesday's loss, the Astros are 7-5 this post-season.

Game 2 Starting Arms

Verlander, by our strict standards, finished 24/34 on quality starts this season, and he's 2/4 in these playoffs. Last Friday, in Game 5 of that ALCS against the Yankees, Verlander gave up four runs, and two home runs through seven innings of a 4-1 Houston loss. And over his four starts in these playoffs, he's allowed ten runs and 18 hits, including five dingers, through 24 1/3 innings, with 29 strikeouts and eight walks.

The Astros played 24-10 with Verlander during the regular season, and they're 2-2 with him this post-season.

This start will be Verlander's first against the Nationals since 2013 when he was still with Detroit, and that's a long time ago.

Strasburg finished 20/33 on quality starts this year, and he's 2/3 in these playoffs, along with a nice relief stint in that wild-card game victory over Milwaukee. Nine days ago, in Game 3 of that NLCS against St. Louis, Strasburg allowed just one run – none earned – and seven hits through seven innings, with 12 strikeouts and zero walks, in an 8-1 Washington win. And over his four appearances this post-season he's allowed just four ER and 18 hits through 22 innings, with 33 K's against only one base on balls!

The Nationals finished 21-12 with Strasburg this season, and they're 3-0 with him this post-season.

This start will be Strasburg's first against the Astros since 2017 when he threw six scoreless innings in a 5-4 Washington victory.

Game 2 Batting Splits

Washington batted .258/.337/.448 against right-handed pitching this season. The Nationals have since scored 50 runs in their 11 playoff games.

Houston batted .274/.349/.492 against RH pitching this season, helping this lineup rank as the best in the Majors in this split. The Astros have since scored 45 runs over their 12 games in these playoffs.

The Bullpens

The Nationals bullpen ranked among the worst in baseball this season, posting an ML-worst 5.66 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP while allowing an .800 OPS. But Washington relievers have closed out every win during this seven-game post-season streak.

The Astros pen ranked among the best in baseball this season, posting a 3.75 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP while holding foes to a .694 OPS.

MLB Betting Trends

  • Washington played 43-38 on the road this season.
  • Houston played an ML-best 60-21 at home this season.
  • Washington played 69-52 against right-handed starters this season.
  • Houston played 68-44 against RH starters this season.

Totals Report

  • Unders played 76-75 in Nationals games this season.
  • Unders played 84-71 in Astros games this season.
  • Unders played 39-37 in games played at Minute Maid Park this season.
  • Overs played 16-15 with Strasburg this season.
  • Unders played 22-11 with Verlander this season.

Nationals at Astros World Series Pick

It's very difficult to beat Cole and Verlander back-to-back, but the way the Nats are playing, we're asking, "why not?" Washington's riding a huge wave of momentum, it's getting excellent starting pitching, timely hitting, the bullpen is better as of late, and it's getting another attractive underdog price. We like the value here with the Nationals.

Free Pick: 
Take the Nats +160