By Edward Egros
FOX Sports MLB Betting Analyst
Game 3 of the MLB National League Championship Series takes place tonight with the Houston Astros seeking revenge on the San Diego Padres for bringing the best of them in Game 2. If you want to bet on this game, I’m here for you.
I will guide you through these playoffs by giving you daily study materials. This homework is to preview each game with some bets I like for the daily list.
That’s the school bell that can only mean one thing.
Classes are back!
Here are my favorite bets for Friday’s game, with odds via FOX Bet (times are ET).
Juan Soto and Brandon Drury give the Padres a 7-4 lead over the Phillies
San Diego Padres (Joe Musgrove) at Philadelphia Phillies (Eugenio Suarez), 19:30 o’clock (FS1 and the FOX Sports App)
Going back to one of the very first lessons we discussed in this course: if your batting average (BA) is lower than your expected batting average (xBA), then a positive regression to the mean may be due. If you just look at the Padres and Phillies and how they’ve performed since the close, two of the top four underperformers are Juan Soto and Josh Bell.
It wouldn’t make sense if two players who had expected top-50 batting averages in the first half of the season fell completely apart despite a good situation in San Diego. Eventually they would improve, and they did in Game 2 of the NLCS, combining four hits, three RBI and four hard-hit balls.
Soto and Bell now meet Ranger Suarez, who uses a combination of sinker and changeup to keep the ball down. He doesn’t give up many hard-hit balls, but clear-eyed singles and patient walks can be how to score runs in Game 3. Luckily for the Padres, Soto is capable of both.
I like the parlay of Soto recording a run and the Padres win. As for the Phillies, who will face a multitude of pitches thrown by Joe Musgrove, Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber have lifetime expected batting averages greater than .380 with a negative BA – xBA differential. These are small sample sizes, but enough for me to lean Schwarber and Harper to record a hit each, and more than enough for me to like the Phillies to cover the one run.
SELECT: Parlay Soto to record a run, Padres to win (+210 on FOX bet)
SELECT: Schwarber and Harper each record a hit (+135 on FOX bet)
SELECT: Phillies running line (+1, -143 on FOX bet)
Edward Egros is a sports analysis broadcaster/writer, sports betting analyst, data scientist and Associate Professor of Statistics at Pepperdine University. These passions drove him to become a cold brew fan. Edward previously worked for local television, most notably at Fox’s Dallas affiliate, covering Rangers, Cowboys and high school football. Keep following him Ttwitter @EdWithSports.
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