World Series odds: Washington Nationals won’t sweep Houston Astros

Anibal Sanchez (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Anibal Sanchez (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

The Nationals took the first two games of the World Series from the Astros, but odds makers don’t expect a sweep.

Nobody would have predicted that the Washington Nationals would leave Houston with a 2-0 World Series lead over the Astros. Who would have expected the Nats to put up 12 runs in a game started by Justin Verlander? Yet, World Series odds makers are not about to be swayed by that recent history.

The money line odds consensus, as provided by The Action Network, puts Houston at -141 to win Game 3 of the World Series, which is set to begin a little after 8 p.m. at Nationals Park. Translated, that means it takes a $141 bet on Houston to win $100, for $241 total return, an implied odds of winning of 58 percent.

The Nationals are a consensus +127, meaning a $100 bet on Washington would return an additional $127 for $227 total.

The spread is 1.5 runs, with the Astros at +1.5 and the Nationals at -1.5.

World Series pitching matchup: Zack Greinke vs. Anibal Sanchez

A big reason for the odds likely comes down to the pitching matchup, with the Astros sending Zack Greinke to the mound against Nationals starter Anibal Sanchez. Not that Sanchez is a slouch — he did take a no-hitter into the seventh inning in the NLDS against the Cardinals.

However, Greinke enters the game following a 6 WAR season in which he put up a 2.93 ERA and struck out 187 in 208 innings. He finished the year with just .982 WHIP, which was good for fifth best in baseball though only third best among his teammates.

Greinke’s playoff run hasn’t been quite as strong. He suffered losses in each of his first two postseason starts, and earned no decision in the third. He has a 6.43 ERA with 16 strikeouts and five walks in 14 innings.

Sanchez has experienced pretty much the opposite. In his two postseason starts, he allowed just one run in 12-2/3 innings, for a 0.71 ERA, while striking out 14 and walking three.

For 2019, Sanchez’s numbers were good but not quite in the world of Greinke and his teammates. Sanchez posted a 3.85 ERA across 30 starts, striking out 134 in 166 innings. He had a 1.27 WHIP.

World Series hitting matchup

For the season the Astros put up the third-most runs in MLB with 920. A lot of credit can be given to the 288 home runs for the year. The Nationals were sixth in runs with 873.

But again, the postseason stats tell a different story. Washington has scored 62 runs in 12 games so far, for an average of 5.17. Anthony Rendon is hitting .325, while Game 1 heros Juan Soto has three home runs and Ryan Zimmerman two.

Houston has scored 48 in 13 games, for an average of 3.69 per game. Jose Altuve leads the way, batting .358 with five home runs and eight RBI.