World Series Game 5 best bets: Astros to put Phillies on the brink

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The Astros leveled the series in dominant fashion on Wednesday night, plating five runs and throwing a combined no-hitter.

Can the Astros also claim Game 5 and head back to Houston with two chances to close things out, or will the Phillies rebound?

Let's dive in with two plays for the swing game.

Astros (-155) @ Phillies (+135)

Justin Verlander has been one of baseball's best pitchers for what feels like forever. That hasn't translated into success when the games matter most.

For whatever reason, Verlander simply hasn't been able to find success in the World Series. Through eight starts, Verlander has six losses attached to his name and combined to allow eight runs over 11 innings in the two no-decisions. He just hasn't gotten the job done.

I think that changes in Game 5. For one, a pitcher as talented and dominant as Verlander is going to find his way at some point. It's not realistic to expect him to put forth well-below-average results time after time.

He has generally pitched well against this Phillies lineup, albeit over a small sample size. His xwOBA sits at .241 through 66 plate appearances versus Philadelphia's hitters.

Despite conceding five runs last time out, Verlander only allowed hard contact on two balls put in play. That's an encouraging sign.

If Verlander can hold his own, and I expect he will, the Astros will be in good shape. Noah Syndergaard hasn't pitched a lot over the last couple of months, and the results were a little underwhelming when he did.

"Thor" posted a 4.15 FIP and struck out only 13% of batters faced. He allowed a ton of balls to be put in play, which is right in the Astros' wheelhouse. It's also worth noting the Phillies were among the MLB's worst teams in defensive runs saved. Allowing a ton of contact to dangerous hitters - with a subpar defense behind you - is probably not a recipe for success.

Look for the Astros to build on Wednesday's dominant win and claim another victory to put the Phillies on the brink.

Bet: Astros (-155)

Yordan Alvarez over 1.5 bases (+115)

Alvarez isn't exactly at the peak of his powers right now. He has failed to record a hit in five of his last nine games and has gone under this total seven times during that stretch.

Alvarez, like Verlander, is one of the best players at his position, though, and is only going to stay quiet for so long.

A date with Syndergaard - who he'll probably only see two or three times - could be just what he needs to get back on track.

Syndergaard throws five different pitches but most frequently leans on sinkers and sliders.

Alvarez posted a .415 xwOBA and 63.8% hard-hit rate against sinkers this season, both of which comfortably lead the Astros.

The star slugger also led the way in xwOBA (.454) and hard-hit rate (52.5%) versus sliders while being worth a run value of plus-11.

Of the five pitches Syndergaard throws, the curveball is the only one Alvarez doesn't mash against. However, that's Thor's least frequently used pitch (10.9%).

Alvarez should get some good pitches to hit, and I like him to take advantage.

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.