PHILADELPHIA - Usually here in the top section I've given shouts to players for helping win one of my picks (thank you for last night's runs, Kyle Schwarber). Last time around, I offered up a grievance. Today, I'm here to grieve for myself.
Bryce Harper has been a money-making machine in the playoffs. Both for the Phillies and for those of us who have been wagering on him. When I took him in Game 1 of the World Series to top 1.5 total bases (he did), I noted he'd hit the over there in nine of the previous 10 games. I've often preached riding the hot hand, too. And yet, I did not pick him for any prop for Game 3. His two-run homer on the first pitch he saw meant he hit the over on everything.
For shame, Matt.
I am not, however, going to make that mistake again.
Bryce Harper, just ride the wave
The Phillies slugger is hitting .382 with an .818 slugging percentage, six doubles, six homers, 13 RBI and 12 runs in 14 playoff games this year. He's spreading everything out, too, having gotten a hit in 12 of the last 13 games and an extra-base hit 10 of them. There isn't much data on any of the Phillies or Astros against opposing pitchers in this series, but who cares about that?
Bryce is hitting everything, so we might as well hit along with him. Pick whatever you like here. I'm partial to RBI.
- Home run, +360
- Over 0.5 RBI, +156
- Over 0.5 runs, +115
As for total bases, which would've been my favorite: As of this writing, it's off the board at Caesars. He's that hot.
Cristian Javier, OVER 5.5 strikeouts
For whatever reason, Astros manager Dusty Baker is insistent on his starting pitchers getting through the batting order a third time. It arguably cost them Game 1 and hurt their chances at a comeback in Game 3. It has even set the Phillies up nicely for Game 4.
The Phillies, by the way, aren't immune to the whiff. They've struck out 33 times this series and even Lance McCullers, Jr., in between getting shellacked, struck out five in his 4 1/3 innings.
Javier struck out 194 in his 148 2/3 innings in the regular season. The Phillies, though, have barely seen him: Brandon Marsh has faced him seven times and Kyle Schwarber saw him twice last ALCS. That's it. When there's unfamiliarity, it's generally an advantage to the pitcher.
Even if Javier only lasts five innings, he'll be worth around seven strikeouts in that time.