Game 3 of the 2019 World Series shifts to Nationals Park Friday with the Washington Nationals up 2-0 on the Houston Astros. The Nationals, who got into the postseason as the National League’s top wild card, shocked the baseball world with a 5-4 victory in Game 1 and then a 12-3 rout in Wednesday’s Game 2, winning both on the road at Minute Maid Park. They’ll now host three straight games over the weekend, needing two victories in order to secure the franchise’s first world title. Below, we make our Nationals vs. Astros Game 3 picks for the moneyline, spread (run line) and over/under. We’ll compare prices at FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook in search of the best returns. We’ll also look at the game’s best prop bet.
Trade-deadline acquisition RHP Zack Greinke gets the call for the Astros. The Nationals turn to RHP Anibal Sanchez after presumed Game 3 starter LHP Patrick Corbin was used for one inning of relief in Game 1. The first pitch of Game 3 will be thrown at 8:07 p.m. ET in front of what’s sure to be a raucous home crowd in Washington. Before then, be sure to check out TheLines for a full breakdown of the pitching matchup and notes on both teams.
Nationals vs. Astros moneyline
For the first time all series, one team will have a discernible advantage in the starting pitching matchup. Greinke pitched to an 18-5 record and 2.93 ERA over 33 starts for the Astros and Arizona Diamondbacks. Sanchez went 11-8 with a 3.85 ERA over 30 starts. As such, the Astros remain the moneyline favorites at both DraftKings (-125) and FanDuel (-128) despite their two-game deficit.
The Nationals have taken over as the favorites in the series. They’re -286 at DraftKings and -280 at FanDuel while the Astros are +235 and +225, respectively. They are fully expected by the books to win two of the remaining five games. DraftKings even has the 4-0 Nationals sweep set as the favored series score at +275, but Washington is priced at +700 to win in seven games while Houston has +375 odds to win if the series goes the distance (they’ll have home-field advantage for Games 6 and 7).
Based on these series prices, the Astros are the play to get their first win in Game 3. Greinke pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings against the Nats as a member of the Diamondbacks on June 13. He struck out three with no walks and just two hits allowed in an Arizona win at Nationals Park. Trust the better career starter, despite Sanchez’s two strong performances in the postseason thus far. The Astros are 6-2 straight up in their last eight games following a loss and 6-2 in their last eight interleague road games against a team with a winning record. They’re also 39-14 in their last 53 games following an off day and 5-2 in Greinke’s last seven starts both overall and on the road.
The Pick: Astros -125 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Nationals vs. Astros run line
The Astros fell apart Wednesday once starter RHP Justin Verlander was pulled after six innings. The bullpen allowed a total of eight runs (five earned). Nationals relievers allowed just one run in the bottom of the ninth inning with the game well in hand. The collapse raised Houston’s collective bullpen ERA to 4.69 through 13 playoff games. Washington relievers have an aggregate ERA of 4.58 through 12 games.
The poor postseason for the Houston ‘pen follows a league-best 2.20 ERA over the final month of the regular season. The Astros’ 3.10 bullpen ERA over the 2019 season as a whole ranked second in baseball behind only the Minnesota Twins. Stick with the higher-seeded team and trust the regular-season numbers to correct themselves.
Nationals vs. Astros over/under
The first two games of the series each played to the Over, with the Nationals taking care of the Game 2 number all on their own and then some. The Nationals had the sixth-best Over percentage in baseball in the regular season. They went 44-37-5 against the projected total in games played at Nationals Park. They’re 6-6-0 against the O/U in the postseason and the Astros are 6-6-1. Houston had the league’s best Under percentage in the regular season at 57.8.
The projected total for Game 3 remains at 7.5 at both FanDuel and DraftKings. The higher number is favored at both books. All but one of Greinke’s three postseason starts finished above Friday’s projected total. His regular-season starts went 18-15 against Friday’s number. Sanchez’s two postseason outings played to either side of 7.5 combined runs. His regular-season starts went 18-12 against the projection of 7.5 runs.
Bank on the Astros providing the bulk of the offense and stick with the series trend of the Over.
The Pick: OVER 7.5 (-114 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
World Series Game 3 best bet
First Team to Score: Nationals (+138 at DraftKings Sportsbook)
While Greinke has the edge in the starting pitching matchup, Sanchez was excellent his first time through a batting order this season. He pitched to a 1.76 ERA with 57 strikeouts against 18 walks with seven home runs allowed. His ERA then jumped to 4.42 his second time through and 6.52 when facing the same hitters a third time in a game.
Greinke pitched to a 2.19 ERA his first time through the order with the rate jumping to 4.44 on his second pass before correcting to 2.08 on his third trip through the opposing order. The home crowd will help get the Nationals on the board early before Sanchez begins to fade and gives way to the Astros comeback.