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A battle of former Cy Young Award winners will take place in Game 1 of the 2017 World Series on Tuesday as the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers host the American League champion Houston Astros as solid home favorites. The Dodgers will send three-time NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw to the mound in the opener opposite Dallas Keuchel of the Astros.
Betting line: The Dodgers opened as -155 favorites (wager $155 to win $100); the total is at seven runs, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. Line updates and matchup report.
MLB betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 5.1-0.4, Dodgers (MLB picks on every game)
Why the Astros can pay on the MLB lines
While Los Angeles might have the best pitcher in the series in Kershaw, Houston might have the top one-two punch with Keuchel and Justin Verlander, a pair of Cy Young Award winners from 2015 and 2011, respectively.
Keuchel has not been as dominant as Verlander this postseason, but he was outstanding against the New York Yankees in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series, pitching seven scoreless innings with one walk and 10 strikeouts en route to a 2-1 victory. He was shaky in Game 5 last Wednesday but was not needed in relief in the two games that followed and should be well-rested for this monster matchup.
Why the Dodgers can pay on the MLB lines
Kershaw has exorcised some playoff demons by getting to the World Series for the first time in his illustrious career, but the Dodgers still have not seen his best stuff yet. That has to be at least somewhat promising, especially after his most impressive outing of the postseason versus the Chicago Cubs in Game 5 of the NLCS.
Although Kershaw surrendered a home run in his eighth consecutive start dating back to the regular season, he limited Chicago to just two other hits in six innings with one walk and five strikeouts as Los Angeles eliminated the defending World Series champs.
Smart betting pick
The Astros and Dodgers have not seen much of each other recently, squaring off only three times since the former joined the AL in 2013. Houston swept a three-game home series back in 2015 after dropping eight of the previous 10 meetings.
Los Angeles is more well-rested, but that has worked against teams in the past. Just ask Verlander after his Detroit Tigers swept the Yankees in the 2012 ALCS and then were swept by the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. Look for the Astros to get to Kershaw early and steal Game 1 in an upset.
MLB betting trends
Houston is 13-5 in its last 18 games.
Houston is 1-4 in its last five games on the road.
Los Angeles is 9-1 in its last 10 games.
All MLB odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.