Last night, the Philadelphia Phillies dropped Game 5 of the Fall Classic, falling behind 3-2 in the series. It was a better showing than their efforts the game before which saw Rob Thomson’s crew get no-hit, just the second time in World Series history any participant has been held hitless. However, that no-no had bigger ramifications than we may have initially realized.
You see, in order to get more people to use their app, popular online betting site DraftKings offered an interesting double prop ahead of Game 4 — an opportunity to bet on the over/under for total 76ers’ three-pointers plus total Phillies’ hits. ...I’m sure you can see where this is going.
The Sixers, who so far this season are averaging 13.8 three-pointers per game, were taking on the Washington Wizards that night. Philadelphia is hitting those shots at a stunningly high 41.2 percent. Sure, the Wizards have been an above-average defensive team against the three-pointer, allowing opponents to hit only 33.1 percent of shots from downtown (the ninth-best percentage in the NBA), but as long as the Sixers played their game and played it well, the Phillies would only need around 7-8 hits to secure the bag for over bettors.
The Sixers’ game started about two hours before the first pitch, and they did their part. They only had six three-pointers at the half, before going 8-for-12 from beyond the arc in the third quarter. All of a sudden, the 76ers had posted 14 three-pointers. Add another five in the final stanza from the likes of Tyrese Maxey, James Harden, and Tobias Harris, and the total, without any Phillies’ hits, was already at 19.
To put that in perspective, prior to that game, Washington had only allowed more than 15 once the entire season, and 12 times throughout all of the 2021-22 season. Philadelphia, on the other hand, had hit 19 threes in a game before, doing so on Oct. 24 against Indiana. However, the Sixers hadn’t hit more than 15 in two straight contests and hadn’t shot better than 50 percent from deep all season. Both streaks were broken on Wednesday. Even though the 76ers lost, bettors who took the over were jubilated beyond belief thinking they already won their bet before Game 4 of the World Series was even halfway through. My how wrong they were.
The Phillies needed only one hit and those betters could rejoice. And then MLB history happened. Obviously, a no-hitter in the World Series is beyond rare. It’s only happened twice in MLB history, and the only other time was when Don Larsen tossed a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956. We’d gone over 60 years without a no-hitter in the World Series and it had to happen that night, just one day after the Phillies dominated the Astros in Game 3, winning 7-0 and recording seven hits.
It was a bad beat for the record books. Where one team went above and beyond to make the over happen, the other literally made history to make sure it didn’t. The Phillies failed to capture a 3-1 World Series lead, dropping a game at home after they’d grabbed the series advantage by stealing a game in Houston.
The Phillies couldn’t recover from that embarrassment in their following game. They allowed Justin Verlander to record his first World Series win in his ninth World Series start. That’s just adding insult to injury. The Phillies better hope they come back and win the series, otherwise, not only will they have let the baseball world down by letting the Astros win a legitimate World Series, but they will have let down the betting community as well and much like Philly sports fans, they don’t forgive and forget quite so easily.