It wasn’t that long ago that we weren’t even sure there would be a 2020 Major League Baseball season. Or after several positive COVID-19 tests, that the season would finish. But here we are about to begin the biggest postseason baseball has ever had as the MLB Playoffs begin on Tuesday.
We have more teams, more games, and more excitement for October baseball than ever before. And with legalized gambling sweeping the nation, this postseason will also see more action than ever before.
We have a full eight series in the Wild Card round just waiting to be wagered.
MLB Wild Card Series Odds
- Tampa Bay Rays (-210) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (+170)
- Oakland Athletics (-135) vs. Chicago White Sox (+110)
- Minnesota Twins (-120) vs. Houston Astros (+100)
- New York Yankees (-135) vs. Cleveland Indians (+110)
- Los Angeles Dodgers (-300) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (+240)
- Atlanta Braves (-125) vs. Cincinnati Reds (+105)
- Chicago Cubs (-190) vs. Miami Marlins (+160)
- San Diego Padres (-175) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (+145)
All Wild Card series are best-of-three.
There are some things to take note of as these brief series get underway.
The Yankees are just the fifth seed, and they lost six of their final eight games. But even with that, they are still favorites from the oddsmakers to make it all the way to the ALCS, and they are the third most likely team to win the World Series.
Game 1 features Cy Young favorite Shane Bieber against Gerrit Cole, and it will go a long way to deciding who takes this series.
Because of the expanded playoffs, some teams are playing that perhaps shouldn’t. The Miami Marlins, with a minus-41 run differential and just the 21st-best ERA in baseball (4.86), are one such team.
The last time the Marlins faced the Cubs in the postseason, the world was introduced to Steve Bartman. With no fans at the games, he will definitely not be on hand to give the Marlins an extra out. But even if he were, it’s hard to see it helping keep the Marlins’ perfect postseason record (two appearances, two World Series titles) intact.
Keep an eye on the Braves and Reds. The seventh-seeded Reds have a .212 batting average – the lowest ever for a playoff team, and the second lowest in the history of baseball. But their top three starting pitchers are as good as anyone, and much better and more consistent than No. 2 seed Atlanta’s.
A couple of long balls for Cincinnati, and a couple of dominant performances on the mound, and this could be the upset of the Wild Card round.
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