MLB playoffs wild-card roundup and division series preview
No matter how good you are–heck, even if you are the Los Angeles Dodgers–the first round of these most unique Major League Baseball playoffs had to be a scary proposition. After all, a two-out-of-three series is hardly more than a crapshoot. Any team can beat any other team in the league in any given stretch of two or three games.
It is all about surviving and advancing, and that is what the eight remaining clubs have done. Now they get a little bit more breathing room; but not much more. The division series are best-of-five situations, which still leave a whole lot to chance.
Don’t forget to check out our free MLB picks, where we give previews and predictions for every game in the 2020 MLB Playoffs. You can also see our best bets and parlays to give yourself a chance of winning big.
MLB Playoffs Odds – ALDS and AL winner odds
The New York Yankees have taken over as favorites to win the American League pennant after going into the first round as the second choices behind the AL East rival Tampa Bay Rays. It’s not that the Rays are out (they took care of Toronto); it’s that the Yankees just looked so impressive in sweeping the Cleveland Indians. The Bronx Bombers crossed the plate 22 times in two games and ace Gerrit Cole out-dueled soon-to-be Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber. On the other side of the bracket, a showdown between the Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros will not get quite as much pub. Still, it will be an intriguing clash between a team whose style of play everyone likes and team who everyone outside of Houston hates.
The DJ took a big request. pic.twitter.com/LxCSAnN5zs
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 1, 2020
Below are the two American League Division Series with the teams’ odds of winning in parentheses.
#1 Tampa Bay Rays (+105) vs. #5 New York Yankees (-127)
#2 Oakland Athletics (-134) vs. #6 Houston Astros (+110)
Here are the betting odds for the 2020 MLB Playoffs to win the American League:
New York Yankees +185
Tampa Bay Rays +215
Oakland Athletics +315
Houston Astros +340
MLB Playoffs Odds – NLDS and NL winner odds
The biggest winner of all in the first round has to be the Dodgers. Sure, they were overwhelming favorites against the Milwaukee Brewers. But as mentioned above, in a way that could have been their most dangerous series. Just one loss would have put them in an elimination game, at which point obviously anything can happen. But L.A. took care of business 4-2 and 3-0, thus maintaining its status as a massive favorite to win the National League pennant. The other two very good teams remaining (the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres) are severely depleted in the pitching department; the fourth team is…well…the Miami Marlins.
— MLB (@MLB) October 2, 2020
Below are the two National League Division Series with the teams’ odds of winning in parentheses.
#1 Los Angeles Dodgers (-305) vs. #4 San Diego Padres (+235)
#2 Atlanta Braves (-125) vs. #6 Miami Marlins
Here are the betting odds for the 2020 MLB Playoffs to win the National League:
Los Angeles Dodgers -129
Atlanta Braves +310
San Diego Padres +350
Miami Marlins +900
2020 MLB Playoffs – World Series Odds
Winning one series will not cause any team to look all the way ahead to the World Series. That job will be left to us. In a few weeks’ time, the champions of the American League and National League will face off in a best-of-seven series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Tex.–home of the Texas Rangers. A mouth-watering cross-country matchup between the Yankees and Dodgers is currently what’s expected according to the odds, but of course there is a long way to go.
Here are the betting odds for the 2020 MLB World Series:
Los Angeles Dodgers +240
New York Yankees +350
Tampa Bay Rays +400
Atlanta Braves +750
San Diego Padres +900
Oakland Athletics +1100
Houston Astros +1300
Miami Marlins +2000
MLB Playoffs Predictions – Best MLB Postseason Picks
The second-biggest winner of the first round may have been the Braves. They faced a Cincinnati Reds squad that looked built for the playoffs, with a stacked pitching rotation led by soon-to-be Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer, Luis Castillo, and Sonny Gray. Unfortunately for Gray, his team could not even get to a Game 3–when he would have gotten the ball. And unfortunately for Bauer and Castillo (and Cincinnati’s relievers), they got a grand total of zero run support in the entire series. The Braves won 1-0 in 13 innings and then 5-0 in Game 2. If Atlanta can continue to get that kind of pitching from Max Friend, Ian Anderson, and its bullpen to complement the second-best lineup in baseball (behind the Dodgers), watch out.
Moreover, the Braves have also avoided the Chicago Cubs in round two. Miami is no pushover, but it cannot match Atlanta in either the pitching or hitting departments. That is why the Braves could be a good bet to win the National League, especially since San Diego could conceivably upset Los Angeles in a best-of-five series if Fernando Tatis Jr. stays hot.
In the American League, the Rays won the AL East–and with room to spare–for a reason. They made mincemeat out of Toronto via 3-1 and 8-2 decisions, so there is no reason to suddenly get off the bandwagon. At plus money against the Yankees and +215 to reach the World Series, the iron remains hot for striking when it comes to betting on TB.