MLB

MLB Playoff Update: O’s, Dodgers in Peril — Bets for Divisional Series

October 10, 2023

This year’s playoffs might be the most unpredictable in recent memory. We saw two upsets in the Wild Card round, most notably the Diamondbacks sweeping the Brewers. Now in the League Division Series, the D-backs and Rangers both won a pair of road games as underdogs and head home in control of their matchups.

We’ll take a look at where all four series stand and make picks for the games that remain, and when you’re ready to place a bet, click here!

Houston Astros vs. Minnesota Twins

The Twins snapped an 18-game postseason losing streak with a 2-0 Wild Card round sweep over the Blue Jays. In the ALDS, they arre home with the series tied 1-1 and arguably have the upper hand based on the upcoming pitching matchups.

Game 3 on Tuesday pits Sonny Gray against Cristian Javier and amounts to a must-win game for the Twins. If they do, they’ll have a strong chance to finish things off in Game 4 for a matchup that projects to be Kenta Maeda against JP France.

For those more interested in backing the Astros, betting the series to go all five games makes sense. Houston trots out two shaky pitchers in the next two contests but will have Justin Verlander in Game 5. The Twins want to avoid that at all costs, so if the Astros can make it that far, the momentum will have certainly shifted.

The Pick(s): Twins in 4 (Tipico: +225) or Astros in 5 (+260)

Texas Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles

Texas has been a quality team for nearly the entire season, so despite being the underdog, it’s not a huge surprise they are at home with a 2-0 lead.

Now, they have to finish the job. Their best chance is likely to come in Game 3 Tuesday, as they have Nathan Eovaldi squaring off against Dean Kremer.

From Baltimore’s perspective, a comeback seems unlikely. Even if they upset Eovaldi, they will be trotting out Kyle Gibson in Game 4. Projecting them to win twice behind Kremer and Gibson is a tough bet given the quality of the Rangers lineup, with Corey Seager and rookie Evan Carter impressively leading the way for Texas.

The Pick(s): Rangers in 3 (-140) or Rangers in 4 (+260)

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

This is by far the biggest shock of the playoffs to this point, as the Diamondbacks are currently 4-0 in the postseason – with all four victories coming on the road.

Los Angeles’ pitching woes really showed through early, with only two combined innings from starters Clayton Kershaw and Bobby Miller.

Game 3 Thursday could be an opportunity for offensive fireworks, as both Lance Lynn and Brandon Pfaadt have been prone to giving up homers. With their backs against the wall, we should expect the Dodgers to get to Pfaadt and earn a win.

The problem comes after Game 3, as the Diamondbacks will have Merrill Kelly and Zac Gallen set to go — both of whom have already limited the Dodgers offensively. Gallen against Bobby Miller in Game 5 – even in Los Angeles – is a big mismatch in favor of Arizona.

The Pick: Diamondbacks in five (-700 to win outright, watch for odds to shift if LA wins Game 3)

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves

These teams gave us an extremely dramatic Game 2, and if Atlanta advances to the NLCS, Michael Harris’ leaping catch up against the wall in the ninth inning will rightfully be cited as the turning point of the series. There’s also a pretty clear path to a five-game series, which would be the best possible outcome for neutral observers.

The Phillies have a must-win game in Game 3 when the series resumes Wednesday, as Aaron Nola will square off against Bryce Elder. The opposite is true in Game 4, as Spencer Strider will take on Rangers Suarez in a rematch of Game 1.

Assuming those two games play out as they should on paper, anything can happen in one game that decides everything, but ultimately, Atlanta has the edge thanks to home-field advantage.

The Pick: Braves in 5 (+200)

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