MLB playoffs betting odds, picks: Who will score first in Yankees-Cleveland Wild Card Series?


The weirdest regular season we’ve ever seen is in the books and now it’s time for what is going to to be an insane month of playoff baseball. The 2020 MLB playoffs feature 16 teams playing four rounds with one team set to be the World Series champion. With the help of William Hill Sports Book, throughout the playoffs we’ll be looking at a minimum of three “best bets” per day while discussing some others when we feel like it. To start, we take a quick look at the four AL games coming on Sept. 29. Here’s what we’ve got: 

AL Wild Card Game 1

Houston

Minnesota (-1.5)

2 p.m.

ABC

7.5

AL Wild Card Game 1  

Chi. White Sox (-1.5)

Oakland

3 p.m.

ESPN

7.5

AL Wild Card Game 1  

Toronto

Tampa Bay (-1.5)

5 p.m.

TBS

7.5

AL Wild Card Game 1  

N.Y. Yankees

Cleveland (-1.5)

7 p.m.

ESPN

6.5

All lines via William Hill Sportsbook

Cleveland scores first (+120)

It’s tough to bet on something like this because runs can be fluky, especially in the playoffs. Just picturing playoff baseball in Cleveland I’m reminded of when Roberto Perez of all people hit two home runs in Game 1 of the 2016 World Series. He only had three home runs in the entire regular season! 

With all that risk in mind, I still love this bet. 

First off, it’s Shane Bieber getting the ball. He’s been nails all year in pretty much any situation, but particularly before he gets to the late innings. He had a 1.50 ERA in the first three innings and it even drops to 1.06 in the fourth through six innings. He held opponents to a .077 average in the first inning. 

Meantime, Gerrit Cole had a 3.75 ERA in both the first and third innings. It’s not terrible, but he’s a lot more susceptible to early offense than Bieber is. The Cleveland offense is not good at all, so that has to be a concern, but I’m expecting lots of zeroes from Bieber against the fickle Yankees’ offense. Further, the easiest way to get to Cole is to pop one. He tied for second in the AL with 14 home runs allowed this season. Jose Ramirez is really hot right now and ended up with 17 homers. Finally, the Tribe does their best work early. The 14 homers in the first inning were their most in any frame and the second-highest total was nine, which was the second inning. They slugged .471 in the first inning, their highest total by a good margin. 

White Sox (-130) over A’s

Oakland hasn’t really been a strong offensive team all year and things got more rough down the stretch. The A’s hit .228/.320/.379 in September. Without their star third baseman Matt Chapman, the A’s offense limped into the postseason hitting .214/.301/.367 while averaging just three runs per game in their last eight. I like Lucas Giolito here, too. He’s coming off a very good season that included some struggles early. Once he settled in, he was among the best in baseball, pitching to a 2.62 ERA with 65 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings over the course of his last seven starts. 

Oh, and the A’s are starting Sean Manaea. He’s left-handed. The White Sox against lefties this year: .285/.364/.523. They are 14-0 in games started by opposing Southpaws. Ride ’em! 

Twins run line (-1.5) over Astros

There isn’t much reason to get cute here. The Astros are arguably the worst team in the playoffs and if we only look at the AL side there isn’t much of an argument. Of their 31 losses, 17 were by two or more runs and that’s all we need here. Plus, the Astros played a weak schedule and were brutalized by teams with winning records (they were 4-13 against the A’s, Dodgers and Padres; the only .500+ teams on their schedule). They were 9-23 on the road. The Twins were 24-7 at home. I’d be comfortable with the money line (-145) here, but the run line pays +140 and I’m pretty confident the Twins won’t need to sweat this one out. 

Non-gambling nugget of interest: On Oct. 4, 2006, the Twins won a playoff game. They haven’t since. Their playoff losing streak is 16 games. A win here snaps that. 

Fun bonus: A grand slam in Minnesota (+1400)

The odds of there being a grand slam in any game are pretty low. There were only 45 grand slams all season in 898 total games played. The Twins only had two and the Astros didn’t hit a single slam. There is every reason to not even bother with this bet, except one. The odds are juicy. A grand slam in Game 1 between the Astros and Twins pays +1400 (or 14/1). This one depends on how much you truly enjoy gambling and how much money you’re willing to lay out just on a hunch. You wanna throw $10 on the off chance it becomes $140 or $100 for a possible $1,400? Go nuts. Maybe we’ll see big Nelson Cruz or spindly Byron Buxton win you a pay day. 





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *