Wednesday, July 17, 2024

2023 MLB playoff odds, projections: Braves favored to beat Phillies, win World Series, can Rangers upset O’s?

The 2023 Major League Baseball playoffs have two off days after four sweeps in the Wild Card Series. We’re now moving forward to starting the divisional series round on Saturday, Oct. 7 with eight teams still in the hunt for the World Series title. The top two division winners in each league received a bye to the LDS and they’ll all have home-field advantage now in a best-of-five format against the winners from the Wild Card Series. Here’s how it lines up: 

LDS matchups

Below are the gambling odds for the postseason. We’ll start with the odds to win each LDS matchup.

ALDS, NLDS odds

(Odds to win the series as of Oct. 5)

  • Orioles vs. Rangers: BAL -120 | TEX +100 (SportsLine projection: Texas has 54.8% chance to advance)
  • Astros vs. Twins: HOU -170 | MIN +143 (SportsLine projection: Houston has 64.7% chance to advance)
  • Braves vs. Phillies: ATL -175 | PHI +150 (SportsLine projection: Atlanta has 63.6% chance to advance)
  • Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks: LAD -240 | ARI +196 (SportsLine projection: Los Angeles has 79.8% chance to advance)

I like the Orioles in the top series, but the Rangers have such big upside and it was huge to see Nathan Eovaldi throw like his first-half self there, giving the Rangers a pair of frontline starters along with Jordan Montgomery (and it’s possible Max Scherzer returns, even if unlikely). My tipping point on this series is the consistency. You just never know which Rangers team is going to show up while the Orioles haven’t been swept in a series since May 13-15 of 2022. I’ll take the consistency on a series this closely matched. 

In the other AL bout, I actually lean toward the Twins. The Astros have been so inconsistent and unreliable. They had a losing record at home (39-42) and their last home series was what looked like a must-win against the historically bad Royals. And they got swept in three games. The Twins have good starting pitching, power bullpen arms and an offense that can drop bombs. The Astros are the better team and so battle tested in the playoffs, but I don’t mind a sprinkle on the Twins’ odds here. 

The Braves and Phillies matchup at those odds is a stay away for me. The Braves are clearly better, but the Phillies have all kinds of vibes and absolutely possess the ability to knock them off. I’m so looking forward to this and have no idea how it ends up. 

I don’t like the odds on the Dodgers. I do think they are going to win the series. That’s an awfully steep price to pay with their pitching and their recent track record of being booted by inferior teams. If you truly believe the Diamondbacks are going to win, 196 is a nice number for a sprinkle, but I don’t find value in losing and I believe the Dodgers will win. 

Basically, I’m playing the Orioles, I might play the Twins and the NL matchups are stay aways for me. 

Odds to win American League

  • Astros: +170
  • Orioles: +280
  • Rangers: +300
  • Twins: +370

This seems about right. I don’t want to play the Astros at this price, but they are probably the most likely to win the league (again). I’d be good with anyone wanting to play the Orioles or Rangers at these odds. 

Looking for an edge with your picks? SportsLine has expert picks and analysis daily throughout the MLB postseason.

Odds to win National League

  • Braves: +120
  • Dodgers: +225
  • Phillies: +450
  • Diamondbacks: +800

No surprise that the Braves remain the odds-on favorites to take the NL after finishing with an MLB-best 104 wins. The Phillies probably carry good value here, but there’s no value in a loss and the Braves are easily the best team. I’m avoiding the Dodgers at this price with that pitching and track record, but there’s an argument to be made for them. I can’t see the D-Backs winning the whole league. With regard to the other three teams, pick your poison. 

Odds to win World Series

  • Braves: +300
  • Astros: +450
  • Dodgers: +475
  • Orioles: +650
  • Rangers: +700
  • Phillies: +750
  • Twins: +850
  • Diamondbacks: +1600

Again, there’s no surprise that the Braves are the favorites and that number isn’t too bad at all considering how many people believe the Braves are going to breeze through this tournament. That’s a nice number on the Orioles, given that they won 101 games. The Phillies are enticing there at +750, but they have to deal with the Braves this round. 

Also, I saw that at some books you could play divisions, so you could grab the NL East (Braves and Phillies) to be the winner and that looks mighty enticing. There’s an argument to be made that whoever wins that series wins the World Series. 

My official pick before the playoffs started was Braves over Orioles and I won’t come off that now, but I could create arguments for the Astros, Dodgers, Orioles, Rangers and Phillies at these odds. Maybe even the Twins! 

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