MLB Playoffs Betting: Series Price and Odds
by George Monroy - 10/3/2013
After a long baseball season that felt like it was hit with a new scandal every other week, fans can finally focus on a few positive aspects of the game—namely, the playoffs and the excitement of October baseball. Bettors have already had the enjoyment of a one-game playoff to get into the postseason as well as two one-game wild-card matchups. And now that the National and American League division matchups are set, gamblers can take a look at the series prices and game-one lines and try and figure out which teams have the best value to wager on. The Los Angeles Dodgers are the favorite to win the NL pennant, while over in the AL there are currently no lines available. Let’s take a quick look at the series price for each playoff matchup. All odds come from Bovada.
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St Louis Cardinals
Series price: Cardinals -155, Pirates +135
The Pirates made the playoffs in the first wild-card spot with a 94-68 regular-season record and handily beat the Cincinnati Reds in the one-game wild-card round, 6-2. The Pirates will be facing a league-best 97-win Cardinals team that many experts believe will represent the National League in the World Series. St. Louis is a solid favorite here, but the Pirates are playing off of momentum and a huge energy boost from its fans. Pittsburgh has not made the playoffs in 21 years and will be looking to make the most of the opportunity. It is difficult to put a finger on what momentum actually consist of, but whatever it is, the Pirates will probably be desperate for it to continue. This matchup has upset written all over it.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves
Series price: Dodgers -160, Braves +140
The series price on the Dodgers versus Braves matchup might be as twisted of a line that bettors will ever see. Atlanta has the home-field advantage, finished four full games better than Los Angeles, and is still the underdog going into this series. And to top it all off, the Dodgers are limited by injuries to both Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. The oddsmakers must think that the Dodgers are really good or that bettors from Los Angeles will come out of the woodwork. The Dodgers have not had a stellar postseason resume in over 20 years and have only made it out of the first round twice since 1988. The Braves are showing excellent value at +140.
Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics
Series price: Tigers -160, Athletics +140
Oakland may have home-field advantage and the better overall record, but the reason why the Tigers are the favorite is because the team has its ace, and almost unbeatable, pitcher Max Scherzer on the mound. If Detroit can steal Game 1, there is an excellent change that the Athletics will not be able to play a Game 5 in their own stadium. Scherzer is 21-3 this season and expected to pitch twice in this series if needed.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox
Series price: N/A
The Red Sox versus the Rays series price has not been released by the oddsmakers, However, Boston will probably be a heavy favorite over the Rays, who barely made it into the postseason in the first place. Tampa Bay ended the year in a tie for the wild-card spot and needed to play a one-game playoff just to make the playoffs, where they would go on to play in the one-game wild-card round. Needless to say, the Rays have been on a rollercoaster ride over the last few days of baseball and will probably come crashing to reality once they face the Red Sox. Both teams played each other 19 times last year with the Red Sox easily taking the series 12-7. Expect Boston to win this matchup.
Read more articles by George Monroy
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